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By Alan L. Chrisman
There are several people who could be called the 5 th Beatle:
George Martin, Brian Epstein, Neil Aspinall, Pete Best, etc. and
Ive written about some of these. But Klaus Voorman was also
there at their beginnings and throughout their whole
Beatles period and later played bass on several of their
solo albums and as well

as designed some of their iconic album covers.

It was Klaus who first discovered the band in a tough Hamburg

bar and told his roommate, Astrid Kirchherr, about them and she
would create their whole look, which would soon conquer the
world. It was Klaus who drew the distinctive Revolver cover. It
was Klaus Voorman who was part of John Lennons Plastic Ono
Band when they played Live Peace in Toronto in 1969. It was
Klaus who played on and designed the cover for Ringos solo
album of the same name. He played on Instant Karma, and
Lennons Imagine and Walls and Bridges, and Rock n Roll
albums, and was on Georges All Things, Material World,
Bangladesh, and Dark Horse albums.
He was in Manfred Mann from66-69 and played bass and flute on
their hit,The Mighty Quinn. He was also a session musician for
James Taylor, Carly Simon, Lou Reed, and Harry Nilsson and
others. In 1979, he produced the German band, Trio, who had a
hit with Da Da Da. And full-circle, he was asked by the
remaining Beatles to design the covers for the 3 Beatles
Anthologies covers in the mid-90s.

In 2009, Voorman released his own solo album, A Sidemans

Journey with guests, Paul, Ringo, Cat Stevens, Joe Walsh, Dr. John,
Van Dyke Parks, The Manfreds, etc. In 2010, a documentary on
him was made, All You Need Is Klaus.
This very talented, but unassuming musician and graphic artist
too, was always a loyal Beatles sideman and lifelong friend. As
George said at The Bangladesh Concert, Theres somebody on
bass who many people have probably heard about, but theyve
never actually seen him- Klaus Voorman. A true 5 th, but
unspoken Beatle.
Klaus Voorman recording with Paul & Ringo, 2008:
The Making of Klaus Voormann & Friends: Paul McCartney,
Ringo Starr, Yusuf aka Cat Stevens, Dr. John, The Manfreds
(members of Manfred Mann), Bonnie Bramlett, Jim Keltner, Max
Buskohl, Van Dyke Parks, Albert Lee, Joe Walsh, Don Nix and many
others, 2009: