The Fool (design collective)

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The Fool were a Dutch design collective and band who were influential in the psychedelic style of art in British popular music in the late 1960s. The colourful art draws on many fantastical and mystical themes. The group was named in reference to the Fool tarot card.

Josje Leeger and Marijke Kooger (1965)

The original members were Dutch artists Simon (Seemon) Posthuma and Marijke Koger, who were discovered by photographer Karl Ferris among the hippie community on the Spanish island of Ibiza in 1966. He took photographs of clothes designed by them, and sent them to London where they were published in The Times (London) and immediately caused a sensation. Ferris took The Fool back to London, and together they opened a studio, with the Dutch artists producing clothes and art, and Ferris pursuing photography. Barry Finch and artist Josje Leeger joined later. All had been involved with Beatles manager Brian Epstein's Saville Theatre and with the design of the facade and much of the merchandise of the Beatles' Apple Boutique store.

Works[edit]

Their work includes:

The Fool's best known artworks are those they created for the Beatles in 1966–67. They include:

  • the original (rejected) cover and the inner sleeve for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band;
  • the clothes worn in the 1967 television broadcast of "All You Need Is Love";
  • the huge 3-story mural painted in psychedelic colours on the facade of the Beatles' Apple Boutique in London's Baker Street (which also stocked their creations; months later, the mural was painted over by civic order, due to protests from other local businesses, before the shop failed);
  • decoration to John Lennon's piano and one of his Gibson acoustic guitars
  • decoration to George Harrison's Mini car and his bungalow Kinfauns in Surrey (including a lavish fireplace mural), as well as several of Harrison's guitars, but not his Fender Stratocaster known as "Rocky", Harrison painted this himself.
  • the set design for Joe Massot's 1968 movie Wonderwall, with a score by George Harrison (The Fool also appeared in the film's party scene).

It would appear that, contrary to popular belief, The Fool did not create the psychedelic paintwork on John Lennon's Rolls-Royce.[3] Cynthia Lennon's memoir claims that the work was carried out by "a firm of barge and caravan designers".[4] An article about the car on the Ottawa Beatles site [5] states that the work was carried out by J.P. Fallon Limited, a coachworks company located in Chertsey, Surrey. The site has a newspaper article confirming this. J.P. Fallon commissioned Steve Weaver's pattern of scroll and flowers (who came up with design) for the Phantom V. The idea to make the car psychedelic was based on a suggestion from Marijke Koger, a member of The Fool who told Lennon to "paint the Rolls like the gypsy wagon" that was in his garden. There is photograph of the template (or artwork board) that Steve Weaver used to create the design for the car at the Ottawa Beatles Site.

After moving to Los Angeles the Fool created the largest mural in the world at the time (1969) on the walls of the Aquarius Theatre for the opening of the play Hair by invitation of the producer Michael Butler. Simon & Marijke continued to paint other theaters where Hair was playing in San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago. Henceforth The Fool split up, Simon, Barry and Yosha eventually went back to Amsterdam while Marijke remained in Los Angeles to continue her artistic endeavors.

Musical career[edit]

The Fool also released an eponymous album in 1968, in the psych-folk style, produced by Graham Nash of the Hollies. It was re-released in 2005. This album was mentioned in the last chapter of Gravity's Rainbow, where it is suggested that one of the novel's characters went on to play with the band.

As Seemon & Marijke they released another album called Son of America on A & M records, also produced by Graham Nash, in collaboration with Booker T. Jones, in 1969.

Seemon & Marijke recorded a third album called Mediterranean Blues produced by Booker T. Jones in his Homegrown Studio in 1972. Their second single "I saw you" was a hit in the Netherlands.

In August 2012, Simon's son Douwe Bob won a Dutch TV talent show, The Best Singer-Songwriter of the Netherlands. His debut single "Multicoloured Angels", dedicated to his father, entered the Dutch charts in October 2012. Douwe Bob released his first album Born in a Storm on 3 May 2013. The album entered the Dutch album charts, on number 7. Douwe played the 2013 Pinkpop festival in Landgraaf.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lawrence, Robb (2008). The Early Years of the Les Paul Legacy: 1915-1963. Hal Leonard. p. 273. ISBN 978-0-634-04861-6. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Shapiro, Harry; Clapton, Eric (2009). Jack Bruce Composing Himself: The Authorized Biography. Jawbone. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-906002-26-8. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Simon Posthuma's personal website
  4. ^ Cynthia Lennon: A Twist of Lennon, p. 142
  5. ^ John Lennon's Rolls Royce

External links[edit]