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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the ‘The Beatles’ tag


Us Down By The Riverside, a film by Jud Yalkut


More psychedelic freakery from American filmmaker Jud Yalkut. Us Down By The Riverside (1966) is short and sweet: three minutes of acid visuals accompanied by a muddy recording of The Beatles playing Tomorrow Never Knows. Groovy. For a very different take on John Lennon’s psych-out, see the penultimate episode of cartoon show, The Beatles. Previously […]

Posted in {abstract cinema}, {film}, {music}, {psychedelia} | No comments »


Spare things


Cthulhu Cultus: The Sun is Sick (no date) by Austin Osman Spare. I’ve been telling people about this drawing for years but I’ve not posted it here before. Spare produced this piece after Kenneth Grant gave him some of HP Lovecraft’s stories to read. I’ve never seen it dated but it’s probably from the mid-50s […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {occult}, {psychedelia}, {work} | 9 comments »


Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part Two


Carnaby Street circa 1967. Continuing the psychedelic mega-mix based on Jon Savage’s list of “100 mind-expanding masterpieces” (see this post). The second of the six mixes is where British psychedelia is in full swing after shedding its R&B/Mod/Freakbeat origins: what was black-and-white a year before is now blazing colour. There’s much I enjoy about US […]

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Listen to the Colour of Your Dreams: Part One


Blame these things: the Jon Savage booklet, and Mojo Presents Acid Drops, Spacedust & Flying Saucers (design by Phillip Savill). One of the commissions for the New Year is psychedelia-related so to get in the mood I’ve been listening to the six CD compilations of psychedelic songs I made some years ago. I must have […]

Posted in {magazines}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 2 comments »


The Case of the Mukkinese Battle-Horn


I probably should have posted this when the Monty Python reunion shows were in progress since the first time I saw it was as the support film for a screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in 1974. The Case of the Mukkinese Battle-Horn (1956) is one of the few film outings for The […]

Posted in {film} | 2 comments »


Weekend links 217


Le Petit Journal, June 16, 1912. Via Beautiful Century. • Occult art by Nicomi Nix Turner, Daniel Martin Diaz, Amy Earles and William Crisafi. Related: Illustrations by Ernest M. Jessop for The Witches Frolic by Thomas Ingoldsby. • “Our definition of ‘Industrial’ then was a very broad one, it’s definitely not so much now.” Chris […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult}, {television}, {theatre}, {work} | 2 comments »


Lyrical Substance Deliberated


Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds from Yellow Submarine (1968). The advent of spring invariably gets me listening to favourite psychedelic songs, and this year has been no exception. Earlier this week I was idly wondering how many songs there are that follow the Beatles’ lead in telegraphing their drug metaphors by using the initials […]

Posted in {drugs}, {film}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {work} | 6 comments »


Aubrey in LIFE


Turned out for a big night at the opera like Beardsley’s Wagnerites, girls wear bare-backed blacks by Trigère. Coiffed heads are by Hugh Harrison and Halston of Bergdorf Goodman’s; Halston also made the pouf-skirted dress. (Photo session by Milton Green & Joe Eula.) Being determined to catalogue every last piece of Beardsley trivia from the […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {black and white}, {fashion}, {illustrators}, {magazines} | 3 comments »


Burroughs at 100


Something from 1994 I found in an old sketchbook. Ink on paper with no preliminary drawing. Happy birthday, Bill. To celebrate the Burroughs centenary I could have put together several very different mixes of Burroughs-related music—there’s been a lot of it, and he was blessed with some excellent collaborators—but in the end decided on a […]

Posted in {books}, {burroughs}, {music}, {work} | 1 comment »


Design as virus 18: Sound Effects


BBC Sound Effects No 1 (1969). Design by Roy Curtis-Bramwell. I used to own this album, the first in a series of sound effects collections from the BBC tape library intended for use by musicians, theatre technicians and anyone else who might need a recording of a thunderstorm, fire alarm or creaking door. Going through […]

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The Fool album covers


The Fool (1968). Many people know the work of design collective The Fool even if they couldn’t tell you the name or the names of any of the individuals involved.  The accelerated career trajectory of Dutch artists Marijke Koger and Simon Posthuma took them from a hippie enclave on the isle of Ibiza in 1966, […]

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The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film


The Beatles’ second feature, Help!, was released on Blu-ray last month. The origin of the film’s visual humour and frenetic style can be found in this short directed by Richard Lester over two weekends in 1959, a collaboration between Lester, Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and others. It may be nothing more than ten minutes of […]

Posted in {film}, {music} | 1 comment »


The Sea of Monsters


The German definite article has unfortunate implications when applied to a group of Brits, but if we overlook this detail the poster makes an interesting contrast with its US counterpart. Where the American design depicts all the film’s main characters, Heinz Edelmann’s painting concentrates almost solely on the creatures from the Sea of Monsters with […]

Posted in {design}, {film}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 1 comment »


My White Bicycle


My White Bicycle (1967), poster by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat. Too risqué for EMI. In what passes here for spare time I’ve been working on a private project that concerns events in London during a single week in 1967. I won’t elaborate for now but the research has been fun, and has led down […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {music}, {psychedelia} | 2 comments »




A post for Record Store Day, and a slight return to the work of Hipgnosis and the late Storm Thorgerson. One of the many things which impressed about Hipgnosis album designs was the way they gradually came to approach each album as a distinct package for which every component deserved special attention. The very early […]

Posted in {design}, {music} | 1 comment »




Thanks be to YouTube for once more resurrecting moments of underground cinema which would otherwise be very difficult to see. Wavelength (1967) is Michael Snow’s experimental masterwork, a 45-minute zoom across a New York loft that ends on a photograph of waves that fills the screen. This recipe for ennui is not without incident: we […]

Posted in {architecture}, {film} | 2 comments »


Nothing Is


1: Nothing Is… (1966), an album of science fiction jazz by Sun Ra. What does the empty space of that ellipsis imply? 2: Strawberry Fields Forever (1967), a single by The Beatles. “Strawberry Fields / Nothing is real” Cover art by Sam Green. 3: Empty Space (2012), a science fiction novel by M. John Harrison. […]

Posted in {books}, {music}, {science fiction} | Comments Off


Weekend links 142


Gratifying this week to see album cover art under discussion even if the heat-to-light ratio was as unbalanced as it usually is when pop culture is the subject. Jonathan Barnbrook, who also designed the Heathen (2002) and Reality (2003) packaging for David Bowie, wrote about the thinking behind the new cover on his blog. (And […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {sculpture}, {television}, {typography} | 6 comments »


Weekend links 124


Couple with Clock Tower (2011) by Louise Despont. Assuming such a thing doesn’t already exist, there’s a micro-thesis to be written about the associations between the musicians of Germany’s Krautrock/Kosmische music scene in the early 1970s and the directors of the New German Cinema. I’d not seen this clip before which shows the mighty Amon […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {television} | 2 comments »


Tomorrow Never Knows


Episode 38 of The Beatles (1967). The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine was released on Blu-ray earlier this month. The quality is as good as you’d expect, it looks and sounds fantastic with the songs really benefitting from their remixes and high-definition audio. The film atoned for Al Brodax and George Dunning’s earlier role as producers of […]

Posted in {animation}, {drugs}, {film}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {television} | 5 comments »



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