I had the most spectacular afternoon today. I spent it with a man named KOSH who
has designed some of the most famous record album covers including The Eagles'
Hotel California, Linda Ronstadt's Lush Life and the most famous album cover in
LP history, The Beatles' Abbey Road.

Questions I have had for 45 years were clearly answered.

Q: That blue sky was very prominent. Was that real?
A: No. It was a typical London grey day. The blue was added.

Q: Were the cars featured on the street intentionally positioned?
A: No. They were there sitting exactly like that on a random basis.

Q: Were the Beatles told what to wear for that photo session?
A: No. They showed up as they pleased that day.

Q: Why is Paul the only one barefoot?
A: The sandals he was wearing were too tight and he just flung them off.

Q: Was there anything planned for a "Paul Is Dead" hoax on that cover?
A: Absolutely not. People made it up and the word spread worldwide.
     The record company realizing it would sell more copies of the album,
     refused to confirm or deny the rumors.

Q: This was the first record album cover without the name The Beatles
     on the cover or album title. Whose idea was that?
A: It was mine. The record company went ballistic at first.
     I assured them that everybody in the world already knew who they were.

Q: Did you get the street closed down officially?
A: No. One of the Beatles key people actually stood in the street
     holding up traffic.

I asked him what he knew about the Let It Be album cover.
He knew everything, because he designed that as well.
He explained to me that the selection of the group members
in the squares was done purely on a "looks best" basis.

I learned a great deal more including what it was like standing on the rooftop
of the Apple building when the Beatles performed live. The ultimate Beatles afternoon!

He let me hold his actual hand-drawn art work for "Lush Life."


OLD ORCHARD Chicago's 1950's Giant Outdoor Mall

"Who wants to go to Old Orchard?" was an exciting proposition for boys and girls
in the 1950's growing up in Chicago.

Even though Downtown Chicago had it's exquisite 12-story flagship department
stores, there was something so enchanting about going to this new experience
in American shopping--a giant outdoor mall filled with your favorite stores!

Built in Skokie, in an area of old orchards just north of Chicago's city limits,
Old Orchard seemed so huge to a child.

 Based on the attraction of a multi-story Marshal Fields department store, and The Fair (later to become Montgomery Ward's), Old Orchard's opening in October of 1956 was the ultimate in modern shopping.

 There were plenty of stores for Mom and Dad, and an S.S.Kresge (a cheap general merchandise store like Woolworth's) for the kids!

The $20 Million project was packed all the time with families from throughout Chicagoland.

And with its own single movie theater, it was a dream come true.

Just imagine that parking lot filled with 1950's cars!

Through the years, it has been modernized, demolished, rebuilt and looks nothing like the piece of Americana it once was.

Any baby boomer from Chicago has some wonderful memory of Old Orchard.

Just Keep Focusing on TV characters and Movie Superheroes.

In the last 2 weeks, I have overheard conversations here and there on the street, in stores, and in other public places.
I am sad to report that the majority of conversations that I have heard center around two things: The Emmy Awards and Superheroes. country is falling apart. Economically, Politically and Socially.

Who won an award for a TV show is not going to affect you for the rest of your life.
Which superhero is next to get a movie is not going to have any bearing on what is happening around you.

Fantasy has its time and place. Too many people are becoming obsessed and controlled by it. You have to learn where fantasy stops and reality begins.

This used to be a great country.
If you want it to continue to turn into an Orwellian nightmare, just keep focusing on TV characters and Movie superheroes.