Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Vintage 1966 Beatles Butcher Album Cover t-shirt

The image on this is t-shirt is the banned artwork for Yesterday and Today “butcher” album which features dismembered dolls and bloody meat. Immediately after its release Capitol received a massive amount of complaints from record stores which prompted a recall. The albums were originally slated to be destroyed but then Capitol opted to glue a more cost effective replacement panel over top. When the word got out about the refurbished cover most owners did some butchering of their own by trying to peel off the panel. These attempts to view the original image left many Beatles fans with mangled and worthless “third state” copies. A copy with the replacement cover left unscathed (below, right) is called “second state” and has been skyrocketing in value due to rarity resulting from the peeling trend that occurred for decades. The original un-glued versions known as “first state” are worth a small fortune.

Is it possible that Capitol would have released promo t-shirts like the record store poster (above, middle) and this one escaped the recall? Or is this one of the earliest examples of bootlegging to capitalize on hype and cater to the rebellious? Does the possibility that John Lennon had it in his possession provide any insight? Does the Pakistan tag offer any clues?

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