Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978 film)

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Dear God in heaven. There are bad movies, but 1978's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was a cinematic black hole that marked an end or severe downturn in the careers of almost everyone who appeared in it. In the movie, the original brass band of the title has magical instruments that makes the soldiers lay down their arms to listen and hence ends WWI. Why they then waste them merely entertaining troops in WWII while Europe and Indochina burn and Hitler slaughters six million Jews is quickly glossed over.

Anyway, last surviving member, the old Sgt. Pepper himself (Woody Chambliss), finally keels over dead on August 10, 1958. A new version of the band is needed and his grandson, Billy Shears (Peter Frampton) becomes the new Sgt. Pepper and he drafts his three friends, the Henderson brothers, Mark (Barry Gibb), Dave (Robin Gibb), and Bob (Maurice Gibb) to fill out the band. Frampton fronting the BeeGees—it's a 1970s nightmare come all too true.

The plot, such as it is, leisurely creaks into gear and they all go to Hollywood to become big debauched, drug 'n' booze addled rock stars. Meanwhile, bad guys steal the magic instruments, the band tries to get them back and it all leads into a nonclimactic confrontation with Future Villian Band (Aerosmith) and the only scene even mildly worth seeing, Peter Frampton fighting to the death with Steve Tyler. Then Sgt. Pepper magically appears, only NOW he's a totally different guy who's black [?!] (Billy Preston), and he makes everything all better. Robert Stigwood, the man behind this fiasco, has earned a special place in many peoples' private hell, if not the real one.

There was supposed to be a comic tie-in, Marvel Comics Super Special #7, but it was pulped and no English versions were printed. A French version, though, has been scanned for posterity.

See also Lucy and the Diamonds, Future Villian Band

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