Photo © Robert Whitaker/Apple

This is the first photo ever published from the "Butcher" sessions. It was printed as a worldwide exclusive on the front page of Disc and Music Echo in Britain the first week of June, 1966. Why an alternate shot was given to them is not known, and when printed, the photo was reversed. The correct version is shown on the right. It never appeared anywhere again until the mid 1970s when it was used for the cover of the bootleg EP, Top of the Pops, who evidentially copied the photo from the Disc cover (it was also reversed). This photo has never been reprinted or used anywhere since.

(JUNE 1966)

DISC and MUSIC ECHO newspaper, June 11, 1966 cover date - This is the first known public appearance of the infamous Butcher cover photo, printed in England during the first week of June, 1966, exclusively by DISC and MUSIC ECHO (publisher - Ray Coleman). This paper was out BEFORE Capitol shipped the advance copies of the first state "Yesterday"...and Today LPs! (The second public appearance of a Butcher photo was its use in an ad by EMI to announce/promote the UK single, Paperback Writer/Rain, which was released on June 10th).

Whatís just as interesting is the text that accompanied the article, as follows:


BEATLES WEEK! There back with a single, Paperback Writer and Rain, out tomorrow (Friday).

BUT WHATíS THIS? The Beatles as butchers draped with raw meat! Disc and Music Echoís world exclusive colour picture by Bob Whitaker is the most controversial shot ever of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

THE PLACE: A private studio in Chelsea, London. Whitaker is taking some new pictures of the Beatles, and decides that a new approach is needed.
"I wanted to do a real experiment - people will jump to wrong conclusions about it being sick," says Whitaker. "But the whole thing is based on simplicity - linking four very real people with something real." "I got George to knock some nails into Johnís head, and took some sausages along to get some other pictures, dressed them up in white smocks as butchers, and this is the result - the use of the camera as a means of creating situations."

PAULíS comment after the session: "Very tasty meat!"

GEORGE: "We wonít come to any more of your sick picture sessions"

JOHN: "Oh, we donít mind doing anything"

RINGO: "We havenít done pictures like THIS before..."

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