Paul McCartney has revealed who was cut from the iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover.
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles‘ eighth full-length album and acts as one of the best-selling albums of all time.
The album cover featured a wide range of famous faces, including Fred Astaire, Edgar Allan Poe, Bob Dylan, Oscar Wilde, Shirley Temple and Marlon Brando.
While most of these celebrities were happy to appear on the cover for free, McCartney says that there was one actor who wanted a fee.
“We all had a list of favourites. George put in an Indian guru, that’s Yogananda. And Babaji is in there. So we just each put people in that we admired through history, so that was the idea,” he said in a new interview on PaulMcCartney.com.
“There were certain ones we all liked, like Oscar Wilde. Max Miller was a British comedian. And then there’s Stuart [Sutcliffe], who had been our old bass player, who died. Aubrey Beardsley, the artist,” he added.
People’s new collector’s edition The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper at 50! is available now.
He then reveals that one of the Bowery Boys “who wouldn’t do it.”
“One of them wanted money for it,” he continued.
“We just wrote to everyone and said, ‘Do you mind?’ Well, at first we didn’t. But the head of EMI, Sir Joseph Lockwood came to my house and complained! He said, ‘This is going to be a nightmare. There are going to be legal battles!’ I said, ‘No, no, no. People are gonna love it! They’re all on the Beatles cover, you know! It’ll be a laugh, they’ll understand.’ He said, ‘No, you’ve got to write to them all.'”
“So we did. We got a letter out: ‘We are planning to do this using your image. Do you mind? Is it okay? Please give us the okay.’ And all of them did, except for one of the Bowery Boys who wanted to cut a deal,” he explained. “And we thought, ‘You know what, we’ve got enough people on here!'”
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Meanwhile, it was reported last month that a special pop-shop dedicated to the album was set to open in Liverpool to celebrate the record’s 50th anniversary.
Opening its doors on May 25, the shop will be located on 1 Matthew Street – the same street where the Cavern Club is located – until it closes on June 11.
To mark the milestone, a special anniversary CD and vinyl reissue is currently on sale.