THERE are few more instantly recognisable album covers in pop history.
And 45 years after The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band first stormed the charts, the creator of its iconic cover image, Sir Peter Blake, remade the design to mark his own 80th birthday.
The new version, released this week, saw the likes of Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe and Edgar Allan Poe replaced by Noel Gallagher, Kate Moss and Roald Dahl. It was only the latest in a vast number of re-creations, spin-offs and parodies which the enduring pop culture portrait has inspired, though there has never been one dedicated to Edinburgh’s cultural icons . . . until now.
The Evening News has been busy creating its version of the classic Beatles sleeve.
Sir Peter’s original included HG Wells, but how about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was born in Picardy Place, off Leith Walk, in 1871? The Beatles cover had Marlon Brando in the third row, but surely Fountainbridge-born Sir Sean Connery is just as worthy of a place.
And those who may baulk at hated banker Fred Goodwin’s inclusion might do well to remember that Adolf Hitler was originally included in the famous montage, before he was obstructed by Olympic swimming champion and Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmuller in the final cut.
We asked the opinions of prominent figures in the Capital and found out who they thought made the grade and who we should leave on the cutting room floor.
Edinburgh artist Richard Demarco became friends with Sir Peter, pictured left, in 1967 – the same year that the pop art icon created the image which became synonymous with what many consider the finest album of all time.
He said: “There’s about 60 people on that cover and you could fill them many times over just with people from Edinburgh. I’d include Helen Crummy, the founder and director of the greatest festival of art – the Craigmillar Festival.
“Marjorie Fleming should be there. She died aged eight and three-quarters – she was one of the youngest and greatest writers Scotland produced. Mark Twain thought she was fantastic.
“Another would be George MacLeod, the founder of the Iona community. I think he was an amazing human being.”
Richard also put forward artist Andrew Crummy, writer Compton Mackenzie, poet Norman MacCaig, deli owners Philip and Mary Contini, sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi, publisher John Calder, footballer Jimmy Wardhaugh, Scottish nationalist Wendy Wood and fellow Traverse Theatre co-founder Jim Haynes as some of his other suggestions.
Speaking about his friendship with Sir Peter, he added: “I met him when he submitted some art to a competition I organised. He’s been a great friend ever since. He’s a nice, simple, straightforward guy.
“He’s only 80 and I’m 81. I’ve told him welcome to the club and it’s not so bad to be 80. People are living their lives in extra time in their 70s – now we’re in penalty shootout time!”
Rebus author Ian Rankin, who like Mr Demarco is included in the Evening News collage, had his own thoughts on who should appear.
He added: “I’d include Robert Louis Stevenson because I think he’s the greatest writer the city produced, and Muriel Spark, who’s probably the second greatest.
“The Bay City Rollers are probably the most famous band and I’d also say the two founders of the Incredible String Band, Robin Williamson and Mike Heron. They were the only two guys from Edinburgh who played Woodstock – that’s not a bad claim to fame.”
Former Scottish rugby captain Gavin Hastings put forward the names of Sir Sean Connery, Hibs owner and businessman Sir Tom Farmer and cyclist Sir Chris Hoy.
“Sean Connery has done a hell of a lot to promote Scotland – he’s been a great ambassador,” he said.
“Tom Farmer has done a lot for the city and he’s a great character, so he’d be another.
“Chris Hoy is a good Edinburgh man who’s done brilliantly on the world stage, and the Scottish rugby team are based in Edinburgh, so let’s have them in there as well. It’s a tough time for them just now but they will be back.”
Do you recognise . . ?
