Many a pop star has faced a public controversy over the past five decades – an unfortunately timed Tweet here, an interview aside there – but, arguably, none has weathered a storm of quite the proportion of that facing the Beatles in 1966, when John Lennon casually announced that the band was “bigger than Jesus”.
He said it in March of that year, and nothing happened. But, five months later, just as the Fab Four were about to head off on a tour of the US, the remarks got out, and they caused a storm. Protests broke out in America’s Deep South. Radio stations stopped playing the band’s songs, their records were burned, press conferences were cancelled and threats were made.
But to see the Liverpool quartet’s reaction, you’d never guess... watch these cool cucumbers in action below.
The clip is from the brand new documentary ‘It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper and Beyond’ - charting the twelve months (Aug 1966 - Aug 1967) that would arguably be the most crucial in the band’s career, a year in which they stopped being the world’s number one touring band and instead became the world’s most innovative recording artists, pushing the boundaries of what could be achieved in the studio.
On 1 June 1967, The Beatles released their ground-breaking studio album, ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. Described by Rolling Stone magazine as “The most important rock & roll album ever made…”, it left an indelible mark on the 60s and went on to become one of the biggest selling records of all time.
It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper & Beyond is in cinemas 26th May, including special Q&A previews and On Digital 1 June and DVD 5 June. www.50yearsagofilm.com #SgtPepper50