Gerard, I came across this some years ago when researching the Sgt. Pepper Code but, having reread it, I thought it worth bringing to your attention as it mentions the glowing Pepper, and this in 1968!
The link provided is this. I think it's best I put in my own thoughts within the piece itself. Because if I save it all to the end, you're going to have to go back to the relevant text to see what I'm talking about:
Remember last summer? Remember "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"? If you don't you should, because what else was there all winter but that record to drown out the snowstorms and the academic storms and the political storms outside? One wandering spirit, dreaming of sunlit beaches, spent all of the winter reading period attempting to crack the Beatles code. The startling message he discovered in the album buried in the lyrics, the recording and the record jacket, we now present for your amazed perusal.
The possibility of there being a cryptogram was first brought to my attention when a friend showed me a letter from Bryn Mawr. It revealed that the Beatles' record "Sgt. Pepper" was one big cryptogram. Subsequent discussions led us to believe that the cryptogram idea was hotly discussed in the Philadelphia area in the summer of 1967 but no details were immediately available, so we started with only the information contained in the letter.
The Bryn Mawr mentioned is that one. As brought to my attention by Mark Providence. Whom I quote:
Bryn Mawr is a private school for the elite class in Pennsylvania. Particularly for Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York. An all girls school to boot.
A cryptogram is a type of puzzle that consists of a short piece of encrypted text. Generally the cipher used to encrypt the text is simple enough that cryptogram can be solved by hand. Frequently used are substitution ciphers where each letter is replaced by a different letter or number. To solve the puzzle, one must recover the original lettering. Though once used in more serious applications, they are now mainly printed for entertainment in newspapers and magazines.
Other types of classical ciphers are sometimes used to create cryptograms. An example is the book cipher where a book or article is used to encrypt a message.
The girls not only believed in the existence of a cryptogram but they had formulated a rather complete solution to it. The Beatles were inviting everyone to a party. Why? They were lonely. When? Valentine's Day, 1968. Where? 10 Somerset Street, Cowes, Isle of Wight, England. How do we let them know we are coming? Send them the postcard that comes with the cutouts in the album. How do we get there? Meet a maid Wednesday morning at 5 o'clock (Valentine's Day was on a Wednesday). She takes you there by boat, train, and taxi. "A splendid time is guaranteed for all."
This is all quite plausible, believe it or not. There is a city named Cowes on the Isle of Wight. (The Isle of Wight is, of course, mentioned as a haven in When I'm 64.) Is there a Somerset Street? The people in the map room at Lamont were very helpful. They found the British Geological Survey maps of the famous Isle, but there are no street maps of any of the towns on the Isle of Wight.
There's a Somerset Road in the Isle of Wight, in the Ryde section, and a Somerset Road in the Seaview section. But I don't see a Somerset Street in Cowes. Google Maps can't find any location matching.
The girls derived Cowes from the shrubbery on the cover which is shaped like a guitar. If you turn the record over, this shrubbery makes the letters COW, and then over on the right side, that is, the left side, if you turn the record back frontwards again, there is an S. An ingenious hunch but a little difficult to believe.
The ultimate usefulness of the Bryn Mawr "theory" was to make us aware of the phenomenal number of proper names and of specific day, time and place references in the lyrics of the album. Our attack follows two lines of reasoning: checking out the names in order to make verbal contact with a planted clue, and comparing the song motifs to see if a specific time and place was delineated.
There are three specific people named: Sgt. Pepper, Billy Shears, and Mr. Kite. Sgt. Pepper himself has provided no clues. Billy Shears, on the other hand, has lots of possibilities. One night last February we tried to call him. The transatlantic operator was very friendly, but refused to place the call unless we could give her an exact number. A conversation with her lasting thirty minutes produced the following information. 1) There was a number listed for a Mr. Billy Shears in London. 2) She knew what it was, but wouldn't tell us. 3) At that time there were approximately twenty calls placed every night to Billy Shears. 4) Some of the people placing calls gave the correct number. 5) Those calls that did get through heard only a recording which said something about the office being closed, won't you please call again during business hours.
This led us to believe that somehow the various numbers listed on the album could be used to derive the proper telephone number. For example, "ten to six" would mean 1026. English telephone numbers consist of an exchange, which gives three letters, and four digits. We felt that the intent of the unhelpful recorded message was to tell us that if the call were placed at the proper time, a more enlightening message might be given. There are several times mentioned on the album: Wednesday 5am, Friday 9 am, Saturday 5:50pm, etc. (Transatlantic time and day changes would have to be taken into account.)
