The controversial and widely criticized film adaptation of the Beatles‘ Sgt. Pepper’s Hearts Club Band is slated for Blu-ray release on September 26.
The 1978 movie featured Peter Frampton as Billy Shears and the Bee Gees as the Lonely Hearts Club Band and was produced by the latter’s manager Robert Stigwood, with a cast that also included Steve Martin, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Earth, Wind & Fire and more.
Frampton tells us that Stigwood actually roped him into the project under false pretenses back in 1977:
“There were only two reasons I wanted to do it. One was because (Beatles producer) George Martin was doing it, and one because Paul was going to be in it…We all make mistakes…I was promised by Stigwood Paul was gonna be in the movie. That was the only reason I, if a Beatle’s doing it I’ll do it, ’cause otherwise to me doing anything about the Beatles is sacrilegious, and still is.”
The film’s saving grace was its soundtrack, which was a Top 10, platinum-selling success that launched singles in Aerosmith’s version of “Come Together” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s cover of “Got To Get You Into My Life.”
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.