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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) Poster

Trivia

Aerosmith was the second choice to play the Future Villain Band. KISS was approached first, but turned down the role fearing it would hurt their image. They instead opted to star in KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978).
During the filming of Strawberry's funeral, Peter Frampton forced himself to cry by thinking of the then-recent Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash that claimed the lives of several friends and associates.
Alice Cooper checked himself into a New York rehab facility (which he quickly discovered was more of a mental asylum) for alcoholism. He was granted a temporary leave for three days (November 18-20, 1977) to record his vocals and shoot his scenes for the film.
Billy Preston, who sings "Get Back", played the piano on original version with The Beatles.
The shooting script called for Peter Frampton's character to kill Steven Tyler's, but when it came time to film this scene, Aerosmith threatened to walk out. "There's no f***ing way that Steven is gonna get directly offed by Frampton," commented Joe Perry. "It's gotta be an accident, the way it was in the original script we f***ing agreed to." They finally agreed to a compromise, with Tyler's character being accidentally pushed to his death by Sandy Farina.
For the finale of the film, it was decided that they'd assemble an enormous roster of celebrities to sing the reprise of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Formal invitations were engraved and sent to virtually everyone in the entertainment industry; the many who RSVP'd were treated to first-class transportation to Los Angeles, limos, luxurious hotels, champagne, a lavishly catered dinner and private tents for each of the stars in the studio's garden room.
Originally, The Bee Gees and Peter Frampton were given dialogue. However, since they all had British accents and the film was supposed to be taking place in middle America, it was decided that they would do away with all dialogue and use George Burns' role as narrator to supply the dialogue for all the characters.
The film was adapted as a comic book, which was intended to be released as Marvel Super Special #7. For reasons which were never officially disclosed, the book was never issued in the USA. The comic was, however, released in France, the Netherlands and Germany (with text in the respective language of each country), but copies of these releases are scarce.
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Alice Cooper first tried to impersonate John Lennon's vocals for the song "Because," but for subsequent takes George Martin encouraged him "to do it like Alice Cooper would do it."
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Many actors and singers turned down roles in the film, including Olivia Newton-John (Strawberry Fields), Donna Summer (Lucy), Elton John, Barry Manilow, Bob Hope (Mr. Kite), Doris Day (Mrs. Fields) and Rock Hudson (Mr. Fields).
Peter Frampton wanted to get on the trampoline during the "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" sequence, but was disallowed because he wasn't insured.
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Frankie Howerd's final film.
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It was noted that Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, who both attended the premiere, subsequently shunned the film. John Lennon and George Harrison refused to view the film altogether.
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Rumour has it the part of Billy Shears was offered but turned down by Andy Gibb (the younger brother of Bee Gees: Barry, Maurice & Robin)
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Donald Pleasence's character is referred to in Burns' narrative voice-over as B.D. Hoffler, but officially known in the film's credits, publicity materials, and in-film posters as B.D. Brockhurst.
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In addition to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the film incorporates songs from other albums by The Beatles - "Nowhere Man" (Rubber Soul"), "Got To Get You Into My Life" (Revolver), "Strawberry Fields Forever" (Magical Mystery Tour), "Get Back" (Let It Be), "Come Together", "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", "Oh! Darling", "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", "Here Comes the Sun", "Because", "You Never Give Me Your Money", "Mean Mr. Mustard", "Polythene Pam", "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window", "Golden Slumbers" and "Carry That Weight" (Abbey Road).
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Three songs from the soundtrack actually charted in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979 with Earth Wind & Fire's version of "Got to Get You Into My Life" charting the highest at #9. The other songs from the soundtrack that did chart were Aerosmith's version of "Come Together", which charted at #23 and Robin Gibb's solo performance of "Oh Darlin'", which reached #15 on the chart.
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Variety show veteran Chris Bearde was hired to direct the movie but was fired by executive producer Robert Stigwood prior to principal production on the film.
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Sandy Farina receives an "introducing" credit.
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When production began, The Bee Gees were sharing a trailer. Saturday Night Fever (1977), was released early into the shoot and the soundtrack became such an instant, overwhelming success that the three Gibb brothers were each given their own trailer.
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This was Frankie Howerd's only major U.S film appearance.
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Frankie Howerd later quipped about the film "It was like Saturday Night Fever (1977), but without the fever".
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Two weeks into production, The Bee Gees tried to get dropped from the film.
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The Bee Gees blamed their declining popularity in part on their involvement with the whole project, coupled with their mutual struggles with drug addiction. The latter was exacerbated by the environment of making the film and its soundtrack, with Maurice Gibb expressing shock at seeing crew members carrying around bags full of cocaine. Robin Gibb in particular spent much of this period having to dose himself with barbiturates to even be able to sleep. Some of the most vicious criticism of the soundtrack was levelled at them, and the musicians felt a particularly painful sting at being labeled as mere "Beatles imitators" since that sort of pejorative tag had been with them since they began their pop rock work in the 1960s.
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Paramount Pictures was the international distributor of the film. Nearly 3 decades later, Paramount sold its music publishing arm, Famous Music, to Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which has owned the publishing rights to most Beatles songs since 1995.
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Stargard - the Diamonds - was a funk band which consisted of Rochelle Runnells, Deborah Lynn Anderson, and Janice Williams. Anderson left the group in 1979 or 1980.
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There are only two songs from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to not appear in the film - "Within You and Without You" and "Lovely Rita".
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According to co-star Carel Struycken (Mustard's henchman, "Brute"), this was the last film to be made at MGM under that studio's then existing management.
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The creation of the soundtrack was marked with tension from the beginning, with Peter Frampton and The Bee Gees both feeling wary of the other artist as well as being unsure as to how their music would work together on the same album.
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Robert Stigwood envisioned the film as being that generation's Gone with the Wind (1939).
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Steve Martin's A Wild and Crazy Guy was released the same year as the film, reaching number two on the music-dominated Billboard 200 album charts.
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Steve Martin's performance as Dr. Maxwell Edison, singing "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", foreshadows his zany dentist role in Little Shop of Horrors (1986).
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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