[NEW BOOK] Announcing: The Beatles and Sgt. Pepper: A Fans’ Perspective

posted in: Featured, News | 33

COMING MAY 2017!

Pepper-book-cover

Bruce Spizer’s latest book on the Beatles will cover the Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band album from the fans’ perspective with contributions by Bruce, Bill King, Al Sussman, Frank Daniels, Piers Hemmingsen and others.

UPDATE 3/21/17: The book is coming along nicely. He has received dozens of wonderful stories from fans sharing their Sgt. Pepper experiences. As with his other books, and in keeping with the spirit of the Sgt. Pepper album, The Beatles and Sgt. Pepper: A Fans’ Perspective will be a treat both visually and from an information and story-telling experience.

The 9″ x 9″ hardcover book will have tons of images, all in glorious color or original black and white, and will be approximately 170 pages. The book will be available in both a standard edition and a limited edition, which will come with an O-case, poster, bookmark and free link for the eBook edition.

Pricing and ordering information will be announced shortly. Watch this space!

 

LAST CALL

Seeking your memories and photos about Sgt. Pepper!!!

To tell the story from the fans’ point of view,
Bruce is looking for memories from fans throughout the world
to include in his new book
The Beatles and Sgt. Pepper: A Fans’ Perspective, coming out in May 2017.

These memories can be from fans who bought the album when it came out, as well as younger fans who experienced the album for the first time years or decades after its release.

If you were living in a foreign country when the album was released: please contact Bruce to discuss the possibility of writing a few paragraphs of how the album was received in your country (reviews, radio air play, chart positions and sales).

If you have pictures of yourself with the album from 1967, please send them as well. We recently received a wonderful picture from July 1967 of three lovely teenage girls proudly displaying the album.

Obviously we will not have room in the book for all of the comments we receive, but we will do our best to provide a wide sampling of fan memories. We will also place comments on our website.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: MARCH 22, 2017

100-250 word maximum

SUBMIT YOUR MEMORIES IN THE COMMENTS BELOW – BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR NAME (first name only or complete), along with where and when you first encountered the album. By submitting, you give your permission for Bruce Spizer and 498 Productions LLC to use your submission in part or full in any print, digital, marketing or any other use. You are not granting an exclusive right and you may still use your submission for any purpose you deem appropriate.

CLICK ON THE BIG BLUE BUTTON BELOW TO UPLOAD A HIGH RES PHOTO – By doing so, you attest that you own the full rights to the photo, and that you give your permission for Bruce Spizer and 498 Productions LLC to reproduce the photo in part or in full in print, digital, marketing, or any other use. You are not granting an exclusive right and you may still use your submission for any purpose you deem appropriate.

 

PLEASE EMAIL US AFTER YOU UPLOAD WITH YOUR CONTACT INFO AND MEMORIES

CLICK HERE TO UPLOAD FILES

 

We will keep you posted on the publication and ordering.

33 Responses

  1. Jeff Mooney Atlanta, GA
    |

    I am a first generation Beatles fan. I fell in love with the Beatles during their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.
    I was visiting relatives in another state in the summer of 1967, when Sgt. Pepper was released. A cousin, who is 6 years older and a teenager then, played his copy of the album for me.
    Its impact on me was like the scene in the Wizard of Oz when the door to Dorothy’s house opened in Munchkin Land and the world changed from black & white to glorious, vivid color!
    During that visit, i celebrated a birthday, and my father asked me what i wanted, and i said the Beatles’ Sgt.Pepper album. He was not a Beatles fan himself, but he bought it for me. I still have it.

