Once again I’m turning from painting to photography for a few posts this week. And again, today’s is about photos of The Beatles. I Just came across the headline “Photos from the Beatles Last Group Publicity Shoot Now Available for Public Purchase”. Not certain how accurate that headline is because I’ve seen shots from later photo sessions of the Beatles, but it got my attention in any case.
The rare photos are from a shoot that has become known as “The Mad Day: Summer of ‘68” and they were shot by photographer Tom Murray in London. Before he even knew what his subject was, he was told “Bring along your camera. You might get some nice snaps.” That's how impromptu the shoot was for Tom, who was one of two shooting the band that day.
Beatles fans have seen some of these iconic photos before in magazines, but now all the shots are being made available for public purchase on the Rock Paper Photo Fine Art Photography site. These signed and limited edition prints come in a 20 x 24 inch size and/or a 30 x 40 inch size.
All the photos have been hailed as being a great representation of the group during that time, as well as showing the individual personalities of each member of the group. These were the transitional days after the group stopped touring and just after the “trip” to India and Brian Epstein’s death, but just before the group began cracking apart with the help of the Apple Corp disaster and Yoko.
One image from the photo shoot I’ve seen before is this next photo. Interestingly, it was going to be used by Time magazine as a cover photo in 1980 after John Lennon was murdered, but they deemed it too spooky. I’d say so - Ya Think!?
As for myself I can never decide on a favorite phase of the band, but the phase they were in during this shoot is one of the greatest. Their music was more mature and ground-breaking, their popularity was still at a peak yet not suffocating, and John had not yet gone totally political and “avant garde” on everyone. Basically they were still four guys making their music and enjoying their fame as the most legendary group of the 20th century.
Talking about this phase of the Beatles career, click here for one GREAT youtube video I came across recently. It’s an interview from 68’ John and Paul gave in America about the creation of Apple among other things. Like the photos, this clip shows the effect of their fame to that point. They were very much speaking their own language and living in their own little worlds, but you can see that even though the youthful innocence is almost gone, the Beatle humor still shines through!
Interviewer: “Did you enjoy the trip over to India?”
John: “The journey was terrible, but the trip was alright.”