One of life's heroes, this picture was shot in Wellow, Somerset, where Blake once retreated with his band of fellow artists (the Brotherhood of Ruralists), and set up home and studio on the disused Wellow railway station. I first met Peter Blake when I was working as an assistant to the photographer Michael Cooper, (who shot Sgt Pepper's and the Stones' Satanic Majesties).


Once finished with, the cut-out life-size figures hung around in the hall outside 4 Chelsea Manor Studios for months, with the dustmen refusing to take them away. Most of them eventually went and have never been seen since, although a full-length Marlene Dietrich was auctioned recently for more than £80,000.

As for Blake, he originally got two hundred quid for the commission, although after nearly forty years, Apple finally conceded to pay him a bit more for what is perhaps the world's most famous record sleeve. Not sure how much Cooper got, but I do know it has taken his son Adam most of his life-time to get back his father's originals from Apple. Michael Cooper committed suicide in 1973, aged just 29, but the pictures would have always been his copyright, not Apple's.

Meanwhile Apple fights Apple over copyright of the name Apple, which has been going on nearly as long and has probably had millions ploughed into it. What's it all about? Maybe George Orwell's 1984 only twenty years out?

I was always very moved with the wording of Michael Cooper's suicide note to his son Adam, which read: -'Don't believe the courts when they say that I killed myself ‘while the balance of my mind was disturbed,’ I just live in a disturbed world that’s all.....I come from what your generation will call ‘the half and half’ -A generation that made a few changes but had to experience too many other kinds of changes that they have no control over. Some of us were bound to fall by the wayside. I'm one of those..... For me the sound always seemed to be receding. And the older I get the further away the sound seems to be. But I remember the first time I heard that drum long ago and it was a beautiful sound..... Look for that drum, dear Adam. It's so exciting, if you can bear it.’

I always think of that song 'The Lantern' from Satanic Majesties in this context, as in -'if you are the first to go, leave a sign and let me know, and please, carry the lantern light...'