The Beatles: Myth
HomeHome > Blog > The Beatles: Myth

The Beatles: Myth

Jun 17, 2023

A lot with a potentially myth-busting outtake photo from The Beatles Sgt Pepper's cover shoot has sold for £8,000.

Considered one of the most famous album covers of all time, there has long been speculation Sir Paul McCartney was not actually at the shoot.

But a previously unseen photo of the band member will put the myth to bed, auctioneer Martin Hughes said.

The photo is part of a press pack sold at a Wiltshire auction house.

It was expected to fetch between £5,000 to £7,000 at Wessex Auction Rooms.

The pack is dated back to 1984, eight years after The Beatles contract had ended with EMI Records.

A new compilation album of previously unreleased tracks was due to be released, simply titled Sessions, and accompanied by the single Leave My Kitten Alone.

But due to timing clashes and objections from the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison, the album - along with artwork and press release information - never saw the light of day.

The complete press release kit includes internal EMI Records memorandum to PR staff, press releases for the album and single, mock up sleeve artwork and a number of previously unseen photos and transparencies.

The "jewel in the crown" of these images was an outtake from the Sgt Pepper album cover shoot, Mr Hughes, music specialist at Wessex Auction Rooms, said.

It had long been rumoured Sir Paul was not at the Sgt Pepper sleeve photo shoot because the album only showed him from behind.

This new image shows the side of his face, which proves he was indeed there on the day, Mr Hughes said.

He added: "This is the definitive final stamp - this is an actual photograph from the day - there is no disputing it, this has been contained in this press pack since 1984.

"We all love a conspiracy - but he (Sir Paul) will probably be glad to know he won't be asked this question again."

Mr Hughes continued: "When Sgt Pepper came out, there were 'Paul is dead' conspiracies... then obviously they found out he wasn't, but it was always and forever 'he was not at the photo shoot, it was a stand in'.

"This is the first time you have a picture where you can see Paul McCartney, you can see his face and side and it proves he was there."

Follow BBC West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: [email protected]

Beatles star's mum felt disgusted by screaming fans

Beatles autograph sets fetch thousands at auction

Elvis Presley's coat fetches £128k at auction

'Unique' Beatles' memorabilia sells for £11k

Wessex Auction Rooms