19th May 1967 – the Launch Party of Sgt Pepper at Brian Epstein’s House

On May 19th 1967, the Beatles gathered at Brian Epstein’s house in Chapel Street, Belgravia, for the launch party of their new album, ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. Among the invited guests were all the top music journalists and DJs – including Kenny Everett, who told me about the party in my exclusive interview with him:

  • I believe you met Brian Epstein a few times?

Oh yes, I knew Brian before he was famous. He used to own a couple of shops in Liverpool, one called NEMS and one called Epstein’s. I used to work in an advertising agency and i used to take copy to him to approve. Then he suddenly discovered these four wandering geniuses and said ‘Hey, let’s get famous!’ and the next thing I know is this person I’d been taking advertising copy to was riding around in a 10 mile long car. It was so funny how it came together because after knowing him in the advertising world there I was 15 years later, standing in his house in Chapel Street with the Beatles all dressed in bows and beads at the Sergeant Pepper launch. It was a fabulous party, every single person in the universe was there. I remember them standing up against the fireplace, bonkers, they couldn’t string two words together.

  • Yes, I’d heard John was a little bit…

…A little bit ! He was on Mars! Those were the days, if you took a little something it was fun. then a lot of people went too far and started throwing themselves off buildings so all the fun has been taken out of it.

Also among the guests was American photographer, Linda Eastman. She was already a well known figure on the New York rock scene, and was in the UK to shoot rock stars for a book she was working on. She had met Paul McCartney a few nights earlier at the Bag O Nails nightclub, and met again here. They married 2 years later…..

Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman at the Launch of Sgt Pepper
The Beatles holding the Sgt Pepper cover at its launch
The Beatles at the door of 24 Chapel Street

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