More ‘Revolver’ Cover Photo Mysteries Solved

With the 2022 remaster and remix of The BeatlesRevolver album due to hit stores next month, there’s renewed interest in solving some of the remaining mysteries of just where cover designer Klaus Voormann sourced all those little images that make up the collage he created for this now-famous cover:

As you know last year we published an article about the latest thinking. There were still at least four images (circled in yellow) that remain mysterious as to their source (click on the image to see a larger version):

Now at least three of those four yellow circles have been solved (to an extent) by German fan and YouTuber, Yaacov (Jack) Edisherashvili.

Jack actually took a trip to visit Klaus Voormann in person and spoke with him about the Revolver cover. While there he asked him about where he’d sourced some of those photos.

You can see that video below. It’s interesting because in this first video Klaus talks about the cover and how it will be explained in the new book that’ll be included in the new 2022 release:

After Jack visited Klaus he wrote to us to say:

The image on the top left corner – the three faces – was never published. This was given privately to Klaus by the band.

The one on far right – the tiny image of Klaus himself – was shot by the late Astrid Kirchherr while Klaus was in his band Paddy, Klaus & Gibson.

The Ringo image – on top right corner – Klaus says was shot on a boat trip.

The John Lennon image with cigarette – I forgot to ask, but looks to me taken from press conference pictures?

So, that’s more information than we’ve had previously. Following his visit to Klaus, Jack has also uploaded this comprehensively researched YouTube with a detailed breakdown of the Revolver cover:

As you can see still a couple of mysteries remain.

If anyone knows the origins of the John Lennon photo with the cigarette – please let us know.

Also, two other outstanding questions are around the origins of the image of Ringo that Klaus used as inspiration for the drawing at the bottom left of the Revolver cover. Where was it published and who’s the photographer? And also the George image on the right – same questions: 

A New Beatle Book – ‘The Beatles’ Liverpool’

Now that international travel is slowly becoming more feasible for many of us again, a visit to Liverpool – the city where it all began for The Beatles – might just be back on your travel “must do” list.

If so, it’d be nice to have a guide to point you in the right direction when you get there.

Liverpool, on the banks of the River Mersey always looms large in any discussion about the formation of the band and their influences. Many of the physical places they lived or frequented have become key parts of the Beatle story. It is of course the city where John, Paul, Ringo and George were born, grew up in, and knew well.

Now a new guide book The Beatles’ Liverpool – just released – takes you there by gathering more than fifty Liverpudlian localities. The fully illustrated guide then explains why those particular places played such a key role in the band’s development and success.

Of course there are the obligatory entries for the childhood homes (Menlove Avenue for John, Arnold Grove for George, Forthlin Road for Paul, and Admiral Grove for Ringo); there’s the background to Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields; The Cavern Club; and the well-known St Peter’s Church, Woolton where John first met Paul.

But there are many more obscure listings too. Like Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight; the Neston Institute in Wirral; and 4 Rodney Street, birthplace of Beatle manager Brian Epstein.

There’s also a handy two-page guide map pinpointing the location of all the places mentioned in the guide.

If you’re planning a Liverpool visit, this book would be an essential to take with you – and it won’t cost you any excess luggage fees. At just over 44 pages The Beatles’ Liverpool is compact and light enough to easily slip into a travel bag or backpack to have with you as you walk the streets of the historic city.

Even if you’re still a way off physically getting to Liverpool, you can dive into The Beatles’ Liverpool and pay a visit vicariously. It’s the perfect armchair alternative to actually being there.

Author Mike Haskins was himself born and raised in Merseyside – and he still lives there! He’s worked as a scriptwriter and researcher for TV, radio and the stage, and has published over fifty books.

WIN A COPY OF THE BEATLES’ LIVERPOOL (NOW CLOSED)

Courtesy of Pitkin Publishing and Batsford Books in the UK, we’ve have two copies of The Beatles’ Liverpool to give away to two lucky readers.

All you need to do is provide your name, email address and have a go at answering two easy Beatle Liverpool-related questions. Just click on the link below to enter:

https://beatlesblogger.survey.fm/the-beatles-liverpool-giveaway

Good luck!

UPDATE:
Thank you to everyone who entered. And congratulations to the two readers who were first in with the correct answers!

They are Fred, from Ontario, Canada; and Diane from New York, USA. They will receive a copy of The Beatles’ Liverpool book, courtesy of Pitkin Publishing and Batsford Books.

The correct answers to our questions were:

  1. In their early career band members purchased many of their instruments from which famous Liverpool music store? Hessy’s Music Centre
  2. Ringo’s family hails from Liverpool’s Dingle area. His Mum worked at pub called The Empress there. In what way did Ringo put that building on the map? It’s on the front cover of his Sentimental Journey LP

Beatles With Records – Part 31

The photos of George Harrison at home we published in Beatles With Records – Part 30 unleashed something of a flood of further images from readers depicting band members with LPs – especially George.

Additional images from what appears to be that same ‘at home’ photo session show him with even more records:

Specifically a well-stocked, three-tiered record rack seen on the right-hand side here (and thanks to our reader Lammert who sent these images through, plus many more across the whole Beatles With Records series):

Here, in the top left compartment you can just make out this 1966 album, Krishna Consciousness by A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami, the Indian spiritual teacher and founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), commonly known as the “Hare Krishna Movement”:

On the top right is Booker T and the M.G.’s Soul Limbo from 1968:

In the middle row, to the left is Woody Guthrie’s classic, Woody Guthrie Sings Folk Songs (with Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, Sonny Terry and Bess Hawes), first released in 1962:

Staying on the middle row – on the right-hand side is one of George’s all-time favourite bands, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. This time with their Greatest Hits Volume 2 LP first issued in 1967:

And of course, in the bottom left compartment of his record holder George has his own Electronic Sound, released on the Zapple label in 1969:

We say Smokey Robinson is one of George’s favourites because when he got a big package of records delivered during the filming of the Let It Be documentary it contained more Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, as these images from the recent Peter Jackson Get Back film clearly show:

These are (in order of appearance) the aforementioned Smokey Robinson and the Miracles Greatest Hits Volume 2, and also the album Make It Happen (from 1967):

Plus there’s copy of Away We A Go Go, from 1966. (You can see the rear cover of this album in the last Get Back photo above):

For another image of George with a different Miracles LP check out Part 18.

Jumping back a few years, we’ve been sent this image by reader and regular contributor Andrey:

The caption reads: ‘EMI House, Manchester Square, London, October 5 1965. According to Beatles Book #28 the group went to the West End headquarters of their record company to collect four Russian-made acoustic guitars and to be photographed playing them for the benefit of the factory where they were made.’

A stack of jazz records just happened to also make it into the image – and we can see a mono pressing of the 1962 Oscar Peterson Trio release The Sound of the Trio clearly in shot:

In this photo the Beatles look a bit tired and jet-lagged. But they’re still carrying records!

Paul has a copy of Frankie Lymon’s Greatest All-Time Oldies from 1963:

And Ringo has a disc we saw him with in The Beatles With Records Part Seventeen – a ‘Best Of’ compilation called The Golden Goodies of 1963 – Volume 18:

Back to George, and a meeting with the secretaries of the Beatle Fan Club to sort through some of the fan mail. He has some more records on his lap, the top one of which is another of his all-time favourites, Chet Atkins:

And to end this installment, a photograph of John Lennon and Paul McCartney holding a picture sleeve EP cover:

What they have with them is this record:

Why? Because it’s a screen shot from The Music of Lennon & McCartney, a British TV special honoring the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership. Produced by Granada Television it first went to air on 16 December, 1965.

During the show The Beatles perform originals, and artists from around the world perform cover versions of their songs. The two are just about to introduce French singer Dick Rivers:

Wikepedia says that Hervé Forneri, known professionally as Dick Rivers, was a French singer and actor who began performing in the early 1960s. He was an important figure in introducing rock and roll music in France. He was an admirer of Elvis Presley, who influenced both his singing and looks.

