Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is an influential album, recorded by the British group The Beatles in 1966/1967; in an interview Paul McCartney claimed that the album was influenced by Zappa's Freak Out!.

We're Only In It For The Money spoofs the cover of Sgt. Pepper's. The Beatles' uniforms are replaced by dresses and the plants are replaced by vegetables. The cut-out characters and logos inside the sleeve of Sgt. Pepper's were also spoofed in the sleeve of We're Only In It For The Money.


Frank Zappa: "Well, let me tell you of a few interesting coincidences that I've noticed, that lead me to suspect that we're making more of an impact on the industry than the people in the industry would like to admit. I was mailed a picture of Paul McCartney many months ago, from a girl in Europe, with my mustache and my tie, with my earphones, conducting an orchestra. And this is about the time I was preparing an album for Capitol where I was conducting an orchestra."

What do you mean, your earphones? I don't understand.

Zappa: "I mean, that's the way I ... it looked like me in the studio and I really shit in my pants when I saw it. I've never met them. It was a bizarre coincidence. And like him conducting the orchestra on their recent album [Sgt. Pepper]. I don't know how much that amounts to, because the orchestra is used as an effect."

Have you listened to that album carefully?
Zappa: "Yes."

Do you think there is any similarity between Lovely Rita, Meter Maid and certain parts of Help, I'm A Rock?
Zappa: "The way they're doing "huffa-puffa, huffa-puffa" in the background? Yes, I do, as a matter of fact. There's also a coincidence in the use of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as a reprise and the way we do America Drinks and Goes Home on Absolutely Free."

Was your album released at the time that they were preparing Sgt. Pepper?
Zappa: "Do you know when Absolutely Free was recorded? It was recorded before Thanksgiving last November. Before we came to New York."

What kept it from being released earlier? Was it the censorship problem?
Zappa: "Yes."

Do you think that the Beatles would have had access to that?
Zappa: "I don't know. Yes, it's possible, because rumors in the industry have a tendency to go very fast. And on The Rolling Stones' album, Between the Buttons, they've got that camp song Something Happened to Me Yesterday. But we recorded ours before theirs; though theirs was released before ours."

(Cited from: Frank Kofsky interviews FZ, 1969)