Abbey Road – back cover again

The back cover, with some preliminary mock-up text but no “BEATLES” sign yet.

People are intrigued by the various bits of information regarding touching up the photo for the back cover. I must say that I am siding with those who do not buy the idea of the girl in the blue dress being manipulated into the photo. She looks too real for that. Also, every earlier reference to her has her already in the place when the photo was taken. Sometimes she has been identified as Jane Asher, but I think that’s just an uninformed rumour. After all, Paul and Linda had been married since March, and the scene in the Alexandra Road/Abbey Road junction where the back cover was photographed was half a mile away from the famous Abbey Road crossing.

Nicola Carletti sent us the above photo from his collection. Made during the process of finishing the Abbey Road cover, this may have been the mock-up Sir Joseph Lockwood, head of EMI, saw which lead him to demand that they should put a “BEATLES” sign in the picture. After all, the name of the group was nowhere to be found on the front cover and he wanted the group to be identified prominently on the back. Art director John Kosh was interviewed in 2013 by Rock Cellar magazine and reveals that he got a phone call from Sir Joe at 3 in the morning, complaining about the absent group name.

Original poster ad. Sent us by Eric Bourgouin

“It was really a publicity photograph. It was a desperate time for EMI. Let It Be was supposed to come out… and was put back. Abbey Road all of a sudden was slotted in and they wanted an album cover on Wednesday — and it’s Tuesday. Iain Macmillan had his light box, and we had the loop and transparencies and we just chose one. Then I had to go, I had to really rush. But somehow or other the printer, which was Garrod & Lofthouse (…) really helped me put this thing together.” John Kosh.

Although he is referring to Garrod & Lofthouse, who printed the album sleeves, the actual work may still have been undertaken by by John Cockcroft of Colorcel. Someone put the “BEATLES” sign into the picture and drew in the crack in the “S”, it might as well have been Colorcel.

Some other great quotes from Kosh in this interview were in regard to the Paul-is-dead rumours that started spreading and people reading a lot of “clues” into the album cover:

“It was my job not to confirm or deny Paul’s death.

[Whispers:] ‘It looks like Paul to me’ — that’s all we were allowed to say. And that was Derek Taylor — another one who’s left us — but nonetheless he was a great publicist, the publicist in the sky… It grew. And Derek, who was brilliant as a promotional artist, said: ‘Let it roll. Don’t deny it!’ It sold 26 million albums.”

2-page NME advertisement spread, sent us by Yan Friis

The information regarding the Abbey Road back cover and advertisements has now been added to our main Abbey Road blog post.

1 Response

  1. Ivan Moldes says:

    Mystery Solved:

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