  2. Dan Tomaszewski
    |

    I had my 14th birthday in the summer after Sgt. Pepper was released. My sister got her copy of the album the day it was released. She brought it home, disappointed that Strawberry Fields and Penney Lane were not on the l.p. Her disappointment disappeared as each song filled the house with such a new and fantastic sound that was a big change from previous releases by our boys from Liverpool. I was fortunate enough to have a generous sister who allowed me to listen to her Beatles records with her or on my own just about any time I wanted. I knew that I needed to add this to my limited collection of fab four records with an allowance from my parents of 50 cents a week. I decided that in order to not wait so long to pick up a copy of my own, I was going to canvass the neighborhood for lawn cutting jobs. Most neighbors paid the great sum of $1.00 and if lucky maybe $2.00. Either way, I could amass a small fortune in less time than I could with my allowance. After cutting enough lawns, I had the money in hand, so I asked my mother to drive me to K-mart to obtain my treasured booty. I literally ran through the aisles to the record department only to be shocked that there was not a Sgt. Pepper album in any of the bins. I saw a guy putting stock out over in another aisle. He was an old guy about 25 or so, but I thought he would know if there was any new Beatles .record to be had. He said that all the Sgt. Peppers had been out in the bins a few days ago. If they were gone, then they were gone and I would have to wait. He said he was disappointed too because he had planned on getting one after his shift. As I walked back to my moms car I hung my head. I told mom that they didn’t have any and she said ” Well there might be some on that truck that came in a few minutes ago. ” So I raced back inside and found that same clerk still stocking shelves. Before I could say a word he said he knew about the truck and would go look to see if there were any records on the load. After what seemed like an eternity the clerk came down the aisle with a pretty heavy looking square box. He smiled and said it contained an entire box load of Sgt. Pepper albums. They were already tagged with a K-mart price tag. He handed me a copy and told me to enjoy. I hoped I had enough to pay for it after all I had gone through to get my hands on one. I saw the price of $3.98 and figured what the tax would be. I added the 16 cents of sales tax knowing I had $5 in my pocket. I couldn’t get mom to drive any faster for home but we did get back in less time than it took to get to K-mart. I raced inside half asking my sister if I could use her record player. I plunked the l.p. on the turntable and set the tone arm down. As it started to play, my sister asked me why I had bought a record she already had and that I could borrow any time. I told her that I just had to have my own Sgt. Pepper album. My mom just shook her head.

  3. Richard Zahn
    |

    I was the ripe old age of 14 when I was spending my summer vacation with my grandmother and uncle on the family farm in a small area of northern Alberta Canada. One afternoon we took a drive to the nearby town and lo and behold there in a shop window was Sgt. Peppers! Now you have to remember that this was a very small town and they didn’t have a proper record store but for some unknown reason this particular shop had the wherewithal to display the new Beatles LP in the store’s window in the summer of ’67.
    I don’t recall knowing that the Beatles were scheduling a new release that summer so I don’t believe I was looking for it but the artwork must have jumped out at me as being very flashy and noteworthy at that point in time.
    My grandma actually bought it for me that day! I took in back to the farm and played it on my uncle’s stereo system. Having heard all of their LPs up to that time I remember being awestruck at how different it was. Sure you had the guitars and such but there sure were some unusual sounds on that LP. It was all so different. The artwork which had so taken me in at first glance was so cool and I spent countless hours studying it and the words were on the back cover! So reading along with the music was something unique to me as well. This was a mono copy by the way. I remember Paul’s adlibs at the end of the Reprise and always straining my ears to pick out all of the words. My copy didn’t have the pink inner sleeve as I was to later discover some copies had. My copy was played to death but I still proudly have it in my collection to this day.

  4. Dan Lawton
    |

    We all know Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane were meant for Sgt Pepper, but they made another album to include those two once they became such favorites.
    A true remake of Sgt Pepper, as a childhood reminiscence as planned, would possibly require a mish-mash of both Pepper and MMT. Here are my submissions for such a 16 song (double?) album:
    1. Sgt Pepper 1
    2. Help from my Friends.
    3. S. Fields.
    4. She’s Leaving Home.
    5. Lucy.
    6. Your Mother Should Know.
    7. Within/Without You (End of Side 1),
    8. Magical Mystery Tour.
    9. Penny Lane.
    10. I Am The Walrus. (Lewis Carrol)
    11. When I’m 64. (A childhood tale if ever heard)
    12. Fool on the Hill.
    13. Mr. Kite.
    14. Hello Goodbye.
    15. Sgt Pepper Reprise.
    16. A Day In The Life.

  5. Timothy Swan
    |

    I became a full-fledged Beatles fan in 1972 at age eleven when my brother bought a copy of this classic album that summer, 5 years after its release. I do recall that it was a stereo copy. It was on the lime green Capitol label. Once that wore out, he replaced it with a copy on the Apple label; same great album. By the time I reached my senior year in high school in 1980, I finally got my own copy of this album on the purple label. I do remember that the lime green label version had both the cardboard cut-out insert and the red/pink/white inner sleeve, whereas the two other copies that followed had only the cardboard insert. For English class, I wrote an essay about the album and got an A! Fifteen years later near the end of June, I went to a used record store in Portland, Oregon. There was a near-mint copy of the album in mono with everything intact. It was being sold for $200.00. Realizing that this was more than I was planning to spend, I went over to a yard sale a little less than a mile away. The man in charge of the yard sale had five mono copies of the album, all in varying conditions. All five copies had both the custom inner sleeve and the cardboard insert. All five discs were from very good plus to mint minus condition. I asked him, “How much would you take for one of these albums?” He said, “a buck each.” Without hesitation, I quickly purchased all five of them! I still have them to this day. One of them has the complete title of “With A Little Help From My Friends” on the side one label. Of course, I enjoy listening to both the mono and stero versions of this album. It Was 50 Years Ago Today!

  6. Farrell McNulty
    |

    In 1973, at the age of 10, I bought an Apple reissue of the album for $4.57 in the Sears record department. Our original mono pressing was worn out and scratched up for years and when I had some cash, I thought this was the perfect time to get a new one. That was the first time I’d heard the album straight through. I loved all the fairground sound effects on Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite and all the noise on Lovely Rita as well as that on Good Morning Good Morning. It was also my first time hearing the stereo mix and it was a lot of fun turning the balance switch from side to side so I could hear the separate channels with all the different sounds on each speaker.

    Forty-four years later, the album still blows me away as it’s just as beautiful to listen to as it is to look at. I have the stereo and mono CDs now as well as the mono vinyl reissue. It still sounds fresh and exciting. The applause and laughter sound effects notwithstanding, it feels like much more than just a great album, it really feels like I’m attending a performance and then walk out of the “theater” in a daze after that brilliant piano chord at the end. It certainly makes good on its guarantees of a smile and a splendid time.

  7. Gary L. Anderson
    |

    I grew up in rural Maine. My father (a widower – my mother died when I was 5) and 3 of my five brothers (the two oldest out on their own, one in the Air Force who allegedly saw the Beatles in the Cavern Club when stationed in England!) resided in a small house where AM radio was the primary means for listening to music. When the Beatles first broke in 1964, me and my three at home brothers all went nuts over them – we bought the records, bubblegum cards, and pantomimed their songs as a foursome (I was always Paul). My dad was a country and western fan. He was not keen on the Beatles and when he was home their music was seldom played to avoid him yelling to “turn that crap off”. If I hadn’t had the mumps when they made their first appearance on Ed Sullivan, we might not have seen their debut in America – but being sick gave me the right to pick what we watched that night on TV (my dad would have preferred Gunsmoke!). When Sgt. Pepper’s came out my brothers and I had to wait a few weeks to get a copy until we could go to a city record store as it was not available in our local hardware store (which fortunately did sell 45s). We loved the gatefold sleeve, the inserts, and the lyrics on the cover. And of course, whenever our father wasn’t around, we played the hell out of it. One day he came home earlier than expected and “When I’m Sixty-Four” was playing. He actually inquired what the song was and was surprised when told it was the Beatles. Later if I was playing records he would ask to hear it again. This was the only time he expressed any interest in the Beatles or any pop/rock song for that matter with the exception of one other: “Dandy” by Herman’s Hermits. For some reason, those two songs struck his fancy and gave him and I the only pop/rock connection we had. I’ll be 64 next year and will play that song with gusto and imagine my now deceased dad joining in.

  8. David Rauh
    |

    The summer of 1967, when Sgt. Pepper was released, I was still in high school. That fall was my senior year. Of course I bought the album within days after it hit the stores. I remember that I thought it was fantastic, but was a little disappointed that it did not include Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever. During this time period everyone had transistor radios and listened to Top 40 AM radio. The local stations only played Top 40 singles, not album tracks. However, Sgt. Pepper was so influential it made the Top 40 list and any song from the album could be heard on the radio. I had an excellent art teacher during this era. Later that year he devoted an entire class to Sgt. Pepper. The first half of the class we listened to it in its entirety. The second half we discussed the lyrics and the artwork. When I graduated, I used a quote from Within You, Without You next to my photo in the school’s yearbook. “Those who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion, never glimpse the truth.” It is still one of my favorite Beatles; songs, along with the amazingly atmospheric A Day In The Life.

  9. Larry Miller
    |

    I was wrapping up the 8th grade of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School in June, 1967. Since I lived close to the school, I used to walk home for lunch. There was such a pre-release buzz about the album that I had talked to the Music House and knew exactly what day they would have the album for sale. On that day, I ran home at noon, hopped on my bike, rode the mile+ to the store, rode back to drop the album off back home, and ran back to school before the nuns could whack me with a ruler for showing up after 1:00. The cover was so amazing, I just knew the music would match it. The 2 1/2 hours until I could go home at 3:30 was the longest afternoon in my scholastic life. But by 4:30 and the last note finally faded away, I thought I had died and gone to heaven!

  10. Gary J. Sokol
    |

    When Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in was over at a freinds house and his older brother he’d just brought the Mono LP home and was listening to it in his bedroom well we could hear through two bedroom doors . I remembered that it didn’t have as much guitar up front like all the previous Beatles records so we didn’t really get it at first “wow that was hard to say” but hey we were only 13 years old at the time I could remember skipping over Within you and without you and not caring for when I’m 64 but enjoying most of the rest of the album especially the Run out groove blew our minds LOL

  11. Brian Barros
    |

    I was 11 years old in 1967. People tend to forget that The Beatles attracted fans of all ages, so the grade school kids liked them just as much as the high school kids. That is probably not the case with most bands today. Ever since that night in February of 1964 I was hooked. I played all the records endlessly, saw “A Hard Days Night” and “Help” whenever they came to town even did things like collect all the gum cards. So being in 6th grade at the time, I still sort of believed in the Beatles myth, the fun mop tops. We had already gotten a little dose of these new Beatles when the “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields” single and videos came out. Most of us in my grade hated it. What are these funny noises” Why do they have beards? They don’t look happy anymore? Some kids had already made the switch to The Monkees. So when my sister, who was 8 years older than me brought home “Sgt. Pepper”, I remember just looking at the cover like it was something so foreign. Why are they calling themselves something different? Words on the back, cutouts, this stuff is different. Then we put the record on. I think I had a whole different reaction than many people. The first song was okay and the Ringo song was fun, but then it got more weird. All these different sounds, with trumpets, violins and instruments I couldn’t even make out. “She’s Leaving Home” was like a song that old people listen to. There were no fun songs. I no longer got that happy feeling I got listening to Beatles music. I want “She Loves You” or “Day Tripper”, probably a reaction a lot of 11 year olds had at the time. I found myself longing for my old Beatles. As I grew older, I learned to appreciate “Pepper” more for the historical event that it was, but it is probably still the Beatles album I play the least. I’m not sure if it is because it really isn’t rock and roll album or there something inside me from 50 years ago that I’ve never gotten over.

  12. John Bezzini
    |

    Having turned 12 years old six months prior to that momentous first listening, I was ill-prepared for what I was about to hear. Having been a Beatles fan since that historical Sunday evening of February 9th, 1964, I was expecting another collection of great pop songs. In the Hartford, Connecticut listening area there were two radio stations always vying for the next Beatle “exclusive” to put on the air (WDRC and WPOP). WDRC was the station I ended up listening to for the Sergeant Pepper premiere. In an unusual circumstance they played the entire album without any interruptions which was unheard of in those days. As I was listening, I must admit to having mixed feelings. I was used to the more poppy Beatles not the more sophisticated sounds that I was hearing. After all of these years, I am ashamed to admit that for a brief time, I actually preferred the more poppy approach of the Monkees. That was not to last long. As the first generation fans were maturing, the Beatles artistic talents were as well, dealing with topics we became more interested in as we left childhood. I recall purchasing the Pepper album for the first time and being amazed and startled at the ornate cover, wondering who all of those people were and the full lyrics were published on the back cover-WOW. Early favorite songs on the album were Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and With a Little Help from My Friends. As we were getting older, listening to this album assured us of one important thing, we and the world would never be the same again……….

  13. Phil Davies
    |

    Looking forward to the book but a suggestion – for the front cover, show the U.K. version, i.e. without that disfiguring yellow band.

  14. Bruce
    |

    The book is from the fan perspective, and since I am from America, my perspective is the U.S. cover. So although the yellow band takes away from the art of the cover, I need to show the U.S. cover as that is how I was exposed to Sgt. Pepper. Bruce

  15. Mark Alan
    |

    As a first generation fan 11 years old in 1963 in London, Ontario, Canada, my collection of Beatles LPs began with the first of three unique Capitol Canada releases, “Beatlemania, With the Beatles”. From that point on, every new release made its way to our home through individual purchases or gifts. We were fortunate here in Canada as Capitol Canada introduced us to the Beatles earlier than in the U.S. which allowed us to experience this “fresh and vital” music months before we were able to see them perform live for the first time on our regular Sunday evening fare, The Ed Sullivan Show. Each new 45 and LP release was awaited with great anticipation and came fast and furious in those first years. After the release of “Revolver” this all changed. While we anxiously waited for a new release, a hint of things to come was revealed with the release of the 45, “Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields Forever” in early 1967.
    I purchased a mono copy on day of release from Sam the Record Man, and when arriving home, sat down in my room and listened to it through two complete runs. I followed the lyrics on the back cover as the songs played through, I noted their new facial hair look, and I attempted to figure out who all those people were on the front cover. But at the end of the day it was still about the music…I loved it. For me the extended wait was worth it. Again, this was something fresh and exciting and confirmed what I always believed…the Beatles were the best!

