What happened to the Sgt Pepper suits?
So far we’ve examined all the outtake photos from the Pepper photo session, and gone through all the various people on the collage. So what became of the Beatles famous Sgt Pepper costumes, designed by M. Berman Ltd.?
Well, they wore them one last time as a group when, on November 10th, 1967, they were for filming the “Hello Goodbye” music video. At least three promotional videos were filmed for “Hello Goodbye”, but not aired by the BBC due to the Musicians Union’s strict rules on miming. Paul McCartney directed the footage, which was filmed at the Saville Theatre in London, formerly owned by The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein.
The next appearances of the individual suits were also in music videos. In 1974, George Harrison filmed a music video for his New Year’s song, “Ding Dong Ding Dong”.
Some time after this, George seems to have given away his suit, but he was to re-obtain it again and again it was to put to use in a music video. This time it was the Beatles retrospective “When We Was Fab”. The song appears as the sixth track on Harrison’s 1987 album Cloud Nine and was later released as the second single from that album in January 1988.
The single was also available as a limited edition box, including a poster and a Sgt Pepper-like cut-out of George in his Pepper suit.
George’s suit is now owned by his estate.
The next suit to appear in public was Paul McCartney’s and again it was in a music video. The song in question was “My Brave Face”, the first single from the “Flowers In The Dirt” Album in 1989.
So McCartney still has his suit.
John Lennon’s Sgt Pepper’s suit is owned my his widow, Yoko Ono, who sometimes lends it out for display at museums.
Ringo Starr’s Pepper costume is on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.