Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Today in Beatles history

It was on this day in 1967 that possibly the most iconic album cover in pop music history came into being. Read more here.

The concept eventually evolved into The Beatles dressing up as the pretend group and being surrounded by some of their pop culture and historical heroes. The last vestiges of the “park” idea surfaced in the floral display that spelled out The Beatles at the bottom of the cover.

Blake and Haworth began putting together the cover’s collage, titled “People We Like,” by taking suggestions from the band. McCartney, Lennon and Harrison were responsible for the majority of the people chosen (Ringo Starr let the other guys pick), although Blake and Fraser contributed some ideas, too. The end result was a pretty strange menagerie – Karl Marx, Marilyn Monroe, Sigmund Freud, Bob Dylan, Marlon Brando, Laurel and Hardy, and Edgar Allen Poe were among the 70 images. Although it’s not remembered who suggested each person, Lennon requested Jesus Christ, Adolf Hitler and Mohandas Gandhi. Of the three, only Gandhi made it to the photo shoot, although the image was removed before the cover went to press because of political reasons.

. . .

On this day in 1967, the cover shoot took place at photographer Michael Cooper’s studio. With the Fab Four dressed up in day-glo colored military uniforms, the evening shoot lasted for three hours. By night’s end, the Beatles, Fraser, Blake and Haworth had created an iconic image.

The final bill for the album artwork was £2,868 5s 3d (which would be equivalent to about £39,000 or $60,000 today). It’s been reported that this was 100 times the average cost for an album cover in 1967.

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