  16. Louis Pacifico (Gino)
    |

    My first exposure to Sgt Pepper was in 1973. At age 8 in June my Mom purchased the 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 Red and Blue compilations for me. I played them to death. I got to hear just 4 selections from the Blue Album. A Day In the Life ended up being my favorite. Lucy In the Sky and Sgt Pepper/With A Little help were rocking to my ears since I was exposed to the more commercial Red Album stuff. I quickly became more interested in the BEATLES progressive sounds. I finally bought a reissue Sgt Pepper in 1977 and bought that wonderful Picture Disc in 1979. I got my first used STEREO original at Lapidos Beatlefest in 1981.

  17. Fred Muller
    |

    “A Fans’ Perspective” doesn’t make sense. If the perspectives are from several fans the ‘A’ should fall away. If it’s from one fan then the apostrophe should be between the n and s of ‘fan’.

  18. Bruce
    |

    To Old Fred or Young Fred (I am not sure if you are older or younger than me), I struggled with the title. It is a book that is “A Fans’ Perspective.” Not a perspective of a single fan, but a perspective of multiple fans. The “A” is not meant to modify the word “Fan” or “Fans,” but rather to describe what the book is. “A perspective from fans” would be another way of saying it, but that gets a bit wordy. Suggestions?

  19. Thorsten Knublauch
    |

    I heard Sgt. Pepper in the early 1980ies for the first time when i was around 12. It was a normal album for me as I allready had the mixture Red/Blue albums. There was nothing special about it then and it is not now. I loved the artwork first. I believe I would think different if I was young at the time of the release and would have noticed the change in style and sound – Say from She Loves You to Within you without you. Much later when I digged into the sounds and mixes I was disappointed about the sped up of several vocals which I dont like in many songs in the Beatles catalogue. I love “Lovely Rita” and “A Day In The Life” and most of the other songs but i would not say it is my favorite album of the Beatles. I prefer the Stereo mix over the mono mix. By the way – hearing it loud ads a lot to it.

  20. Fred Muller
    |

    In the context of your explanation, the punctuation is spot-on, Bruce, and is short and to the point. Good luck with the venture.

    I had a South African mono pressing in a non-gatefold sleeve without any inserts. When I was sent a UK stereo pressing with inserts in the 70s I foolishly sold the mono version to a second-hand vinyl dealer for a pittance. Nowadays, of course, mono records are eagerly sought and I spent about $100 buying one a few years ago.

  21. Stan Denski
    |

    In his book “Shout!: The Beatles in Their Generation” Phillip Norman has the most perfect description of hearing Pepper for the first time in the summer of 1967. He writes: “Each decade brings but one or two authentically memorable moments. As a rule, only war, or some fearful tragedy, can penetrate the preoccupations of millions in the same moment to produce a single, concerted emotion. And yet, in June 1967, such an emotion arose, not from death or trepidation but from the playing of a gramophone record. There are, to this day, thousands of Britons and Americans who can describe exactly where they were and what they were doing at the moment they first listened to Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. That music, as powerfully as Kennedy’s assassination or the first moon landing, summons up an exact time and place, an emotion undimmed by time or ageing. The memory is the same to all–how they first drew the shining disc from its gaudy sleeve; how they could not believe it at first and had to play it all through again, over and over.”
    This is how I remember it; buying it at a department store across from my parents’ house in Northeast Philadelphia. Sitting with it, unopened, looking at the sleeve. This was the first album to print song lyrics on the cover, and I remember reading them, over and over, trying to imagine how they would sound. This was also among the first albums with a gate fold cover and I can still remember the sound a new record makes when you open the gatefold for the first time. Another explosion of color, all four sitting in their uniforms in front of a canary yellow background. I also remember pulling the record from the sleeve for the first time, more surprises as the red and white inner sleeve came out, and another surprise when the sheet of cut outs came out with it. I’ve seen later pressings of the album on Apple and later green, red and purple Capitol labels and every one of them looks wrong. That Capitol rainbow-edged black label is every bit as essential a part of the overall visual experience as the amazing front cover is.
    And then the music…. Even though the theme of the “new” band gets abandoned quickly, it really doesn’t. it is a “concept album” because they say it is. As good as side one is, side two is better. One negative effect of CD technology was to destroy the idea of album “sides.” Today, if I describe “Within You Without You” as the “greatest side two track one ever” I mostly get puzzled looks. Harrison’s contribution sounded so impossibly exotic in 1967 and still feels the same today. I can remember hearing “A Day in the Life” for the first time and the long decay of the final note seemed to last forever.

