More from year 1966
Feb 19, 1963
Jun 17, 1963
Oct 04, 1964
March 3, 1966 ?
Mar 25, 1966
May 18, 1967
Aug 11, 1967
Feb 08, 1968
Jul 28, 1968
Apr 09, 1969
May 13, 1969
Aug 08, 1969
Aug 22, 1969
Oct 01, 1971
Nov 14, 1972
Nov 27, 1979
Jul 22, 1993
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Likely on April 29, 1966, The Beatles visited Brian Epstein’s NEMS Enterprises offices in London for an interview with Bravo magazine, a popular German teen magazine that was sponsoring their upcoming German tour. Photographer Robert Whitaker, who had recently taken photos of The Beatles dressed as butchers and holding raw meat and dolls, also happened to be meeting with Epstein that day.
According to Beatles expert Bruce Spizer in his book “The Beatles Rubber Soul to Revolver“, it was decided to hold an impromptu photo session. There was no particular purpose for the photo shoot, but there was always demand for new photos of The Beatles. Whitaker took advantage of a blue steamer trunk that was available in the office and took several photos of the band.
Capitol Records was in the process of putting together a new Beatles album, combining tracks from recent UK releases that had not yet been released in the US, and tracks from the upcoming “Revolver” album. This album was to be named “Yesterday And Today” and Capitol requested a photo for the cover. Epstein sent them one of the photos from the steamer trunk session, but when he received the envisioned cover from Capitol, he decided to reject it. At this point, The Beatles insisted that one of the butcher photos be used instead. Epstein was opposed to this choice, but he was forced to submit the photo.
The butcher cover created a controversy, and Capitol Records quickly replaced it with another cover using the steamer trunk photo. Press officer Tony Barrow remembered differently and said that the steamer trunk session was hastily organized once Capitol scrapped the butcher cover.
One of the steamer trunk photos was also used as the cover of a French EP released in 1967.
Whitaker was instructed to take replacement shots in a great rush. He took the blandest of group photographs in Epstein’s office with the four unsmiling boys posing around and inside a huge travel trunk. Called upon to explain the “butcher” idea on various occasions over the years, Whitaker has said that the pictures were used out of context, “a cock-up”. They were intended to be one part of an unfinished three-part concept. In a radio interview he claimed quite incorrectly that The Beatles sent the “butcher” print to Capitol as “a little joke”. He told the UK’s Mojo magazine: “The front cover picture was to be of them holding sausages coming out of the nether region of a lady”. This was to represent the birth of The Beatles. Whitaker’s two-year stint as official photographer at NEMS Enterprises ended a few months after this extraordinary session.Tony Barrow – From “John, Paul, George, Ringo & me: the real Beatles story“, 2006
Which is worse, Beatles with meat all over them, or four Beatles in a trunk in a hotel room. If you really think about it what would they be doing in a trunk?Derek Taylor – From Wikipedia
I made that dumb-ass photo of the Beatles with the trunk in Brian Epstein’s office when we were all in Argyll Street, next door to the London Palladium. Derek is right. It was far more stupid than anything else I could think of. The trunk was to hand in the office, so I thought that by putting the light meter in the picture it might convey an idea of the speed of light running so fast that it shot straight back up your arse. It was just to see what could become a record cover.Robert Whitaker – From Wikipedia
The original “trunk” cover, which was rejected by Brian Epstein:
Alternate “trunk” cover #1:
Alternate “trunk” cover #2:
Alternate “trunk” cover #3:
The final “trunk” cover:
Last updated on November 4, 2023
"With greatly expanded text, this is the most revealing and frank personal 30-year chronicle of the group ever written. Insider Barry Miles covers the Beatles story from childhood to the break-up of the group."
We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!