Marc Catone's writings

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The Sixties

Beatles Butcher Cover

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Beatles Butcher Cover
This is my copy of the famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) Beatles' "Yesterday and Today" album. This LP contained songs from the British versions of "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver", plus some songs released as singles only. It was a USA release only. Back then, British albums contained 14 songs, whereas US albums had only 12, which left songs to be gathered for the US market. The Beatles did not like this policy, but at that point there wasn't much they could do about it. So, for the "Yesterday and Today" album they chose an avant garde photo, which was part of a set taken by Robert Whitaker for a future album. He took a series of pictures of the group dressed in butcher smocks and draped with pieces of meat and body parts from plastic baby dolls. The Beatles decided to use one of the photos for "Yesterday and Today". This is where the story gets blurry...depending on who you listen to and which Beatle's memory you rely upon, they put the photo on the album to display their disgust with the songs being chopped off other albums, or it was a comment against the Vietnam War. Regardless, when the album was released in the Spring of 1966, there was an outpouring of disgust and rage against the photo. Most of the albums were withdrawn for sale, and a new kind of "blah" photo, with The Beatles sitting around a clothes trunk, was pasted on top of the original albums, and printed as the cover on newly pressed albums. This made the original albums quite rare, and ultimately worth a lot of money to collectors. The most valuable are the original albums, next in value are the albums with the pasteover Trunk cover, and the lesser valued ones are the ones that had the pasteover removed. The latter being more common, and that is the one I have.Someone removed the Trunk cover with many successive strips of tape. My good friend, Steve Leshin, found it at a Beatles related sale in CT in 1978, and knowing I was looking for the Butcher cover, called me to ask if I wanted it. The Butcher cover you see here cost $100, and I told him to buy it. $100 was hard to part with back then, but I've always considered it a great investment. And yes, I did pay Steve back for laying out the "C" note. ;-) copyright: Marc Catone, 2011
Posted on December 4, 2011

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