  22. Ted Quinn
    |

    I was an 8 year old kid actor in Hollywood getting ready to start a new series for NBC, with three older siblings, two of whom had a band called The Uncut Version. My eldest sister was turning 15 the weekend of the Monterey Pop Festival and our parents took the whole family. I remember getting the word LOVE painted on my face and I was wishing we could go to San Francisco, with flowers in our hair. We saw Janis, Ravi, Mamas & Papas, Laura Nyro…but not Hendrix, as I had a job to start on Monday morning. There was a tent with a record player inside of it, incense flowing out through the opening. On the turntable was the most glorious, strange and beautiful sound I ever heard. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. The Beatles didn’t look like the Beatles anymore, but reminded me more of figures from the Civil War. They didn’t really sound like the Beatles either. They had found a secret formula to expand their minds & they took us al with them for a while. They were a great unifying force and that summer, Sgt Pepper meant more to me than anything on TV.

  23. Glenn Murphy
    |

    In the summer of 1967, I was six years old. I don’t remember seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, but my parents told me that I reacted like I had been electrified. As a result, my older brother and I were treated to ‘Meet The Beatles’ and a few singles here and there. So when I was six, I found myself in the unusual position of having been given some money by a relative, and against my parents’ better judgement, saw ‘Sgt. Pepper’ in the store and was determined to own it. I knew even then that not only did it not sound like previous Beatle music, it didn’t sound like anything I’d heard before. My favorite track, then and now: ‘A Day In The Life.’ Of course, it’s still one of my desert island records, and like almost all of their albums, I never tire of hearing it.

  24. Brian J Moran
    |

    In June 1967 I was 12 yrs old. I was in my back yard listening to Cousin Brucie (aka Bruce Morrow) on my transistor radio on 77 WABC. There was an excitement in the air about the new Beatles album, SPLHCB. I remember Cousin Brucie trying to explain the cover of the album and how the Beatles don’t look like we (the fans) are use to. “They have mustaches,” “They are in these bright color suits, each Beatle wearing a different color,” “They are standing in front of a large drum that reads “SPLHCB”, “John is wearing glasses”, the album opens up, the words to the songs are included, etc, etc.”
    For the life of me I couldn’t picture this cover. I hopped on my bicycle and rode about 2 miles to the nearest record store which was the record department of a store (long gone) called “Billy Blakes.” As I walked into the record department I felt like Dorothy when she went from b&w to the world of color in The Wizard of Oz! There was an ENTIRE wall devoted to Sgt Pepper and if there ever was a Kodak moment, that was it! I looked. I stared. I picked it up & held it in my hands. It was even heavier than other albums. It opened up. It had the words to the songs on the back of the album. So cool. So different. I bought it, flew home on my bike and spent the beautiful summer day in my basement playing that magic album over and over, learning EVERY word. One of my happiest Beatle memories! They “guaranteed” a splendid time for all. They delivered! Big time!

  25. John H Auld
    |

    Buying a first on the day release of a record in the sixties in the UK was generally easy in the bigger cities. Out in the suburbs and small towns you’d need to wait a further week or two . Imagine my surprise when my Uncle handed me Sgt Peppers LP on the day of release…..first pressing….all the way from London where he had travelled up that day having been visiting my Sister (who worked at that time for the BBC) to my home in Saltcoats , Ayrshire, Scotland . I was 14 and none of the local shops had it . For two solid weeks I played to my friends before they could buy a copy themselves . Playing it each time I’d hear something new. It was amazing , some of my friends didn’t believe it was them because it sounded so different from anything they had heard before. I still have the same LP and it is played regularly, bringing back great memories of the summer of 67. Thanks Beatles and thanks Uncle.

  26. Jennifer Sandi
    |

    Sgt. Pepper Creates Beatles Fanatics from One Generation to the Next:
    Mother Rebecca bought Sgt. Pepper when it came out in 1967. She took it home and listened to the album day and night while her 5-month old daughter Jennifer was dancing and entertained in her playpen. Little did Rebecca know the seed she planted with this album would create a “monster” Beatles fan. Fast forward 11 years when Jennifer would have a love for the Beatles and their music rekindled by seeing their cartoons. Sgt. Pepper was Jennifer’s first Beatles vinyl album that she would buy in 1979 with her allowance. Many Beatles-related albums, dolls, books, magazines, posters, memorabilia, concerts, and inspired events later, Jennifer and Rebecca continue to enjoy the music of the Beatles and the opportunity to meet people who worked with them or just have a common interest. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band truly changed the way of life for a mother and daughter forever.

