Abbey Road

‘Abbey Road’ Album Designer Was Told He’d Destroyed The Beatles!

David Layde
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The Beatles’ in-house art director with Apple Records remembers a phone call he received telling him he was going to “destroy” the fab four.  That was because of his Abbey Road sleeve outlay.

John Kosh, received the angry message from Sir Joseph Lockwood, the boss of E.M.I.

The chief exec had just perused the new design and realised that the LP was going to press without any sign of the band’s name or title on the front cover.

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Time was imperative as the release of Abbey Road was serving as a replacement for the album, Let It Be, on the bands’ label release schedule. UCR reports that was only two days before it was set to be manufactured for distribution.

Kosh was speaking to Rolling Stone in a new interview when he revealed the tense situation: “We had a deadline. We had to go to press and the album was late and you just had to deal with it.”

Kosh had decided that the now-famous cover photo, showing the band members on the zebra crossing of Abbey Road in London, was strong enough on its own right.

Kosh explained that the band had all approved the idea and they were so famous they needed no introduction: “We thought if you didn’t know the Beatles by now, where have you been?”.

But according to the designer, Lockwood didn’t see it that way, he phoned Kosh at home late at night:

“I heard a string of invectives that was stunning. He was saying I would destroy the Beatles because I didn’t put their name on the cover and no one would buy the album. I was shivering after that call.”

Next morning, Kosh informed George Harrison of the intense call. However, the Beatles guitarist told him not to fret about it and the record was released as Kosh had designed it.

As a result of Paul McCartney appearing in the photo without shoes helped fuel speculation that he’d died and been replaced by a lookalike.

Kosh claims he was in the Apple offices when an exec phoned McCartney in France to see that he was still alive only to be told to “Fuck off.”

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