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Thursday 2 April 2009

The Serpentine, Hyde Park May 18th 1967

Paul leaves Cavendish Avenue for the photo shoot

On May 18, 1967, The Beatles had a photo session in Hyde Park with Marvin Lichtner from Time Magazine. Mal Evans was along for the ride, and a couple of his photos can be seen in The Beatles Monthly Book no. 49. This photo session was overshadowed at the time by the next day's event: The press party for the release of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
But they are nice, these photos, and they only pop up occasionally, so today's blog will be about them.
Paul was driven to the location by Terry Doran, while the three others arrived from the suburbs in John Lennon's psychedelically painted Rolls Royce. Or did they? The photo underneath is dated as May 18th. The car had recently been painted, so this may have been one of it's first outings in the new design - or is it too early? In fact, the invoice for the work and materials used are dated May 24th. The artist responsible for the painting, Steve Weaver worked on the car over at J.P. Fallon Painters, and there are photos of the car being unveiled on May 26th, so the inclusion of the photo here is a puzzle.
The RollsJohn's Rolls Royce obviously caught people's attention
Paul and George catch up on the latest gossip

One of Mal's photos

And another one

Marvin Lichtner worked in black and white, but this colour photo was probably taken by a fan. Is that the blond Pete Shotton in the background?

The most iconic of the photos taken that day was this one, of the four Beatles strolling towards the lake. The surviving Beatles, Paul and Ringo were wearing capes, while John's got his famous sporran hung 'round his waist.
The Beatles clothing were straight from Carnaby Street and attracted attention, but we suppose, so did their fame. Here we can see the Serpentine lake in the background.

Amateur colour photo, added to this blog post five years after the initial posting.

Arriving at the lake, The Beatles posed on a park bench, where an older businessman was reading his newspaper. This is a hark back to the famous scene from the train with The Beatles and the businessman in A Hard Day's Night. This pose would be used a year later in the "Mad Day Out" photo session as well.

If Marvin Lichtner had been working in colour that day.. I think this photo would have been better known.

After the photo session, John and Paul hung out with the Rolling Stones who were in the recording studio that day, and ended up singing backing vocals on "We Love You".

Corresponding Mad Day Out photo

Even John Lennon's Rolls Royce has a blog.


Sara S. said...

I am loving these photos! :) And yes I am almost totally positive that the blonde is Pete Shotton. Thanks so much for posting these. Are these posted on the photo forum? If not they need to be!


Tibor said...

Great photos, thank you.

Tammy said...

Really this is such a little know session, but the pics are just fab, and WHY werent they all in colour!!?? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!! :-)

changemyworld said...

WONDERFUL photos, I love this thank you so much!

ellis said...

where can I buy these photos?

Unknown said...

Awwww. Just look at those little kids' faces! The Fabs spread so much happiness :) I wouldn't like to think of a world where they never existed, and I'm so grateful they did. Everything before evolved to The Beatles and everything since has evolved from them.

Guus said...

recording of 'We Love You' with The Stones was on June 12th as far as I know.