  27. Barry Winslow
    |

    Wow Bruce…..where to start. I was driving back from Daytona and heard the first track…..had to pull over…lol. The Beatles became my idol and mentor so to speak, inspiring me to learn to play guitar,( left handed was finally cool), and helped start a cover band I joined in ’65…The Royal Guardsmen. We were very lucky to have a hit records so early…and then were about to do “Snoopy’s Christmas” when I thought, just when you know the Beatles have peaked in writing…..bam….Sgt Peppers comes out. Truly a master piece to this day in my humble opinion. To me, they have lead the way in song and recording techniques for many years. Wish I had an album pic.
    Thanks for the invite and creating the new book Bruce.
    God bless
    Barry Winslow

  28. Sara Schmidt
    |

    I am a second generation Beatles fan and the first Beatles album I ever owned was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In 1988, I was watching television with my mom, when a new show called “The Wonder Years” came on. It was about a boy growing up in the 1960’s and the theme song was “With a little Help From my Friends” sung by Joe Cocker. I said to my mom that I liked the song and asked her if she had heard it before. She said, “Yes, but the original by the Beatles is much better.” The next day, I was at my friend’s house for a sleepover and mentioned something about the show to my friend’s mom. Through this conversation, she told me all about her love for the Beatles and seeing them in concert at Busch Stadium in 1966. I was interested and went out to the mall and looked at the Beatles cassette tapes. I spent my babysitting money on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” because I wanted to hear what the “real” version of “With a little help” sounded like. Needless to say, I was blown away by the entire album and I listened to it over and over again on the cassette deck in my bedroom. A Beatlemaniac was born!

  29. Scott Korf
    |

    I started to seriously listen to The Beatles in 1995, which was my sophomore year of high school. This was fortunate timing, as this was the year of The Beatles Anthology documentary airing on ABC, along with the initial Anthology CD release. If I recall correctly, the first few Beatles CD’s I owned were “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Help!” and “Anthology 1”. My next purchase was “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, which obviously is a significant musical departure from the other releases in my collection at the time. The music was so different from what I had previously heard in the band’s catalog that it took me several listens before I came to love the album. “Sgt. Pepper’s” showed me, as a young listener discovering the album in the 1990’s, that the music of The Beatles was not just rock and roll, but rather encompassed styles and genres that other artists were not incorporating into their work. It is also worth noting that the cover art is unlike any other album cover in history and is proof that music releases are ideally owned in a physical format, as a digital version will not be adequate to showcase that brilliant Peter Blake design.

  30. Michael Rinella
    |

    In June of 1967, I was twelve years old and living in Kewanee, Illinois. I had been a dedicated Beatles fan for over three years and regularly visited the few places in town that sold records. One of them was the local Osco Drug. As I was browsing through the modest-sized record section at the store, I noticed a couple of sealed copies of the new Beatles album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, in the rack. I also noticed an opened mono copy of the album on a stack of records at the bottom of the rack. I asked a clerk why that record was there, and he told me that it had been returned as defective, but if I wanted it, I could have it for $2. I figured it was worth a shot.

    I took the record home and played it on my little battery-operated record player on a table in the den of my parents’ house. (There was a minor skip on Side 2 that eventually went away so I certainly got my $2 worth.) As soon as I heard the crowd noise at the beginning of the title cut and looked at the colorful artwork and lyrics on the gatefold cover, I knew this was going to be something different. And it was. It was definitely the Beatles, and yet there was music on this record that was different than anything the band had done before. At the end of the album, I liked the fact that there was a reprise of the title cut, followed by a piece of music that was unlike anything I had ever heard. It was “A Day In The Life.” It blew me away.

    Impressed with the album I had just heard, I immediately flipped the record back over to Side 1 for a second listen. It sounded even better the second time through. I think I played the entire record three or four times that afternoon, liking the album more and more after each listen.

    It is a great album with ”Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “With A Little Help From My Friends,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and “A Day in the Life” becoming instant classics. And it is a varied album too, from the vaudeville feel of “When I’m Sixty Four,” to the swirling psychedelia of the circus poster that is “Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite.” There’s also the sad balladry of “She’s Leaving Home,” as well as the hard rock of the title cut, not to mention “Within You, Without You,” venturing into the sounds of the sitar and India.

