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    The Beatles Yesterday and Today "Butcher" Cover Stereo First State Album Cover Prototype With Queens Litho Envelope, Delivery Receipt, Capitol Office Memos, File Folder, Proof Sheets, and Vinyl LP (1966). Wow! This is a mind-blowing lot indeed. We have never experienced this many historical items associated with the Yesterday and Today album. The "Butcher" cover's iconic image has literally been seen all over the world. Photographer Robert Whitaker worked with the Beatles on their second American tour including photographing them at the historical Shea Stadium concert in New York. Robert and John Lennon became good friends during that time so Robert was giving unlimited access. The initial front cover artwork for Yesterday and Today, featured a photo of the Beatles wearing butcher smocks with decapitated baby dolls and raw pieces of meat draped around them. It has been said that during this period, the Fabs were getting bored with the normal photo sessions they had been accustomed to and when Robert Whitaker showed up with these items, John jumped at the idea.

    Known to be only two in existence, we are proud to present a prototype for the Beatles' Yesterday and Today First State "Butcher" cover in stereo! Finding one is 10 times harder than finding a mono First State "Butcher" cover, never mind locating a stereo prototype! John Lennon himself was the only other person confirmed to have owned a blank-back stereo "Butcher" cover prototype. In May of 2019, that other prototype First State stereo "Butcher" cover sold for $234,000.

    The Beatles Yesterday and Today album was first prepared for release in the United States on June 15, 1966 on Capitol Records in both mono (90 percent) and stereo (10 percent). Capitol Records prepared 750,000 covers for the album's release featuring this cover artwork before testing consumer reaction. This fateful mistake resulted in the destruction of nearly all manufactured covers and posters for this album until a new design could be substituted on June 20, 1966 at a cost of $250,000. The new album cover design featured the Beatles sitting around a steamer trunk, thus giving it the "Trunk" cover nickname. Also photographed by Robert Whitaker, you can see the less than enthusiastic facial expressions on the Beatles faces.

    During the design cycle for the Yesterday and Today album, prototype mock-up images and (only two confirmed) fully constructed covers were manufactured for internal review as well as review by the artists themselves. This particular First State stereo "Butcher" cover prototype was manufactured at the Capitol Records subcontractor's pressing plant, Queens Lithography Corp. in Long Island City, New York. Established in 1950, Queens Litho printed all early US Beatles and Rolling Stones LP covers distributed along the East Coast and Midwest of the USA during the 1960s.

    This fully constructed cover features the stereo "Butcher" cover image on the front with a solid blank back cover, as the back cover artwork was not yet fully prepared or approved. The additional text of "File Under: The Beatles ST 2553" normally found on the cover's front top-right corner area had yet to be added. Being a prototype cover, there was no vinyl album originally included, as prototype covers were never issued with discs. But for this lot, we have a GM-MT 10 copy of the LP that came with the memos.

    Artwork measures 12.2" x 12.2". In Near Mint Minus condition, save for some light storage creasing along the bottom left edge. Included is the original pink Queens Lithographing Corporation receipt taped to the delivery envelope used to ship this prototype stereo "Butcher Cover." Barely legible on the Queens Litho receipt is the handwritten "Cover - The Beatles Yesterday and Today."

    Also included is another treasure trove: Capitol inter office memos explaining the uneasiness of the situation. 1) May 13th, 1966 with a hand written note. "P.S. To Barry: Make your plates but don't print until you talk to me Mon. 5/16/66. We have a problem with the Beatles manager that we do not want anyone to know of including our plants."; 2) May 17th, 1966 "Beatles cover has been held up again. We cannot print until we get ok from London."; 3) May 25th, 1966 "Alan Livingston has requested that I supply him with a rough estimate of any costs incurred by Capital Records due to the delay occasioned by Brian Epstein and his approval requirement for the Beatles album."; 4) May 16th, 1966 Yellow notes asking to send Liner Negs to Modern of Indiana stamped on the back received v May 16th,1966 Western Union; 5) June 16th, 1966 "Continued to use present liner until you get Negs on new one which may be never." This is Unbelievable insight into the confusion generated by the First cover image and how they are trying to resolve the problem. Next up: The File Folder from Capitol Records. This kept the pertinent contents and included on the front of the folder- Artist: The Beatles, Program: Yesterday and Today, Producer; George Martin, And the track listing all on Capitol Studios stationary. File Folder contents: 1) Back cover proof with info card on top left corner. Shipped by Glendale Photo Engraving Co. Stamped May 17th, 1966 and initialed in top right corner. Measuring approximately 14" by 15" with wear,staining, holes and staple marks; 2) Black & White front cover proof measuring approximately 13.5" by 14" and including the red stamp shipped June 13th, 1966 Ray Polley, initialed and signed OK; 3) Color proof of front cover measuring approximately 12 3/4" by 14" showing where the gold record award artwork will be placed. Shows wear, staple marks, top holes, and yellowing due to age; 4) Black and white front cover proof measuring approximately 13.5" by 14.5" with red writing in top right corner. Shows wear, creases, staple marks, top holes and has gold record award artwork.

    Last, but not least, the stereo vinyl record with no spindle marks and graded GM-MT 10 condition. It is unfathomable that this set of documents have survived 54 years and counting.

    This world-class, one-of-a-kind Beatles album and extras comes with a two-page LOA from Beatles expert and author Perry Cox. COA from Heritage Auctions.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2020
    4th-5th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,056

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