On June 20th 1966, The Beatles released the album with their most controversial cover of all time, the Butcher Cover of the Album "Yesterday and Today". This cover, part of a photo shoot by Photographer Robert Whitaker titled A Somnambulant Adventure sought to take the Beatles out of their usual photo shoots, and to get a bit experimental. This was never intended to be the album cover, but in early 1966 the Fab 4, particular John and Paul, decided to submit it as the album cover for their upcoming US album release titled "Yesterday and Today"
The Beatles fought very hard for the cover, convincing the President of Capital Records Alan W Livingston that they had to have the Butcher Cover, and would not allow another image. They stated that this was their protest against the Vietnam War, and refused to budge despite their management and record label's concerns.
The results were unprecedented in the history of Beatles Career.
Following the recent "Bigger than Jesus now" controversy, Capital Records was very reluctant to release this cover, so they started with a limited release. Immediately there were serious complaints from dealers and customers, and Capital Records backed down. This album cover barely lasted one day for sale in retail stores, with Capital Records launching "Operation Retrieve" and recalling all of the records and the covers were either destroyed or replaced with this super lame alternate "Trunk" cover:
This immediately created one of the rarest, most sought after mass produced records of all time. The Butcher cover and photo shoot represents The Beatles in an ultimate state of rebellion against their position in the music and recording industry, a very proto punk protest statement against their own fame. Even with all of their clout, popularity, and at the top of their career, they still couldn't get what they wanted, and had to capitulate and pose inside of a steamer trunk (they look so sad don't they?)
The t-shirt that we have recently acquired features the original album cover, on a 100% cotton Hanes t-shirt, with a full color print. We have seen other prints of this shirt that were either made for fan conventions in the 70s, or in one color prints, but never in full color. After doing extensive research, all signs point to this shirt being one of the rare original pieces that promoted the album with its original cover.
This shirt fits like a modern adult Small, and has several flaws. Since it is approximately 50 years old, it is in pretty good condition! And to show the true rebellious nature that this album cover represented, as well as a tribute to one of his favorite bands, here is an early picture of Joey Ramone from the Ramones wearing this shirt (not literally) while performing.
Apparently, while traveling, Paul McCartney would use the last name Ramone to maintain his anonymity. The Ramones decided that as a tribute to the Beatles, they would all take that last name, and the Ramones were born!
This is a chance to own a very unique piece of Rock N Roll history, with this year being the 50 year anniversary of the release of Yesterday and Today! Please use the contact me button to send us any inquiries about this amazing shirt.
Shoutouts to internet resources on the Beatles Butcher Cover, such as: