The half-century long “legs” of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is truly a phenomenon, as clearly exhibited by the deluxe fiftieth anniversary reissue clocking in at top ten sales in the US last week. But another such effort to “join the band(wagon),” with a film version barely ten years after the original, had a completely different outcome according to co-star Peter Frampton.
The movie’s executive producer Robert Stigwood had RSO Records and managed the Bee Gees, coming off a huge comeback reinvented as disco hitmakers. Stigwood was on a roll with musical films and soundtrack albums, having just broken sales figures with Saturday Night Fever and Grease. In 1978 he backed a screenplay by Henry Edwards and directed by Michael Schultz ( not exactly household names ) based on the characters in The Beatles’ 1967 iconic Sgt Pepper’s… album. Beatles producer George Martin was announced as the film’s musical director and soundtrack producer, and the stars would be two of the hottest musical properties then, the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton. On paper the concept couldn’t possibly miss, but as Peter Frampton reveals here In the Studio, it was all lipstick on a pig. –Redbeard