Interview for MOJO • July 2006

Painted from memory

Press interview • Interview of Paul McCartney
Published by:
Interview by:
Martin O'Gorman
Timeline More from year 2006

Album This interview has been made to promote the Revolver (UK Mono) LP.

Master release

Interviews from the same media

Little Sir Echo

November 1999 • From MOJO

We were great. No doubt about it!

August 2000 • From MOJO

One More For The Road

October 2000 • From MOJO

McCartney interview with MOJO

May 2003 • From MOJO

Interview with MOJO

July 2004 • From MOJO

Macca Speaks "I Still Miss The Beatles"

September 2005 • From MOJO

It's Like All The World Is In His Voice

Aug 01, 2011 • From MOJO

All Our Yesterdays

March 2012 • From MOJO

The Magical Mystery Tour And Beyond

November 2012 ? • From MOJO

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.


What were you doing when you got the commission to design the cover?

Klaus Voormann: My group Paddy, Klaus And Gibson was coming to an end and I was just about to join the Manfred Mann band, when John’s phone call came. He asked me, “Do you have any ideas for a cover?” I had drawn The Beatles a little in Hamburg, but not professionally. I nearly said no, because I hadn’t had a pen or pencil in my hand for years. But I accepted and went down to the studio, where they played me some tracks.

Do you remember which tracks?

I heard Tomorrow Never Knows. It dumbfounded me. They looked at me all the time, you know, “Let’s see what he thinkgs of this one, ha ha!”

Did the music inspire you as an artist?

Yes, because they were being so avant-garde, I thought the cover has to do the same thing. How far can I go? How surreal and strange can it be? I wanted to push the design further than normal.

How did you show them your idea to?

I did a scribble piece on a big A2 layout sheet of paper, with lots of different sketches of the little heads, in felt pen. I didn’t do the big presentation, I just went to see them with that piece of paper folded up in my pocket and that was enough!

How did you choose the photos?

I asked them to bring in their private pictures from when they were babies, or whatever. The photo of Ringo with the funny striped shirt on, that was cut out of a magazine, from a picture of a girl who had that poster on her wall. That’s why the picture is at a funny angle. I had a few strange ones where John was pulling a face, or Paul was laughing, but in general, the photos show their sweet side. There was one picture where Paul was sitting on a toilet. I think that photo was taken in Hamburg.

Did you do the drawing first?

I did the drawing, then I stuck the pictures on. I drew the faces from memory. George’s face was very difficult to draw. It was easier with John, Paul and Ringo, but George was always the problem. I could not get his face right, so eventually I took a newspaper and cut those eyes and mouth out.

What was The Beatles’ reaction?

I went to the EMI house, up to George Martin’s office and I stood the artwork up on a filing cabinet. There was Brian Epstein, George Martin, his secretary and the four lads. I was scared, because nobody said anything. They were just looking at it. I thought, Shit, they hate it. Then Paul looked closer and said, “Hey that’s me sitting on a toilet!” George Martin took a look and said, “You can’t show that!” Paul said, “No, it’s great!” But then he gave it some thought and said, “Well, maybe we should take that one off..” So that broke the ice. Then they started talking about it. Everybody loved it, George loved it, John loved it, Ringo loved it. I looked at Brian, who was standing in the corner and he was crying… I thought, Oh no… what is he doing? He came up to me and said, “Klaus, this is exactly what we needed. I was worried that this whole thing might not work, but I know now that this the cover. This LP, will work – thank you.”

Does the original artwork still exist?

Yes, it does, but I’m not going to tell you where! I was always trying to find out where the original was, just to know it was safe. Someone said it was hanging at George Martin’s house, so I asked Paul, but he said, “No I’ve never seen it.” Later on I found out that it still exists. It’s well kept and looked after and I’m happy about that.


Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *