Epstein had bought the house on 20 December 1964, and lived there until his death on 27 August 1967. He hosted many parties at the house, the best-remembered of which was this press party for The Beatles’ masterpiece.
Around a dozen selected journalists and broadcasters were invited to attend the event. Several photographers were also present, among them Linda Eastman, who had met her future husband Paul McCartney just four days previously.
I took my portfolio over to Brian Epstein’s office and left it with his assistant, Peter Brown… Peter Brown got back in touch and said that Brian had liked my portfolio and invited me to a press launch for Sgt Pepper at Brian’s home. Peter also said that Brian wanted to buy copies of two of my photos – one of Keith Moon wearing a lace cravat and one of Brian Jones at The Rolling Stones boat party.
So I went to the press launch where Sgt Pepper was played for the first time to the media, to take my first photographs of The Beatles. Because I was so used to working almost exclusively with black-and-white I didn’t have any color film with me, and had to get some from another photographer. I eventually sold a color print of The Beatles from this session for $100 and I thought that I had it made!
Sixties: Portrait Of An Era
The Beatles were photographed in Epstein’s drawing room and on the steps outside the front door. The guests were served champagne, poached salmon and caviar.
I got one good photo that I liked, which is that thumbs-up one. The rest are just like everyone else’s photographs, but for that one I said, ‘Oh, come on, guys! You know?’ and that shows at least they were relating, because if you believe the press you’d never think John and Paul ever related.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles