Just when you think you know everything there is to know about The Beatles, Neatorama runs a post with a few cool stories behind different Beatles album covers. I especially love this one about HELP!, a film and album which already hold so many cool memories for me:
For the HELP! photo shoot, photographer Robert Freeman warmed up by shooting publicity stills of the band playing around in the Austrian snow. In the process, he realized that their arm motions reminded him of semaphore, a system of emergency naval communications using waving flags. Because the album title was conveniently four characters long, the photographer had each member of the group spell out a letter using the code. However, Freeman found that the arm motions for H-E-L-P were much less aesthetically pleasing than the positions for N-U-J-V, so he decided to use those letters instead.
Read more stories behind the covers for The White Album, Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road at This Link.
On June 6th, 2006, Billy Preston, often known as the fifth Beatle, passed away at the age of 59. Preston was recruited to record with The Beatles by George Harrison and performed on The White Album, Let it Be and Abbey Road. He also played with major artists like Neil Diamond, Ray Charles and The Rolling Stones, wrote the Joe Cocker 1974 hit “You Are So Beautiful” and had a dozen or so hits of his own. My personal favorite was “Will it Go Round In Circles,” which was a #1 hit when I was 12.
Preston had been in a coma since November 2005, after suffering kidney failure brought on by a lifelong drug addiction. Rest In Peace.
Billy with The Beatles during the recording sessions for Let It Be