There will be another Beatles With Records soon. We have been sent many more images since our last post on the subject. Check out all the previous installments here.

Beatles With Records – Part 30

It has really been quite some time since we’ve done a Beatles With Records post.

Our Beatles With Records series is exactly that: photographs of the band actually holding those things they sold so many of: records and CDs. These can be Beatle discs, or discs by other artists.

The posts prompted quite a few readers to send in additional photographs, and also to do some amazing detective work on the sometimes mysterious records the Beatles are holding in photos. Sometimes the albums are easy to guess. Then there are others where you can only see a fragment of a cover, or the rear image of a sleeve, making it very difficult to identify – especially when the record is by an unrelated artist.

One recent photo to come to light is definitely in that latter camp. It comes from the recently released book by Paul McCartney’s brother, Mike McCartney (a.k.a. Mike McGear).

His book, published by Genesis Publications, is called Mike McCartney’s Early Liverpool and it contains some never-before-seen early photos of The Beatles, including this gorgeous one of John and Paul (and most probably George too, on the left). It is called Mathew Street, 1962 and hey are no doubt standing outside the famous Cavern Club:

This one had us intrigued. Paul is clearly looking at some 45’s, and John has under his arm what at first appears to be an LP of some kind. Further investigation though reveals it not to be a record but a bag containing a record from Liverpool’s NEMS record store. NEMS of course was owned by the family of their manager, Brian Epstein.

Wouldn’t it be great to know which LP John had purchased? What it is will probably never be known….

A couple of other items of interest have surfaced.

This one shows George Harrison in his kitchen at home at Kinfauns:

Quite interesting to see pinned up on the wall behind him a John Lennon/Yoko Ono album cover:

Here it is again, a different angle from the same photo shoot (click on image for a larger version):

It is Unfinished Music No.2: Life With The Lions, an experimental album on the Zapple label from 1969:

It appears to be an album slick opened out containing the rear cover image as well:

George seemed quite fond of putting up album covers, or elements of album covers, on his walls. If you look at the top left of this photo – taken in what seems to be a hospital ward – you can see two prints of the Linda Eastman photograph of Apple artist Mary Hopkin. That image was used for the front cover of the Hopkin LP Postcard:

(Turns out that George was at London’s University College Hospital, where he got his tonsils removed in February, 1969)

Here’s an image of Paul McCartney with what could be an early rendering of the Klaus Voormann cover for the Beatles Revolver LP. Either that or an attempt by a fan to replicate Voormann’s amazing artwork:

And finally, a still taken from the incredible Peter Jackson/Disney+ 3-part series Get Back on the making of the Let It Be album, this image of John Lennon taking a look at the latest Rolling Stones LP of the day:

See the other instalments of The Beatles With Records here.

Lennon Connection: The NFT Collection

NFT’s, or digital artworks, have become all the rage. And it looks like John Lennon’s son Julian is using them to sell one-off digital representations of some of the Beatle treasures from his personal collection: five gifts he received from his father, and one from Paul McCartney.

NFT stands for Non-fungible token. “Non-fungible” means that it is something unique and can’t be replaced with something else. NFT’s can be anything digital (such as drawings or music), but a lot of the current excitement is around using the tech to sell digital art. Oh, and you pay for them in Ethereum – a cryptocurrency, like bitcoin or dogecoin.

The Lennon NFTs are being sold through YellowHeart, an online site specialising in the NFT space, and also through Julien’s Auctions – a more traditional auction house. As you can see on the Julien’s site all current bids have already either met or exceeded the estimated selling prices. The auction closes on February 7.

The pieces for sale are three of John Lennon’s Gibson Les Paul guitars, his Afghan jacket from Magical Mystery Tour, the hooded cape worn for the movie Help!, and Paul McCartney’s hand written notes for an arrangement of the song he wrote for Julian called ‘Hey Jude’ (it was originally called ‘Hey Jules’). Each NFT is animated and includes brief audio of Julian discussing the item with that voice-over being incorporated as a part of the NFT.

