The Story Behind The Sleeve #16: John Lennon – Walls And Bridges
Written during the 18-month separation from Yoko Ono that John Lennon referred to as his “lost weekend”, Walls And Bridges came about after the former Beatle’s planned album of rock ’n’ roll covers with Phil Spector imploded. The sleeve features a number of childhood drawings Lennon had planned to use for the covers album, along with portraits of him taken by photographer Bob Gruen and assorted esoterica including notes on the origins of the Lennon surname and credits for Rev. Thumbs Ghurkin, Dwarf McDougal and Dr. Winston O’Boogie. The album’s front cover is split into flaps that can be mixed and matched to make different versions of Lennon’s face, while references to his lifelong obsession with the number nine are plentiful – a quote in the booklet claiming “On the 23rd August 1974 at 9 o’clock I saw a U.F.O.”; a drawing of a footballer – George Robledo in the 1952 FA Cup Final scoring a goal wearing the number 9 shirt; and, of course, the song #9 Dream. The album topped the US Billboard chart, going gold, and reached No. 6 in the UK album chart.