1. Bay City Rollers: Band who were teen idols during their 70s pomp
2. Sir Walter Scott: Edinburgh-born novelist, playwright and poet
3. Tony Blair: Edinburgh-born Blair led Labour to three general election wins
4. Ken Buchanan: Former lightweight world champion boxer
5. Allan Wells: Athlete who won 100m Olympic gold in Moscow in 1980
6. Gordon Brown: Former Edinburgh University rector, prime minister and chancellor
7. Gail Porter: Model whose rear was famously projected onto the Houses of Parliament
8. Ronnie Corbett: Pint-sized actor and comedian, starred in The Two Ronnies
9. KIRSTY GALLACHER: Sky Sports News host and lads’ mag favourite
10. Proclaimers: Leith double-act who became a national institution
11. Muriel Spark: Novelist, twice shortlisted for The Booker Prize
12. sir Chris Hoy: Cyclist who won triple gold at the 2008 Olympic Games
13. Dario Franchitti: Racing driver and IndyCar Series champion
14. Eduardo Paolozzi: Renowned sculptor who studied at Edinburgh College of Art
15. Gordon Smith: Hibernian idol who also played for Hearts
16. Richard Demarco: Artist who co-founded The Traverse Theatre in the 1960s
17. James Craig: Architect, had huge influence on Edinburgh’s New Town
18. George Kerr: Judo expert who was awarded the CBE in 2011
19. Robert Louis Stevenson: Writer who penned Treasure Island
20. Adam Smith: Economist who wrote The Wealth of Nations
21. CHIC MURRAY: Considered one of best comedians to come out of Scotland
22. John Robertson: Hearts goal scoring legend
23. Alexander Graham Bell: Inventor best known for the telephone
24. Willie Bauld: One-third of Hearts’ famous ‘terrible trio’ in the 1950s
25. Joseph Black: Eighteenth century physician and chemist
26. Mary Queen of Scots: Became Scotland’s queen when six days old
27. SIR Harry Lauder: Portobello-born entertainer admired by Sir Winston Churchill
28. Gavin Hastings: one of Scotland’s finest ever rugby players
29. Sir Tom Farmer: Entrepreneur, Kwik-Fit founder and Hibs owner
30. Fred Goodwin: Presided over spectacular rise and fall of RBS
31. JK Rowling: Harry Potter author who has sold hundreds of millions of books
32. James Young Simpson: Doctor and anaesthetics pioneer
33. Robert Fergusson: Poet who is immortalised by statue in Royal Mile
34. Rory Bremner: Impressionist known for political satire
35. Sir Sean Connery: Oscar-winning actor who starred as James Bond
36. Eric Milligan: Colourful Lord Provost between 1996 and 2003
37. Shirley Manson: Lead singer of alternative rockers Garbage
38. Eugene Kelly: Former member of band The Vaselines
39. Ian Rankin: Crime writer who used Edinburgh as a setting in his novels
40. Alistair Darling: Edinburgh MP who was chancellor during economic crash
41. KT Tunstall: Grammy award nominated singer-songwriter
42. Alexander McCall Smith: Author who received his PhD in law in Edinburgh
43. John Menzies: Victorian who transformed his newsagent into national chain
44. Eddie Turnbull: A member of Hibs’ legendary ‘famous five’ forward line
45. Eric Liddell: Athlete and devout Christian who won gold at 1924 Olympics
46. David Hume: Philosopher and historian central to Scottish Enlightenment
47. Irvine Welsh: Best known for book Trainspotting, which became a film in 1996
48. Gordon Strachan: Capital-born Scottish football legend
49. SIR David Murray: Businessman and former owner of Glasgow Rangers
50. Andy Irvine: George Heriot’s School pupil who played rugby for Scotland
51. Robert Adam: Influential architect and interior designer
52. Elsie Inglis: Doctor and suffragist who ran a medical practice in the city
53. Burke and Hare: Murderers who sold bodies of victims for dissection
54. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Writer, famous for Sherlock Holmes stories
55. Henry Raeburn: Portrait painter who was son of a Stockbridge manufacturer*
56. John Knox: Leader of the Protestant reformation
57. Edwyn Collins: Musician and Orange Juice frontman who sang 1994 hit A Girl Like You
58. Stephen Hendry: The youngest ever snooker world champion
59. Tian Tian: One of Edinburgh’s pandas
60. Dolly the Sheep: Became the first mammal cloned from an adult cell in 1996
61. Maisie the Cat: One of Morningside’s most famous residents
62. GreyfriaRs Bobby: Terrier who guarded his owner’s grave for 14 years
*Picture does not show Raeburn himself but Rev Walker from Raeburn’s famous Rev Walker skating on Duddingston Loch