Welcome back to the next episode of Inside Yorkshire. This is the first of a two part interview with artist Dudley Edwards. He shot to fame during the sixties painting wild coloured furniture, shop fronts and even a piano owned by one of the Beatles. He was born and brought up in Yorkshire, studying art in Halifax and then Bradford, before moving down to London to seek fame and fortune. He wasn't disappointed.
Dudley began life in West Yorkshire and was inspired by his school teacher to attend the Halifax school of Art. This was much to his father's disappointment who was keen for him to get a proper job. He did so well there that it took him onto further studies at Bradford college of Art. Having completed 5 years of training and honing his skills he was keen to seek fame and fortune - London beckoned.
Once down in London Dudley got together with two other Bradford graduates, Doug Binder and David Vaughan, the three of them founding the BEV pop collective. Their vibrant art designs on furniture, shop fronts and cars led to commissions from clients who included David Bailey, the Beatles and Tara Browne, heir to the Guinness fortune.
BEV's psychedelic murals appeared everywhere from the boutiques of Kings Road and Carnaby Street to Paul McCartney's 'Magic Piano'. Paul was keen to engage them to work for him after seeing their painted Buick....
"I remember the first time I first saw a photo of their painted car in the Sunday Times Magazine and I thought it was really cool. So I got in touch with them and asked the guys if we could have a meeting. We did, and I told them "I've got a little piano I'd like you to decorate in that same style". And at first they were a little bit reluctant to do anything, but I persuaded them. So they measured it all up, took the panel dimensions, and worked up some designs. Then they painted it and did a lovely job. It became my psychedelic piano which I wrote a lot of songs on, including 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band', 'Fixing A Hole', and 'Hey Jude'. It's in its rightful place in my music room in London."