Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Sgt peppers

Cover Artist
Peter Blake & Jann Haworth (designers), Michael Cooper (photographer), Robert Fraser (art director)

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (often shortened as Sgt. Pepper) is the eighth studio album by the English rock band The Beatles, released on 1 June 1967 on the Parlophone label and produced by George Martin. The album is widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time, and has since been recognized as one of the most important albums in the history of popular music. The album cover art, by English pop artist Peter Blake, depicts the band posing in front of a collage of their favorite celebrities, and has been widely acclaimed and imitated. In fact, the Sgt. Pepper album cover, which features over 70 famous people, won the Grammy Award for Best Album Cover in 1968.


Sgt peppers sketch

Peter Blake's original sketch for the Sgt. Pepper's Cover

The album packaging was art-directed by Robert Fraser, designed by Peter Blake and Jann Haworth, his wife and artistic partner, and photographed by Michael Cooper at Chelsea Manor Photographic Studios on March 30, 1967. It features a colorful collage of life-sized cardboard models of famous people, including The Beatles themselves, in the guise of the Sgt. Pepper band, dressed in custom-made military-style outfits made of satin dyed in day-glo colors. The suits were designed by Manuel Cuevas. In the center of the album cover, The Beatles stand behind a drum on which are painted the album's title. The drum was painted by fairground artist Joe Ephgrave. Peter Blake and Jann Haworth combed through hundreds of photos for months before the photo shoot. Many of the people depicted were personal heroes or icons of the Beatles.[1]
Sgt peppers photosession

Photosession: behind the scenes

Notable Facts

  • Sgt. Pepper marked the first time in history that the lyrics of the entire album were included with the album cover.
  • The final bill for the cover was £2,868 5s 3d (equivalent to £38,823 today), a staggering sum for the time. It has been estimated that this was 100 times the average cost for an album cover in those days.


Korean sgt pepper 1977

Korea, 1977

In South East Asia/Malaysia/Hong Kong the album was censored - three songs that could be interpreted as being "drug related" (such as Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds as a reference to LSD) were removed. Due to this, the album cover was censored accordingly, removing the lyrics of those specific songs from the back of the album.[1]

In Korea a version was released in 1977 that removed all famous people completely (as can be seen in the image to the right).

List of Images on the Album Cover

The celebrities and items featured on the front cover are (by row, left to right):

Top Row

  • Sri Yukteswar Giri (Hindu guru)
  • Aleister Crowley (occultist)
  • Mae West (actress)
  • Lenny Bruce (comedian)
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen (composer)
  • W. C. Fields (comedian/actor)
  • Carl Gustav Jung (psychiatrist)
  • Edgar Allan Poe (writer)
  • Fred Astaire (actor/dancer)
  • Richard Merkin (artist)
  • The Vargas Girl (by artist Alberto Vargas)
  • Huntz Hall (actor)
  • Simon Rodia (designer and builder of the Watts Towers)
  • Bob Dylan (singer/songwriter)

Second row

  • Aubrey Beardsley (illustrator)
  • Sir Robert Peel (19th century British Prime Minister)
  • Aldous Huxley (writer)
  • Dylan Thomas (poet)
  • Terry Southern (writer)
  • Dion (singer)
  • Tony Curtis (actor)
  • Wallace Berman (artist)
  • Tommy Handley (comedian)
  • Marilyn Monroe (actress)
  • William S. Burroughs (writer)
  • Sri Mahavatar Babaji (Hindu guru)
  • Stan Laurel (actor/comedian)
  • Richard Lindner (artist)
  • Oliver Hardy (actor/comedian)
  • Karl Marx (political philosopher)
  • H. G. Wells (writer)
  • Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (Hindu guru)
  • Sigmund Freud (psychiatrist) - barely visible below Bob Dylan
  • Anonymous (hairdresser's wax dummy)

