What Comes Around Revolves Around

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Klaus Voormann is the artist and musician who arguably changed the course of music album design in the sixties. Although there were some very artful covers by Alex Steinweiss, Reid Miles. Neil Fujita, James Flora, David Stone Martin, et others, Voormann’s collage and neo-Beardsleyesque drawing for The Beatles “Revolver” altered the way my generation, at least, looked at record album art for hidden meanings. And it brought The Fab Four into a new dimension of edgy art. A few years ago, thanks to Gerrit Terstiege, editor of FORM magazine, I met Klaus (who is fictionally featured in the biopic “Backbeat” and played bass on many records, including ones with George Harrison and Ringo Starr). He signed his book for me and a copy of the “Revolver” LP; I still have my original cover, so this was a huge thrill.
 
Thanks again to Gerrit, I’ve learned that Voormann just did another Beatles cover; this one for the German newsweekly, Der Spiegel. Here’s what Terstiege wrote: “The Beatles formed 50 years ago, and split 40 years ago. On this
occasion, Spiegel conducted an interview with former band members Paul
Mc Cartney and Ringo Starr. The cover illustration was the work of
Klaus Voormann, who also designed the cover of “Revolver” in 1966.
Voormann knew the Liverpudlians from their days in Hamburg and
performed as a bassist in many of the band members’ later solo projects. . .”
 
Under the title “Forever Be,” 250 special edition signed art prints  (below) were made. They sold out within minutes. There are
now plans for a second edition.
 
(Extra: I am in Italy for the next couple of weeks. Check out the tweets here)
 
 

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes a weekly column for The Atlantic online and is the "Visuals" Columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of over 160 books on design and visual culture. And he is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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