It should be noted that a portion of the proceeds from this auction will go to Julian’s White Feather Foundation which is active globally on issues relating to education, good health, the preservation of indigenous cultures, the environment and clean water.  

If, like us, you don’t have very deep pockets it might be cheaper to seek out a copy of the lovely book Beatles Memorabilia – The Julian Lennon Collection. Each of these items is detailed there, along with a host of other rare collectables.

If you’d like to hear Julian talking about his collection and why he’s gone down the NFT route, check out this video from the True AF Podcast with Eric Fuller:

The Ages of Everyone in Get Back

These are the ages of all the key players in Peter Jackson’s Get Back documentary, set in January, 1969:

Paul McCartney – 26, John Lennon – 28, Ringo Starr – 28, George Harrison – 25.

Producer/Engineer Glyn Johns is 26, Director Michael Lindsay-Hogg – 28, and Producer George Martin – 43.

Yoko Ono is 35, Linda Eastman – 27. Her daughter Heather is 6.

Roadie Mal Evans is 33, Keyboard Player Billy Preston – 22, Photographer Ethan Russell – 23, and Tape Operator Alan Parsons – 20 (wouldn’t be 21 until December).

It is a fascinating glimpse into the world of The Beatles at that time. Catch it on Disney+ if you can.

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – 50 Acetates for 50 Years

In the lead up to Christmas what a fantastic idea from the John Lennon Estate to mark the 50th anniversary of the release of the Plastic Ono Band song, ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’.

They have sent selected record stores and charities across the UK a very, very limited edition 12″ single of the song in the form of an acetate, each individually cut at Abbey Road Studios.

Only 50 of these have been produced – so they are instant rarities and valuable collectors items. The outer sleeve is stamped with the signature of Yoko Ono, and each recipient received a letter signed by Sean Ono Lennon outlining the Estate’s request that they use the disc (in which ever way they please) to help raise much needed funds for charity. Brilliant!

The entire idea is fully outlined on the John Lennon official site.

That got us curious to see how many of the 50 individually numbered acetates we could track down in the wild. We’ve pulled together these images of the discs – and sometimes their new owners who are charged with on-selling them for charity. Each recipient is doing this in their own way – so check out their details for how you could possibly secure one of these 50 rare acetates for yourself. You’ll be helping a good cause along the way!

03/50 Assai RecordsDundee, Scotland. They have decided to run an auction with bids lodged via email. Details here.

05/50 Dig VinylLiverpool:

07/50 Five Rise RecordsBingley in Yorkshire. They’ve chosen the eBay option to raise funds for charity. See their eBay auction here.

10/50 Jacaranda RecordsLiverpool. They have taken the online raffle route.

11/50 Kelly’s RecordsCardiff, Wales:

12/50 Monorail MusicGlasgow, Scotland: They are holding an eBay auction.

13/50 The Musical Box RecordsLiverpool:

15/50 Probe RecordsLiverpool:

16/50 Resident Music – in Brighton, UK. They’re running a raffle where every purchase at their store gets an entry. Money raised goes to the Gig Buddies charity.

18/50 RPM MusicNewcastle upon Tyne:

20/50 Skeleton RecordsLiverpool. They’re auctioning their acetate on Boxing Day. Watch this space for more details.

21/50 Spillers RecordsCardiff, Wales. Spillers have given their record to Oasis, a charity doing good work with refugees and asylum seekers in Cardiff. They in turn are holding a raffle by donation. i.e. you make a donation and go in the draw to win! Details here.

22/50 Spinning DiscsSheffield:

24/50 Kingbee RecordsManchester:

25/50 Vinyl RevivalManchester:

26/50 The Vinyl WhistleHeadingly – Leeds (These guys have decided to sell raffle tickets. At £2 quid each you can buy as many as you like and go in the draw to win!):

27/50 Wax and Beans RecordsBury (near Manchester):

29/50 Attitude is Everything – a UK charity based in London working on giving deaf and disabled people better access to live music.