    I don’t think it’s necessarily the Beatles’ best album. Arguments can be made for several others taking that spot. However, it is probably the Beatles most influential album, ushering in what was to become known as the “Summer of Love.” And it has influenced countless songs and records in the fifty years since its release.

    I’m sure by the time of the record’s half-century anniversary this June, we will be tired of reading “It was fifty years ago today” as the opening line of all the commemorative articles. Still Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is one of the most important entries in the Beatles’ canon and the history of rock and pop. I’m proud to be one of the first generation of Beatles fans who heard that record shortly after it was recorded. The Osco Drug where I bought my first copy of the album is long gone, as is the little battery-operated record player I first heard it on in Kewanee. But I still have that record and the very clear memories of the first time I heard it.

  31. Greg Sinclair
    |

    One of my favorite memories of the Beatles revolves around the release of Sgt Pepper to radio. There was always a day when radio could begin playing a new release by an artist. Clearly, there was no artist more anticipated than the Beatles and especially Sgt Pepper. I lived in a small central California town and in 1967, AM radio was still king. Although, I don’t remember the date, that Pepper was released to radio (Bruce, I’m sure you do) I remember laying in bed, waiting for midnight and the birth of a new day. At the stroke of midnight I began with my favorite top 40 station, as they played a new Beatles song. But, it was still top 40 radio and playing an entire LP or even more than one song at a time didn’t happen. So, I spent my time for hours with my transistor radio plugged in my ear, wandering up and down the radio dial stopping when I heard a new song that could be the Beatles. Those who didn’t grow up as first generation Beatle fans, will never completely understand the absolute thrill of Beatles music heard by everyone almost simultaneously for the first time.
    The exhilaration of being part of something so part of the “now” was amazing!
    I spent the better part of that night, remembering and piecing together this groundbreaking record. It was a glorious night to be a teenager in 1967.

  32. Rich Tomera
    |

    Sgt. Pepper was released on June 1, 1967, but I recall hearing most of the album several days earlier.

    In Chicago we had a really wild disc jockey on WCFL, Ron Britain, who had gotten a copy of the album early, and played it on stage at the International Amphitheater on May 27. This was at a concert featuring the Blues Magoos and Mitch Ryder. The acoustics at that venue were not the best, but what a treat to hear Sgt. Pepper before most of the world did! I can still hear “A Day in the Life” playing, the first time I heard it, bad acoustics and all.

    I don’t know if Ron got in trouble for playing it, but I do know Ron wouldn’t care anyway. He was years ahead of his time on radio, and his shows on AM were what progressive FM became many years later.

    My first copy of Sgt. Pepper’s was bought at Sears, which had an excellent record department upstairs. I was a high school junior then, making $1 per hour in a bowling alley, so money was scarce. But I spent $3 for the album as soon as I saw it. I had a small audio amplifier I had built, a Heathkit, and a simple turntable to go with it, which required using a coin on the tonearm so it would track properly.

    There was so much good music that summer, and what a way to start. How cool was it to have all the lyrics printed on the back of the album! To paraphrase the last line on the back, ‘A Splendid Time WAS Guaranteed for All !’

  33. Garry Marsh
    |

    In February 1967 I was only 13 years old. I remember Chris Seaton bringing his copy of Penny Lane, in a picture sleeve, into the school playground of Longton High School, Stoke on Trent. It was a taste of what was to come.
    It was the year of The Summer of Love, and the teachers at school didn’t know how to cope with our Hippy Bells, and coloured waistcoats, and hair that grew longer by the day. Despite these blows against the empire we still wore our ‘school uniform’ with pride, and wore our RENASCOR Phoenix badges en masse, despite all looking exactly the same, some of us were different.
    Our ‘hippest’ teachers played us Dylan and Donovan, some listened to folk music, whilst the Prefects brought in albums by The Pink Floyd, and The Jimi Hendix Experience.
    We all sang along to The Monkees ‘Alternate Title’ on the school day trip to Chester Zoo, with the greatest teacher ever, Ken Lowe.
    On the way home one night, on the number 46 bus, Paul Holbrook had his brand new copy of Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP with him. I persuaded him to lend it to me. That weekend things changed.
    I had been collecting Beatles stuff since 1963, when I was 9, but maybe I had never really listened to the music before Sgt.Pepper, maybe I was too young to appreciate it.
    I’ve been appreciating it ever since.
    Oh, but then there was ‘All you Need is Love’, and then ‘Magical Mystery Tour’.
    1967, it says it all. Can you dig it!

Leave a Reply