Sixties Music Secrets

  A Day In The Life: The Butcher Cover!

Written on March 25, 2017   By   in A Day in the Life

It was on this day, March 25, 1966 that The Beatles met at Bob Whitakers photo studio in London for a photo shoot of what was to be the cover for their next (ninth) album titled “Yesterday and Today”

The lads dressed up in white coats, and then were covered with cuts of raw meat and decapitaded plastic baby dolls. Smiling gleefully at the camera, the shoot took on the image of a strange nightmare!  Whitaker was one of the bands favorite photographers. He shared their love for the absurd, had a mean sarcastic sense of humor and an Avant Garde style that The Beatles, especially, as you may guess, John absolutely adored! It was Whitakers idea for the bizarre set up and shoot. At this point in time the band  would try anything to distance themselves from the image of deity’s, and somehow Whitaker convinced the band that his idea would be a statement on how they were just four normal men! Yeah, we never got that either? Meanwhile, they completed the shoot that afternoon and the images were delivered to Capitol records who wasted no time prepping and producing the new release. Capitol’s initial pressing was 750,000 units. However the immediate and universal reaction was so negative that Capitol had to recall all 750,000 records and replace the offensive cover by simply pasting a new cover ( a completely uninteresting shot of the band standing with an empty trunk (see below) The recall and replace process cost Capitol records $250,000! Wiping out any profit Capitol would had made on their first run of the record….However they did create one of Beatle mania’s most sought after collectors items. For years afterwords Beatle fans scoured the bins of record stores looking for a copy of “Yesterday and Today” with the “paste over cover” To this day if you find one and hold it up to the light just right you can see the original “Butcher” cover behind the “Trunk” cover! Meanwhile, if you’re so inclined, you can pick one up on E Bay for a cool $3,000

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!

Have you ever seen one? Or…..Do you have one?

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11 comments on “A Day In The Life: The Butcher Cover!

  1. Jimmy says:

    Thanks, Rick!

    Atomic Records, one of the COOLEST record stores in LA has a copy (in pretty sweet condition) not sure how much but those of you around Burbank, can stop by, check it out:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BLsBxEwDcYh/?taken-by=atomicrecordsla

    Take care,

    Jimmy

    1. Rick says:

      He Jimmy, thanx for the lead on where to find “Yesterday and Today…Over the years I have seen them for sale for as low as $300. You can imagine the shape. And as high as $10,000 ( great condition and signed by Paul) This one does look pretty sweet, although it certainly must have been used as a coaster!…..Breaks my heart…..Ahh if covers could talk!
      Thanx Jimmy, I’m off to Atomic records!

  2. Jimmy says:

    Just noticed the #butchercover and some REALLY interesting Instagram posts including this one from Bob Whitaker photo shoot. Enjoy:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BQAL01yF_Za/?tagged=butchercover

    https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/butchercover/

    Jimmy

    1. Rick says:

      Hey Jimmy, thanx for the cool images…My second favorite thing about the “Yesterday and Today” cover was the actual title. This cobbled together compilation featured only one hit….”Yesterday” So, with the usual “Beatle, wink of the eye” They title the album and promote the hit single!….
      Yeah,Yeah, Yeah…

    2. Rick says:

      Hey Jimmy, thanx for the cool images…My second favorite thing about the “Yesterday and Today” cover was the actual title. This cobbled together compilation featured only one hit….”Yesterday” So, with the usual “Beatle, wink of the eye” They title the album and promote the hit single!….
      Yeah,Yeah,

  3. ron and paulette says:

    I SO VERY DISTINCTLY REMEMBER THIS INTICING PIECE OF BEATLE LORE AND MYTHIC MYSTERIES. I ALSO DO CLEARLY SEEING THIS PHOTO [SOMEWHERE SOME TIME LONG AGO] AND OF COURSE FORGOTTEN ALL ABOUT IT UNTIL YOU MY SOOTHSAYER OF MUSIC AND ALL THINGS WRAPPED IN ENIGMA!!! LOVE THIS PATH OF DISCOVERY!! NOW I TOO WILL TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS ALBUM IF I HAPPEN TO COME CCROSS ONE. THE WOOD

    1. Rick says:

      Hey R and P, If you have an “Old School record store that carries Vinyl in your part of the world, you may get lucky. Keep us posted if you find one!
      Thanx
      R.

  4. ron and paulette says:

    HEY — ONE MORE THING ON ANOTHER TOPIC…..WHO WAS CARLY SINGING ABOUT IN YOUR SO VAIN???? WE GUESS GEORGE HAMILTON??? THANKS R&P

    1. Rick says:

      Hey Ron and Paulette….We love your “non-sequiturness”…..? Great guess with George Hamilton, however the truth is ” Carly’s focus of vanity in her break thru record “You’re So Vain” is the very handsome Warren Beatty…
      Our favorite line…”You had one eye on the mirror while you watched yourself GAVOT ” !
      First and only time “Gavot” was ever used in a song….
      Thanx guys, for the conversational left turn…
      Rick

      1. Jim G says:

        Not so my friend! In the 1965 musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” there is a number titled “The secretary is not a toy”.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-J_KuNqWhw)
        In it at 5:26 you will find the line:
        “The secretary you got,
        Is definitely not
        Employed to do a gavot”

        1. Rick says:

          Jeeze Louise, Jim G……HOW DO YOU DO THAT? However we must admit that we were a bit nervous about stating that the only time “Gavot” had ever been used in a song was in “You’re so vain”…..
          As vast and detailed the SMS research dept. is, they ocasionally miss something. You can be assured that “Heads are gonna roll” here in the palatial offices and studios of Sixties Music Secrets…
          Thanx for keeping us honest Jim G. And please, wipe that grin off your face!…as you Gavot thru your day……………Really?
          SMS

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