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Friday 5 October 2012

Typewriters Found on Beatles Album Covers

The Beatles' first hit, Love Me Do, was released on this day (October 5) in 1962, 50 years ago today. It wasn’t released in the US until 18 months later, a year after The Beatles had become international superstars. In Britain it reached 17 on the charts but it was a No 1 in the US.
Today’s The Spectator has a very interesting article asking how seriously we should take The Beatles (see excerpts below).
What’s all this got to do with typewriters? Well, as it so turns out, the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first hit just happens to coincide with the discovery by an eagle-eyed Australian Beatles fan of hitherto unsighted typewriter images on the covers of two of The Beatles’ greatest albums, Revolver (1966) and Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967).
These finds provide a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' first hit. They will also ensure there will be a renewed sales surge of these two already popular album.
The Revolver album cover was created by a German-born bass guitarist and artist Klaus Voormann, one of the Beatles' oldest friends from their days at the Star Club in Hamburg.
Given Voorman was German-born, it’s hardly surprising to hear the typewriter unearthed on the Revolver album cover is a German-made Adler Tippa. But this same typewriter was seen in Beatles publicity shots, with George Harrison seemingly about the hit the keyboard. On the Revolver album cover, the Tippa sits atop Harrison’s head, but it is a bit difficult to make out, perhaps explaining why it has gone unspotted for 48 years. Voormann played bass with the Plastic Ono Band and the Tippa is party plastic.
It is even more astonishing to hear that a lime green Olivetti Valentine has been found on the cover of Sgt Pepper’s, given the cover has been inspected so thoroughly over the past 47 years, in efforts to identify all of the other 87 images on it. The strategically-placed Valentine now makes it 88.
The cover was designed by Peter Blake and Jann Haworth and photographed by Michael Cooper. Since The Beatles themselves appeared in custom-made military-style outfits made of satin dyed in day-glo colours, it no surprise that a lime green Valentine was chosen. (The real mystery here is that the Valentine didn't appear until 1969. But it apparently belonged to Mr Kite. Take very careful note of the date of this poster, which inspired John Lennon to write the song of the same name.)


Terry Murray said...

Where is the article from? Is this it in its entirety? If not, is it available online?

mpclemens said...

Pretty amazing what one can find when one studies the albums closely. Obviously my CD copies are too small to properly show the typewriters in their glory. :-)