Why Are 50,700 Beatles Record Covers Buried In a Massachusetts Dump?

Boston Beatles fans may want to break out their shovels and head to the Needham landfill. That’s where 50,700 rare Beatles “butcher” covers are buried. In 1966, Capitol Records made the call to change the cover of the Beatles album “Yesterday and Today." The company had sent out some advance copies to DJs and reviewers, many of whom called and protested vehemently about the cover. The controversial photo on the jacket depicts the Beatles surrounded by decapitated naked baby dolls and raw loins of beef. The new cover shows the Beatles standing around a stage trunk. The incident was reported at the time as a “$250,000 goof,” which today would equal a little over $2 million. Capitol then collected 50,700 record covers and assigned a local trash company to bury them. Destruction was accomplished by digging a hole in the swampy part of Needham Town Dump, but by the time the hole was ready, it had filled with water. The jackets were dumped on the ground as close as possible to the hole and then a bulldozer pushed the jackets into the hole. The hole was then covered with about one to two feet of dirt that was subsequently covered with garbage and compacted as time went by. After Capitol Records recalled the original “butcher” record, the cover became a collector’s item for rock fans. In April 2013, an original cover sold for $11,632 and in May 2019, John Lennon’s own copy sold for $250,000.