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51 Years Ago: The Beatles Get Waxed

Beatles Madame Tussauds
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

On March 28, 1964, the Beatles were immortalized in wax at the world-famous Madame Tussauds Museum in London.

For over 200 years, the London-based Madame Tussauds, who currently have over a dozen locations around the planet, has displayed their likenesses of history and popular culture’s most famous people. The Fab Four were the first pop stars to be given this honor.

Almost exactly three years later, the four Madame Tussauds Beatles figures were loaned out for use during the photo shoot for the band’s album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In addition to appearing themselves in both real and wax forms, each of the four members also chose 10 people to join them on the now-famous cover photograph, which had been designed by noted pop artist Peter Blake.

Aside from the Beatles doppelgangers, wax figures of boxer Sonny Liston and actress Diana Dors were also borrowed from Madame Tussauds for the photo shoot. Requested faces who were left off included Adolf Hitler, actor Leo Gorcey — who demanded a $400 fee for using his likeness — and Mohandas Gandhi. The latter was reportedly excluded because the head of the record company was concerned they would not be allowed to print the record cover in India.

See the Beatles and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the ’60s

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