31/50 Collage Arts is in London. It works in the community and offers artist studios, creative enterprise training, young people’s arts programmes, live music and events. They joined in a group of seven other recipient charities and used Crowdfunder to raise £13,720!

32/50 went to Earth Percent, a charity set up in part by Brian Eno to raise awareness of climate change. Watch their Twitter account for plans on how they’ll use the gift to raise funds.

33/50 Glasgowbury – Northern Ireland’s emerging music festival, established from a need to support and develop homegrown artists. They’re HQ is located in Draperstown and they’re taking bids via email.

34/50 This acetate went to Help Musicians UK, an independent charity that provides support and opportunity for professional musicians of all genres and career stages. They also joined in a group of seven other recipient charities and used Crowdfunder to raise £13,720!

?/50 Sister Ray RecordsSoho, London (Not sure of what number these guys got, but they decided to hold an auction across their various social media sites – for example Instagram). It raised £2,300. Not bad!

35/50 Hen Hoose – Scottish female and non binary songwriters and music producers. (They have also posted a lovely video unboxing on Twitter). Their auction via the Omega Auction house raised £4,320!

37/50 Karousel Music CIC – This is a London-based music industry hub promoting collaboration amongst artists, songwriters, musicians and industry. See their ticket raffle here.

39/50 Moving On MusicLocated in Belfast, this is an independent, not-for-profit and registered charity. It provides an eclectic mix of music and education services to the entire community in Northern Ireland. See their eBay auction here.

40/50 Music BrothScotland’s musical instrument and equipment library. Social enterprise and charity improving access to music making for all:

41/50 The Music Venue Trust is a London-based registered charity which acts to protect, secure and improve grassroots music venues. They have uploaded a Facebook unboxing and appear to be totally surprised by what they find in the package! See their ticket raffle here.

42/50 Music Place North-West is a music therapy charity from Liverpool’s Merseyside and they are auctioning their acetate through Bonhams. It will be auctioned in the new year so watch their Twitter account for details.

45/50 Phoenix Arts Club is also located in London and they too have done a Facebook video unboxing in which they are absolutely bowled over by the generosity of Sean and Yoko in choosing them. Watch it. It’s great!

46/50 SWIM stands for Scottish Women In Music. It is a collection of music creators and industry professionals who identify as women working in all music industries. It’s committed to achieving a level playing field for women, pushing for gender equality. They’ve decided on an eBay auction for their acetate.

47/50 The Brain Charity is based in Liverpool and does amazing work helping those affected by neurological conditions to live longer, healthier, happier lives. They also decided to auction their ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ acetate disc on eBay – and it sold for £4,900. Wonderful effort!

48/50 The Glad Foundation is a charity in Glasgow. It provides a wide range of free and affordable music workshops for people of all ages and abilities:

?/50 The Coda Club in London seems to be associated with the Phoenix Arts Club (see 45/50 above) because their acetate disc is mentioned and seen still sealed in the Phoenix Arts Club Facebook video. The Coda Club is a meeting and support network for retirement-aged classical/jazz/session musicians to reconnect and meet and combat loneliness.

We reckon this is a fantastic initiative by Yoko Ono, Sean Ono Lennon and the John Lennon Estate to do some good in the world this holiday season. In it’s 50th anniversary year good on them for having the vision to use ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ in this creative way.

Song Exploder does Lennon’s ‘God’, and the McCartney Podcast ‘Take It Away’ is Back

Song Exploder is one of the biggest music podcasts going around.

Host and creator Hrishikesh Hirway works with musicians to take apart their songs and, piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made – delving into the specific decisions that went into creating the work. Guests have included Fleetwood Mac, Billie Eilish, U2, Metallica, Solange, Lorde, Yo-Yo Ma, The Roots, Bon Iver, and more. Here’s the full list of episodes.

Now, Song Exploder has taken a deep dive into John Lennon’s song ‘God’, from his 1970 solo album Plastic Ono Band. It’s the first time Hrishikesh has unpacked a song posthumously, teaming up with the Lennon Estate for a special, first-of-its kind episode using demos, out-takes, multitracks and interviews from their vaults.