Mr. K of Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite is the disc jockey Murray the K. He is now broadcasting for CHUM radio, Toronto. A reliable source indicated to us that Murray the K, when asked if he was the "celebrated Mr. K" of Sgt. Pepper's, replied, "yes, but I can say no more." George Harrison is a possible Mr. H. Look at the large pictures on the inside of the album. The strange box hanging around George's neck seems to have a face on it. Another reliable source told us he had made a blow-up of this photograph and identified the face as that of Murray the K.
In the early spring of this year Murray the K was supposed to have been in England acting as MC at a show in the Bishopsgate theatre district of London. That fact has not been thoroughly researched.
As highlighted in a previous blog. Bishopsgate is the ONLY place mentioned in Being for the Benefit for Mr. Kite, that is NOT on the original poster advertising the event.
More on Bishopsgate HERE.
We started carefully examining the words to some of the songs, to find out whether specific references could be analysed to provide a time and place of contact. There would have to be some way to positively identify the contact; and some sort of password system, so the contact would know that we were worthy of further information. By reducing the phrase "Meter Maid" to "Meet a maid" the Bryn Mawr girls had provided a profound insight. Given that you could get to the right place at the right time, the contact could be identified as a "maid," that is, a girl. There are two ways to make a maid-girl distinctive: She could be wearing a maid's uniform; or she could wear medieval clothes, like Maid Marion of Robin Hood fame.
The password system we came up with was as follows:
You: (Ask the maid some trivial questions)
She: I'm sorry, but I can say no more!
You: (Responding to her cue line) Please say no more. (Go see Help again if you don't follow)
The place to meet the maid is derived from the specific references in Lucy in the Sky. They are: "boats," "river," "flowers overhead," "a girl with sun in her eyes," "bridge," "fountain," "rocking horse people," "newspapers and taxis," "train," and "train station." The song itself is a description of meeting a girl. In London there is a footbridge with railroad tracks across the Thames which runs between Charing Cross and Waterloo stations called the Hungerford footbridge. On the Charing Cross side there is a dock. To one side are the Victoria Embankment Gardens, to the other the South Bank Gardens. These Gardens are full of flowers, and also serve as a playground for children, who are "rocking horse people." If you were on the river in a boat, the flowers would be overhead. A few blocks away is Trafalger Square, which has fountains. We have already determined that we are looking for a girl. The importance of the sun being in her eyes is that it puts her on the Charing Cross side of the river, if we consider the late afternoon, about "ten to six."
The final clue to the girl's location would be if there was a bank on that side of the river. This is derived from the title: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, which is anagrammatic for Lsd, which stands for pounds, shillings, and pence, which implies a bank. (We are indebted to Mr. Peter Stansky for this observation.) Unfortunately, my map of London does not show banks.
We never got around to checking the paper of the album covers under ultraviolet light, or for watermarks. I have been told that the record itself fluoresces under UV light. Whether this is simply due to the diffracting characteristics of the record grooves being enhanced by using long wavelength light, I do not know.
No. Certain copies of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band glow under ultraviolet light. You were told correctly. People knew about it in 1967 / 1968. It just never went "mainstream" as it should have. Why is that?
We did tear open the side of the album cover that the record does not slide into, in a frenzy of wondrous hope, only to find that it was empty.
We tried to determine if the faces on the cover were the key to a cipher, but were unable to break the code. Any attempt to do this requires a key to the faces. "Sixteen" magazine published one last summer sometime. The gravest fault in the "Sixteen" key was that instead of admitting their ignorance when they couldn't identify a face, they called them all "Indian Gurus." There is an almost infinite number of ways a cipher could be built into the crowd of faces. It is a very frustrating way to spend a weekend.
Much the frustration I had finding "A Vargas Girl" or "The Petty Girls". I see that in 40+ years, this has not changed much at all.
A Vargas Girl
The Petty Girls
There is, of course, the question of George Harrison's finger. On the back cover, you will see that he has his hand at his waist, clenched into a fist. Something that should be his thumb, but looks more like a hot dog, is sticking up. It is really too long to be a thumb but it could be a thumb turned backwards by trick photography. In any case it is pointing directly at the line "five o'clock." If you extend the line of his "finger" up across the album with a ruler you will find that this line crosses many of the significant phrases already discussed.
