List of images on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

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The Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band has a widely recognized album cover that depicts several dozen celebrities and other images. The image was made by posing the Beatles in front of life-sized, black-and-white photographs pasted onto hardboard and hand-tinted.[1]


The cover image was created by Jann Haworth and Peter Blake, who in 1967 won the Grammy Award for Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts, for their work on it.[2] Blake has said that the intention was to show a new band surrounded by fans after a performance.[1][3]

I suggested that they had just played a concert in the park. They were posing for a photograph and the crowd behind them was a crowd of fans who had been at the concert. Having decided on this, then, by making cut-outs, the fans could be anybody, dead or alive, real or fictitious. If we wanted Hansel and Gretel, I could paint them and they could be photographed and blown up. I asked the four Beatles for a list and I did one myself. Robert Fraser did a list and I can't remember whether Brian Epstein did one or not. The way that worked out was fascinating. John gave me a list and so did Paul. George suggested only Indian gurus, about six of them, and Ringo said, "Whatever the others say is fine by me" and didn't suggest anyone. It's an insight into their characters. All kinds of people were suggested. Hitler was there; he is actually in the set-up, but he is covered by the Beatles themselves as we felt he was too controversial. The same applied to Jesus. There were only two of their contemporaries on the cover. Bob Dylan was suggested by John and I put on Dion because he is a great favourite of mine.[4]


Identification chart
With the Beatles and most of the wax statues removed

Top row[edit]

Second row[edit]

Third row[edit]

Front row[edit]


Excluded and obscured people[edit]

  • (12) Leo Gorcey – was modelled and originally included to the left of Huntz Hall, but he was subsequently removed when a fee of $400 ($3,548 in 2020 terms) was requested for the use of the actor's likeness.[11][12]
  • (45C) Adolf Hitler – was requested by Lennon[13][a] and modelled behind the band (to the right of Larry Bell), but was moved out of frame (being "too controversial", according to Blake)[4] and replaced by Johnny Weissmuller.[15][16] Blake uniquely insists that Hitler was hidden behind the band during the final shoot.[4][17][b]
  • (54A) Unidentified laughing figure – barely visible
  • (56A) Sophia Loren (actress) – behind the Beatles' waxworks
  • (58A) Marcello Mastroianni (actor) – behind the Beatles' waxworks, only the top of the hat is slightly visible
  • (65B) Timothy Carey (actor) – was modelled and originally included but largely obscured by George Harrison in the final picture
  • (68) Mahatma Gandhi – was modelled and originally included to the right of Lewis Carroll, but was subsequently removed.[11][12] According to McCartney, "Gandhi also had to go because the head of EMI, Sir Joe Lockwood, said that in India they wouldn't allow the record to be printed".[6]
  • Jesus Christ – was requested by Lennon,[6] but he was not modelled because the LP would be released just over a year after Lennon's controversial statement that the band was "more popular than Jesus".[17]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Lennon had previously demonstrated some fascination with Hitler, for instance drawing a self-portrait of himself as the dictator in the late 1950s.[14]
  2. ^ This is not apparent from any published photographs showing the nearly complete setup—even in those unobscured by the band.[15][16][18]


  1. ^ a b Southall, Brian (27 June 2017). Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band : the album, the Beatles, and the world in 1967 (First U.S. ed.). London. ISBN 9781632892133. OCLC 975176224.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  2. ^ Twemlow, Alice (20 November 2014), "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band cover, UK: Peter Blake and Jann Haworth, 1967", in Lees-Maffei, Grace (ed.), Iconic designs : 50 stories about 50 things, London, pp. 85–87, ISBN 9780857853523, OCLC 860754458{{citation}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  3. ^ Leigh 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Leigh 2016, p. 192.
  5. ^ a b c Grimes, William (13 September 2009). "Richard Merkin, Painter, Illustrator and Fashion Plate, Dies at 70". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Miles, Barry (1998). The Beatles: A Diary. Omnibus Press, London. p. 236. ISBN 978-0-7119-6315-3.
  7. ^ "The man who created the world's most famous drum-skin". Archived from the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d Loder, Kurt (18 June 1987). "The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper': It Was Twenty Years Ago Today..." Rolling Stone. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  9. ^ Inglis, Ian (2008). "Cover story: magic, myth, and music". In Julien, Olivier (ed.). Sgt. Pepper and the Beatles: It Was Forty Years Ago Today. Ashgate. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-7546-6708-7.
  10. ^ Chunichi Shimbun. "Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper' album cover mystery a piece of Japanese history". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 12 July 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  11. ^ a b Sullivan, James (25 March 2007). "Where's Brando?". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  12. ^ a b Bennett, Greg (31 May 2007). "Shooting Sgt. Pepper". Daily Mirror. London. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  13. ^ Harry, Bill (2017). It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper & Beyond. Renoir Pictures. Event occurs at 49.
  14. ^ Burks, Tosten (23 April 2018). "John Lennon's Self-Portrait Depicting Himself as Hitler Sells For $54,000". Billboard. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  15. ^ a b "Sgt Pepper Cover shoot". Retronaut. Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  16. ^ a b "Hitler Did Not Make The Final Cut on the Beatles "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" Album Cover". feelnumb. 24 January 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  17. ^ a b Barnes, Anthony (4 February 2007). "Where's Adolf? The mystery of Sgt Pepper is solved". The Independent. London. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  18. ^ The Beatles: Get Back (television production). Disney Platform Distribution. 2021. 7 minutes in.


Further reading[edit]

Rosen, Jody (8 June 2007). "Everything You Know About Sgt. Pepper's Is Wrong". Slate.

External links[edit]