“Earlier this year, I got an amazing email—the estate of John Lennon said that they have a treasure trove of audio material from his life, and they were wondering if I would be interested in making an episode around the song ‘God‘. I’ve never tried making a posthumous episode before, because hearing directly from the artist is at the heart of Song Exploder. But with all the interview archives that they have of him speaking, plus all the isolated tracks from the recordings, and the original demo, it actually seemed possible. So this is a very different and special episode of the show.”

Speaking about the episode on Instagram Sean Ono Lennon said “I’m a big fan of Song Exploder and the way Hrishi analyzes songwriting and recording using the multitracks and sessions and the creator’s voice. The shows are always intelligent, well-researched and beautifully edited, so we felt comfortable and confident opening up the archive to them to tell the story of this important song’s creation. They’ve done an amazing job and I’m excited for everyone to hear this special episode.”

In the episode we hear from John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voormann, Billy Preston, and psychologist Arthur Janov.

Meanwhile in other podcast news, the very good Take It Away: The Complete Paul McCartney Archive Podcast is back.

After the tragic death of co-host Ryan Brady last year in a motoring accident, his podcast partner Chris Mercer has (understandably) been lying low for a while. The good news is that the show has returned.

Two weeks ago Mercer posted on Facebook: “I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Paul Kaminski as the new co-host of Take It Away. Many of you will have guessed as much already. When it comes to the Beatles, Paul Kaminski is the real deal. He’s also a highly accomplished podcaster, having worked on the Jack White-related Third Men Podcast, the Beatles podcast Yesterday and Today, The Lucy & Annabel Show, and Now Hear This!, which he co-founded with Ryan Brady. We‘ve already had a productive collaboration going for some time, and we can’t wait to talk everyone’s heads off about music we love!”

The new team of Mercer and Kaminski sound great together and have released the final episode of Season 4 in which they unpack Paul McCartney’s McCartney III Imagined.

And they’ve announced there’ll be a Season 5 coming this fall. “While we will honor the show’s roots by covering McCartney‘s latest projects and expanding our Macca-related offerings, Paul and I are eager to take TIA to new places, and we think you’ll enjoy what we have planned” said Mercer.

Lennon – Imagine 50

On September 9, 2021, John Lennon’s Imagine LP turns 50 years-old.

With that anniversary comes a new logo, and a new opportunity to sell the LP to us once more….this is despite it having had something of a spectacular re-mix campaign reissue just three years ago in a wide range of formats.

To celebrate it’s 50th, Universal Music yesterday announced a 50th anniversary, limited-edition “collectors” white vinyl 2LP of Imagine.

This features the exact same 2018 “Ultimate Mix” of the album by engineer Paul Hicks and produced by Yoko Ono on disc 1, and the exact same set of album outtakes on disc 2.

When that 2LP set was issued in 2018 it was offered on a 2LP black vinyl:

And there was also a limited edition 2LP clear vinyl set:

As you can see, its now a case of “spot the difference” with this latest white vinyl iteration:

So, what do you think? Will you be buying it one more time?

The white vinyl version ships on September 10th. Here’s the track listing:

Side A
1. Imagine
2. Crippled Inside
3. Jealous Guy
4. It’s So Hard
5. I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama I Don’t Wanna Die

Side B
6. Gimme Some Truth
7. Oh My Love
8. How Do You Sleep?
9. How?
10. Oh Yoko!

Side C
11. Imagine (Original demo recorded at Ascot)
12. Imagine (Take 1)
13. Crippled Inside (Take 3)
14. Crippled Inside (Take 6 alternate guitar solo)
15. Jealous Guy (Take 9)
16. It’s So Hard (Take 6)

Side D
17. I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama I Don’t Wanna Die (Take 25)
18. Gimme Some Truth (Take 4)
19. Oh My Love (Take 6)
20. How Do You Sleep? (Takes 1 & 2)
21. Oh Yoko! (From Bed Peace footage – Sheraton Hotel, Bahamas 1969)