Beatles – Unused Hitler on Sgt. Pepper Album Cover Shoot
September 12, 2012
This is a rare photograph that’s more of a behind-the-scenes than uncropped picture. It’s a studio shot from the making of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. Often shortened to Sgt. Pepper, it was The Beatles eigth studio album.
The Grammy Award-winning 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. It featured a colourful collage of life-sized cardboard models of famous people on the front of the album cover and lyrics printed on the back cover, the first time this had been done on a British pop LP. The Beatles themselves, in the guise of the Sgt. Pepper band, were dressed in custom-made military-style outfits made of satin dyed in day-glo colours.
The collage depicted more than 70 famous people, including writers, musicians, film stars, and (at Harrison’s request) a number of Indian gurus. The final grouping included Marlene Dietrich, Carl Gustav Jung, W.C. Fields, Diana Dors, James Dean, Bob Dylan, Issy Bonn, Marilyn Monroe, Aldous Huxley, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sigmund Freud, Aleister Crowley, Edgar Allan Poe, Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, William S. Burroughs, Marlon Brando, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, and controversial comedian Lenny Bruce. Also included was the image of the original Beatles’ bassist, the late Stuart Sutcliffe. Adolf Hitler and Jesus Christ were requested by Lennon, but ultimately they were left out.