Having seen that Chiswick House and Gardens would be commemorating the 50 year anniversary of the release of The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album on BBC Breakfast, I was eager to take a short trip down the A4 to check out their display.
I am a huge Beatles fan. Their music is truly timeless and their influence can be seen in all the music I love today, whether it be through their musicianship or pioneering approaches to music production. There will never be a band as good as The Beatles and there will probably never be an album cover that is quite as iconic as that of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (SPLHCB) LP. So I was keen to see Chiswick House’s ‘Live installation.’
The significance of Chiswick House in the Beatles’ legacy is that the gardens appeared in two short films prior to the release of the SPLHCB record. It was described by George Harrison as ‘The invention of MTV’. The Beatles filmed promotional music videos for ‘Paperback Writer’ and ‘Rain’ in the grounds of Chiswick House. The conservatory can be seen here:
Unfortunately the ‘Live installation’ turned out to be a huge disappointment. I mean, they could have really capitalised on this anniversary and raked in swathes of fans… It was all just a bit ‘half – arsed.’ They must have planted about 25 small flowers to spell out ‘Beatles’ – which could barely be made out. Signs made from laminated paper were dotted around the park explaining what happened at each location: Informative – yes, well presented – no. Plus, they could have had Beatles music playing around the gardens to make it an immersive experience. Why don’t places like this put people like me in charge?
Despite the disappointment, Chiswick House Gardens was a beautiful location and I managed to capture photographs of some of the local wildlife:
Despite my pessimism, the exhibition was free, it was a nice morning to get out with my camera and walk in the footsteps of my heroes – I just wish it had been executed better.