8 November 2012
I have been going to Photo LA, a photography exposition, this weekend. And I want to share my Beatley moments. My own photos below were taken with a cell phone, so apologies in advance for poor resolution.
First, I found a booth for Über Archives, which is exhibiting photos by Alec Byrne, who photographed many legendary musicians during the 60s and 70s, including the Beatles. I was particularly happy to see this photo of Paul I haven't seen before:
They have the above pic listed as a Nov. 1970 photo, but based on Paul's suit, tie and hairstyle, I'm pretty sure it was taken at whatever '68 event these two pics were taken:
Anyone know the context for these pics?
At any rate, if you're interested, you can order a $25 show catalog (or a print if you got it like that) with the Paul photo, a John photo, a B+W photo from the "Our World" satellite broadcast photocall as well as other musician pics here.
The highlight of the weekend was a lecture and slideshow by Bill Eppridge, a giant of the golden age of photojournalism.
Eppridge covered the Beatles' arrival in NYC:
He also covered Vietnam, the "Mississippi Burning" civil rights funerals and he covered Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign. I read a quote from a photojournalist who said that you are lucky if you shoot one iconic photo in your lifetime. Eppridge has arguably shot hundreds.
Eppridge was working for Life magazine when the Beatles arrived in New York, and he was told that these "four crazy Brits" were flying in, and did he want to move on this story? Of course, he never turned down an assignment. He said all the reporters had heard stories of how crazy British musicians were, so they were taken aback when these "four gentlemen" got off the plane. Eppridge also pointed out that it was none other than Harry Benson directing them from the top of the stairs descending from the plane. "The Beatles left [America], Harry didn't."
Eppridge showed the audience a photo of the boys in the hotel room and said drily, "I had access," making us laugh. Eppridge said that Ringo at one point turned to him and said, "So, Mr. Life Magazine, what do you want me to do?" And Eppridge answered, "Don't do a thing." He wanted to be as unobtrusive as possible, capturing the boys as they were. "I was Invisibill," he added.
We didn't have time for a Q&A after the slideshow, but Eppridge graciously agreed to let the audience meet him at the booth for the gallery that was sponsoring him.
A Beatle hotel pic is just above Eppridge's head to the right. I was glad to catch this playful moment of him with another photographer.
I didn't have anything fancy or Beatle-related for Eppridge to sign (the prints they were selling started at $1500) so I had him sign my Photo LA program. He was really nice, asking me if I'm studying photography. There were people waiting to talk to him, and I didn't want to bombard him with Beatle questions, so I keep it short and sweet, saying that it was a privilege to meet him.
I added that he took my all-time favorite photo of Ringo. "Which one?" "The one with the hair," I said. Eppridge smiled and said he likes that one too.
Bill Eppridge is a powerful storyteller; after he told the story of witnessing RFK's assassination, there wasn't a dry eye in the room. His work covers pivotal moments in American/world history. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, do yourself the favor and go.
17 January 2013
8 November 2012
You're welcome! Glad you enjoyed it. Eppridge was just lovely.
And thank you for the source of that pic! That answered an additional question for me because prior to this, I'd only seen a story from the Leicester Arts Festival press event, and only one B+W pic. Awesome.
And as for that story, I have a book called The Beatles Files that has a more or less comprehensive account (plus the B+W pic) of how Paul got roped into it. A student badgered Paul until he finally gave in to appearing at the students' press conference. But once there, Paul declared that he wouldn't be supporting the festival, and called the conference a publicity gimmick, adding that the "conning stops here." So, your telling me those pics come from that event makes sense because I always thought Paul looked pretty peeved.
17 January 2013
27 December 2012
The qualities of the pictures are superb! I don't know how these people manage to capture this quality especially 40 years ago.
"When I was a robber *Piano Chord* in Boston Place"
"Let's hope this turns out pretty darn good huh"
"Pete may be the best, but Ringo is the star"
Paul:"Don't be nervous John"
John:"I 'm not"
8 November 2012
In a word: film. A professional like Eppridge would have known which brand/type would work best for his working conditions, and would have been carrying several cameras loaded with a variety of black + white and color films for different lighting situations.
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