The strange manner in which the type is set up is quite striking. By running a clear plastic ruler, available at the Coop, under the lines across the back you will find that it makes fascinating reading: "Follow her down to a bridge by a stepping outside she is free. Then you may find peace of mind is good morning, Good morning." Many times the ruler will cut off some lines in the middle, while lying correctly under others. This forces you to skip columns as you read across on particular lines. I can't help feeling there is something significant about this.
A close listening to the Reprise will reveal that Paul is shouting something in the background. This is supposed to be clearer on the mono copies. At the very end of the Reprise the group in the background starts singing the chorus to an old Rock and Roll song called "Farmer John." You can find out who sang it in the Yellow record catalogue at College Music Shop in Central Square.
It has turned out, that what Paul is shouting is this, or what anyone could closely decipher:
Paul is Dead; really, really dead... Paul is dead and you can't xxx with the mustache... Tank You!... Mustache man is Billy Shears.
That's the description of what is said by that YouTube user. I can neither confirm nor deny that. But the first bit, really, really dead, does sound like that.
Has anybody seen Kosher Pickle Harry?
If you see him tell him that Herbert's looking for him
OK ladies and gentlemen here we go - The Premiers!
(This appears on the single version as an introduction. A crowd of people is heard, and then a voice says the above. )
I'm in love with your daughter
With the champagne eyes
She knows that I love her
Ever since she showed me those eyes
Someday I will marry
With the champagne eyes
She won't accept my hand
She won't wear my wedding band
I dig the way she walks
The way she talks
She really knocks me out
When she starts moving slow
Let me tell ya Farmer John
I'm in love with your daughter
With the champagne eyes
With the champagne eyes
With the champagne eyes
The cover was designed by MC Productions and photographed by Michael Cooper, whose initials are MC. The designers must have contributed to the formulation of the cryptogram. The same people designed the cover to the Stones new album, "Their Satanic Majesties Request." The Stones' album has its own little puzzle, which has a number of possible solutions. Why shouldn't the two be connected? The man in blue with only his back showing on the back cover of the album is, after all, Mick Jagger, not Paul. The Beatles are hidden in the three dimensional picture on the Stones cover. This interesting mutual exchange could have gone deeper than the mere covers of the albums. Our analysis of the Stones album is continuing.
There are many people who maintain that whatever message the cryptogram contained has long since become useless knowledge. If this is true, it can only be due to the Beatles' disappointment when they found that no one in the world was hip enough to play their game, and win.
The author of this piece is Michael Cohen. On the 22nd January, 1969, another piece he wrote appears at the Harvard Crimson. Entitled:
The Who: It's Very Cinematic, You Knowhttp://www.thecrimson.com/article/1969/1/22/the-who-its-very-cinematic-you/
Who is Michael Cohen?
There is this Michael Cohen who is a musician
But he seems to be based in New York City.
Here's our choices so far:
- Michael Cohen (academic), Director of the Graduate Program in International Affairs at The New School
- Michael Cohen (actor), Canadian actor
- Michael Cohen (doctor), Doctor of Dental Medicine who first identified Proteus Syndrome
- Michael Cohen (musician) (1951-1997), 1970s singer-songwriter
- Michael Cohen (composer) (1938-), American composer of musicals including I Am Anne Frank
- Michael Cohen (politician), former member of the New York State Assembly
- Michael Cohen (pharmacist), president of The Institute for Safe Medication Practices
- Michael Cohen (writer) (born 1970), Australian writer on paranormal phenomena
- Michael D. Cohen (born 1945), co-founder of the Garbage Can Model
- Michaël Cohen, French actor in Them
- Michael H. Cohen, American attorney, professor, and author
- Mickey Cohen (1913–1976), American gangster
Michael Cohen is a former junior in Dudley House who dropped out of school and is now living in Boston.
Welcome to Dudley House!
Dudley House is home to the Café Gato Rojo, the Dudley Café, several meeting rooms, a game room, and a library and is the primary location for activities organized by Dudley Fellows for GSAS students and other Dudley Members. Dudley is located in Lehman Hall, at the southwest corner of Harvard Yard nearest the T stop.
Well, if he's our musician Michael Cohen based in New York City, releasing albums in the 1970's, he's been dead for quite some time.
So in brief closing. They knew about the ultraviolet albums when they came out, at least in the instance of MONO USA copies of Sgt Pepper that had this anomaly. But they stayed quiet. Because if that didn't hit the mainstream BACK when that album was released, and we're still here almost 50 years later and you can't find much about them, if at all, unless you go Paul Is Dead, then surely that tells you something. Surely.