How the Rolling Stones appeared on ‘Sgt. pepper cover

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The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Group

Music

The cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Group is one of the most famous and dense album covers of all time. Featuring the Four Beatles surrounded by various figures from history and pop culture, the work was both an extension of the new, more artistic attitudes the group showed on Revolver and indicative of an entirely new style that the group was adopting.

Designed by artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth, the cover of Sgt. Peppers has come to represent the pushing boundaries of pop art and psychedelia. Part of the fun was combing through the different similarities and trying to find something you recognized. But on closer inspection, most people could spot a curious reference to one of the Beatles’ biggest contenders in pop music: The Rolling Stones.

In the right corner of the picture, a doll sits on a chair and is wearing a sweater. This sweater contains a message: “Welcome The Rolling Stones”. How did that weird scream fit into the most famous album art of all time, and what does it mean?

Well, the answer comes from Adam Cooper, the son of photographer Michael Cooper. The elder Cooper’s studio was used for the shoot, and Cooper himself took the iconic photo. A young Adam was present that day and had brought some of his toys to add to the kaleidoscope of references. One was a Shirley Temple doll (which appears twice elsewhere in the image) with a sweater on it. This gift was originally from Mick Jagger, who received the sweater as a gift from an American fan.

The Rolling Stones finally repaid the reference on their own psychedelic album, The request of their satanic majesties. The cover of this album, which visually recalls Sgt. Peppers contains the faces of the four Beatles hidden in the flowers scattered around the Stones. Cooper was also the photographer of Majesties and likely played a role in including references to both groups.

Check out the story behind the reference below.


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