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Sgt. Pepper Celebration, Cont'd...
Lisa already beat me to the Sgt. Pepper punch, but here is yet another celebratory homage to one of the most incendiary albums in rock history. So, in the spirit of the times, sit back and enjoy the following Sgt. Pepper facts and trivia. I got all this information from a Beatles class I took my senior year in college, so I just dusted off the old notebook and chose some of my favorites. No need to play your vinyl in reverse.
1. The original Beatles album cover featured several cardboard figures, among which you can find Edgar Allen Poe, Karl Marx, Lenny Bruce, Bob Dylan, Oscar Wilde, Marlon Brando, the original Beatles bass player Stu Sutcliffe, among many others. John had requested Adolf Hitler’s presence, but his image was placed behind the Beatles and could barely be seen in the original cover.
2. One main reason for the creation of Sgt. Pepper was to make music that would be impossible to play live, since the Beatles had grown tired of touring.
3. In Southeast Asia, three songs were withheld from the album, deeming “With A Little Help From My Friends, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and A Day In The Life to be overt references to drugs. They were replaced on the album with three songs from the Magical Mystery Tour album; The Fool On The Hill, Baby You're A Rich Man and I Am The Walrus.
4.During the recording session of A Day in the Life, the entire band and orchestra wore clown noses and masks. This can be seen on the Beatles Anthology collection.
5. More A Day in the Life trivia: The final E major chord, widely considered to be one the most famous final chords in music history, was played on 3 different pianos with the sound level turned up to maximum. As the chord fades out, after the cacophony, Lennon inserted a high-pitched noise intended to affect the listener’s dogs.
6. Sgt. Pepper won four Grammy Awards in 1967, including Album of the Year and Best Album Cover. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it No. 1 of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
7. Let’s clear this up. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was not an intentional reference to LSD. John Lennon’s son Julian, a young boy at the time, drew a picture of a classmate named Lucy and titled the drawing accordingly.
8. The lyrics for For the Benefit of Mr. Kite was directly inspired by an antique circus poster that John Lennon had found.
9. An alternative interpretation of the “Paul is Dead” hoax (playing the end-chatter of A Day in the Life backwards) is “We’ll fuck you like Supermen”
10. (One of my favorites) In 1984, upon asking Paul McCartney about the inspiration behind Sgt. Pepper, he recalls that the idea to mask their identities and “submerge their personas” came to them on a flight from L.A. (Hell yes!)