I've read that Dylan hated the Sgt. Pepper album when he first heard it?
"Bob Dylan’s instant reaction to the recently completed album Paul McCartney brought by his London hotel room for a quick listen in the spring of 1967 may not sound like the most thoughtful analysis ever offered, but it still to hit the nail on the head. “Oh I get it,” Dylan said to Paul on hearing Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for the first time, “you don’t want to be cute anymore.”"
What's the real story? Stephan? K?
"The Beatles had just released Sergeant Pepper, which I didn't like at all, because I didn't like . . . I could see that . . . Talk about indulgence, I thought that was a very indulgent album, though the songs on it were real good. I just didn't think all that production was necessary, 'cause the Beatles had never done that before."
"(In John Peel-style voice) Tell me about the Mamas & the Papas, Bob. I believe you're backing them bigly."
But whatever, Lennon was being funny, and probably used "bigly" sparingly. With Trump, it's many times per day.
It's interesting that Dylan considered Sgt. Pepper's indulgent. Good word there. And he was presumably working on the spare John Wesley Harding. But I think Shelton or someone did describe his first hearing of Sgt. Pepper's as being threatening (that is, leaving him behind). That'll have to wait until tonight, as the various places that have PDF's of the Shelton book all require a credit card (which they swear they'll never use).
The earliest version of Dylan's reaction to "Pepper" that I heard was the one about "take it off" and not wanting to listen to it.
I think that "indulgent" being a word to describe "Pepper" is one that came years after the album came out, when Rock became more basic again. However, when it was released, it was so new and different, and influential upon other musicians that it was considered The Beatles' second big breakthrough, almost as big as their initial thrust upon the world.
"Pepper" was McCartney's idea, coming on the heels of the band's final tour in the Summer of 1966, and journalists speculating that The Beatles were done. There is a scene in "The Beatles Anthology" in which McCartney talks about that time period towards the end of 1966, when speculation was that The Beatles were finished. He talks about those rumors in the press challenging The Beatles to do something even bigger. He rubs his hands together, his eyes gleaming (and as if he were speaking to the public in '66_) says, "Just you wait!"
And out came the most indulgent, overrated and hyped album in history.