German artist Klaus Voormann, best known for designing The Beatles album cover Revolver, made a return to the home where his Fab Four friends originated from.
He was in Liverpool visiting over the August Bank Holiday, a weekend when the city holds one of the largest street festivals in Europe dedicated to John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Voormann visited Liverpool’s Beatle-themed Hard Day’s Night Hotel during the Mathew Street Festival yesterday where he unveiled a specially commissioned artwork.
Around 200 people queued to meet Voormann at the Beatles shop next door to the hotel, where he signed merchandise for them.
As well as images showing The Beatles at a young age, the artwork includes snapshots of Voormann’s close friends in Liverpool including Bill Harry, the creator of the sixties Mersey Beat newspaper, who was also in attendance.
Voormann, who gained a Grammy Award in 1966 with his Revolver artwork cover, first visited Liverpool after the death of his close friend Stuart Sutcliffe and got to know The Beatles on a personal level during their Hamburg breakthrough years.
He played base guitar for a number of bands during the sixties and seventies as well as collaborating on solo albums of every Beatle member except Sir Paul McCartney.
As a former member of Manfred Mann, he held a number one hit with ‘The Mighty Quinn’, which was the only Bob Dylan song to reach the top spot in the UK charts.
Later he decided to join Yoko Ono’s the Plastic Ono Band with other members including John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Alan White, prior to White’s drumming days with progressive rock band Yes.
However, Voormann became an important contributor to George Harrison’s first post-Beatles release All Things Must Pass triple album.
He played bass on the album alongside Clapton, Billy Preston, Ringo Starr and Bob Dylan amongst others. Released in November 1970, All Things Must Pass produced Harrison’s number one worldwide hit ‘My Sweet Lord’.
Today, Voormann will be presenting a video session and talk about his latest project, a box set called A Sideman’s Journey, at the Adelphi hotel in Liverpool city centre.
A Sideman’s Journey is the outcome of seven studio sessions in London, Memphis, Hamburg, Los Angeles and Munich with international musicians including Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yusuf aka Cat Stevens, Joe Walsh of The Eagles and many other stars.
The musical biography not only celebrates Voormann’s work as a bass player but also gives insight to his work as a graphic designer.
Some proceeds will go to ‘Water is Life – Lakota Environment and Health Project’, a charity project in aid of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.