The Beatles: Paul McCartney was stunned by vulgar message implanted in Sgt Peppers

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One of The Beatles’ most memorable albums was their concept record, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. After its release on May 26, 1967 Sgt Pepper’s won four Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, the first rock album to receive it. However, the final song on the album, A Day In The Life, supposedly had a secret message implanted within it.

Rumours surfaced that the song included a tawdry message to Beatles fans when the track was played backwards, which apparently said: “We’ll f**k you like supermen.”

Speaking about this realisation in 1974, Paul McCartney revealed he didn’t believe it when he first heard it – but soon found out the truth.

He told Rolling Stone: “Then the this-little-bit-if-you-play-it-backwards stuff… as I say, nine times out of ten it’s really nothing.

“Take the end of Sgt Pepper, that backward thing, ‘we’ll f**k you like supermen.’”

Paul said: “Some fans came around to my door giggling. They said: ‘Is it true, that bit at the end? Is it true? It says we’ll f**k you like supermen.’ 

“I said: ‘No, you’re kidding! I haven’t heard it, but I’ll play it.’”

He recalled going to find out the truth about the song, adding: “I went inside after I’d seen them and played it studiously, turned it backwards with my thumb against the motor, turned the motor off and did it backwards.

“And there it was, sure as anything, plain as anything. ‘We’ll f**k you like supermen.’ I thought, Jesus, what can you do?”

After listening to the track and pinpointing where the message was hidden, Paul realised what had happened during recording.

He revealed: “It was just some piece of conversation that was recorded and turned backwards.”

The star later recalled what had happened in his 1998 book Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now.

He said “you can probably hear messages in anything that you play in reverse”.

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That wasn’t the only issue A Day In The Life hit.

The song included some references to taking drugs, including lyrics which said: “Found my way upstairs and had a smoke / somebody spoke and I went into a dream.”

Because of the track’s blatant references to marijuana and LSD, the BBC banned it from being played on the radio.

A BBC spokesperson announced at the time: “We have listened to this song over and over again. And we have decided that it appears to go just a little too far, and could encourage a permissive attitude to drug-taking.”

Paul and John Lennon claimed the song was simply about “a crash and its victim”.

Years later, Paul revealed it was about drugs, but said: “This was the only one in the album written as a deliberate provocation. A stick-that-in-your-pipe … But what we want is to turn you on to the truth rather than pot.”

A Day in the Life’s BBC ban was lifted on March 13, 1972.


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