The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ may not have been released as a single due to its ‘vagina’ vinyl cover

A newly discovered letter from 1968 reveals a label exec's concerns about its pornographic overtones

The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ was almost shelved as a single thanks to its “pornographic” vinyl cover.

That’s according to details in a newly discovered letter written by a Capitol Records executive to Apple Records.

Capitol Records’ president Stan Gortikov had warned the Beatles’ imprint not to release the record because its vinyl logo – the profile of a sliced apple – resembled a vagina. Gortikov was worried that traders would not want to stock the single.

‘Hey Jude’ vinyl cover

As The Independent reports, Gortikov wrote in a letter dated 28 August 1968: “Here’s a wild and unanticipated problem to brighten up your day I just received a call from a very large and influential rack jobber in the western United States.

“He opened the conversation by saying, ‘Are you guys serious? Do you know what you’re doing? Do you really intend to sell products bearing the new Apple label?’”

Gortikov went on to explain that the trader in question felt that the new Apple label was pornographic and depicted a vagina.

Despite concerns, the logo was unchanged and ‘The White Album’ cut, with its B-side ‘Revolution’, went on to sell 8 milion copies worldwide.

The letter has been unveiled ahead of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ final public performance.

The group last played together in view of an audience on the roof of Apple HQ in London on January 30 1969.