Third row

  • Stuart Sutcliffe (artist/former Beatle)
  • Anonymous (hairdresser's wax dummy)
  • Max Miller (comedian)
  • A "Petty Girl" (by artist George Petty)
  • Marlon Brando (actor)
  • Tom Mix (actor)
  • Oscar Wilde (writer)
  • Tyrone Power (actor)
  • Larry Bell (artist)
  • Dr. David Livingstone (missionary/explorer)
  • Johnny Weissmuller (Olympic swimmer/Tarzan actor)
  • Stephen Crane (writer) - barely visible between Issy Bonn's head and raised arm
  • Issy Bonn (comedian)
  • George Bernard Shaw (playwright)
  • H. C. Westermann (sculptor)
  • Albert Stubbins (football player)
  • Sri Lahiri Mahasaya (guru)
  • Lewis Carroll (writer)
  • T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia")

Front row

  • Wax model of Sonny Liston (boxer)
  • A "Petty Girl" (by George Petty)
  • Wax model of George Harrison
  • Wax model of John Lennon
  • Shirley Temple (child actress) - barely visible, first of three appearances on the cover
  • Wax model of Ringo Starr
  • Wax model of Paul McCartney
  • Albert Einstein (physicist) - largely obscured
  • John Lennon holding a French horn
  • Ringo Starr holding a trumpet
  • Paul McCartney holding a Cor Anglais
  • George Harrison holding a flute
  • Bobby Breen (singer)
  • Marlene Dietrich (actress/singer)
  • An American legionnaire
  • Diana Dors (actress)
  • Shirley Temple (child actress) - second appearance on the cover

Other objects within the group include

  • Cloth grandmother-figure by Jann Haworth
  • Cloth doll by Haworth of Shirley Temple wearing a sweater that reads "Welcome The Rolling Stones"
  • A ceramic Mexican craft known as a Tree of Life from Metepec
  • A 9-inch Sony television set, apparently owned by Paul McCartney - the receipt, bearing McCartney's signature, is owned by a curator of a museum dedicated to The Beatles in Japan.
  • A stone figure of a girl
  • Another stone figure
  • A statue brought over from John Lennon's house
  • A trophy
  • A doll of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi
  • A drum skin, designed by fairground artist Joe Ephgrave
  • A hookah (water pipe)
  • A velvet snake
  • A Fukusuke, Japanese china figure
  • A stone figure of Snow White
  • A garden gnome
  • A euphonium/baritone horn

People who were originally intended for the front cover but were ultimately excluded:

  • Leo Gorcey - was modeled and originally included to the left of Huntz Hall, but was subsequently removed when a fee of $400 was requested for the use of the actor's likeness.
  • Mohandas Gandhi - was modeled and originally included to the right of Lewis Carroll, but was subsequently removed. According to McCartney, "Gandhi also had to go because the head of EMI, Sir Joe Lockwood, said that in India they wouldn't allow the record to be printed".
  • Jesus Christ - was requested by Lennon, but not modeled because the LP would be released only a few months after Lennon's Jesus statement.
  • Adolf Hitler - was modeled and was visible in early photographs of the montage, positioned to the right of Larry Bell, but was eventually obscured by Johnny Weissmuller in the final image.

Visual Overview of People

Sgt peppers - whoswho

Who's who

1. Sri Yukteswar (Indian Guru)
2. Aleister Crowley (black magician)
3. Mae West
4. Lenny Bruce
5. Stockhausen (modern German composer)
6. W.C. Fields
7. Carl Jung (psychologist)
8. Edgar Allen Poe
9. Fred Astaire
10. Merkin (American artist)
12. Huntz Hall (Bowery Boy)
13. Simon Rodia (creater of Watts Towers)
14. Bob Dylan
15. Aubrey Beardsly (Victorian artist)
16. Sir Robert Peel (Police pioneer)
17. Aldous Huxley (philosopher)
18. Dylan Thomas (Welsh poet)
19. Terry Southern (author)
20. Dion (American pop singer)
21. Tony Curtis
22. Wallace Berman (Los Angeles artist)
23. Tommy Handley (wartime comedian)
24. Marilyn Monroe
25. William Buroughs (author)
26. Mahavatar Babaji (Indian Guru)
27. Stan Laurel
28. Richard Lindner (New York artist)
Sgt rutters only darts club band


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