Thursday 23 March 2023


Rare pictures capture fab four in their early days recording their debut album
Images by late photographer Terry O'Neill capture band from 1960s to 2000s
Photographer, who died in 2019, was a close friend and followed band's career 

Rare pictures of The Beatles at the height of Beatlemania are included in a new book by renowned photographer Terry O’Neill.

Released on the 60th anniversary of their debut studio album, Please Please Me, 300 photos of the Fab Four chronicle their early days in the 1960s up until the 2000s.















The late photographer, who died in 2019, was a close friend of the band and followed them throughout their career, documenting recording sessions, parties and personal moments.
‘I was the youngest photographer on Fleet Street. One day, my editor said to me, “There’s a new young band recording at Abbey Road, and we want you to go over and take some pictures,”’ O’Neill wrote in the book.

‘I knew a lot of the bands and the club scene in London, but this one was down in London from Liverpool recording at Abbey Road. Well, that band turned out to be The Beatles.’

One set of photos, taken on July 1, 1963, shows the young musicians in the garden at Abbey Road Studios after recording She Loves You.

‘I went over to the studio and these four lads – a few years younger than me – were recording with George Martin.

'It was unionized then; technicians in brown work coats, shirts, and ties, who had to be paid overtime and took tea breaks,’ said O’Neill.

‘I didn’t like the light in the studio, so during one of those union breaks, I took The Beatles out back in the yard for a portrait.

'John seemed to be the important figure in the band, but in the picture, Paul’s on his shoulder.’















Romford-born O’Neill was a junior photographer on Fleet Street when he was first told to go and snap the band and he remained friends with them over the next five decades.

He said there was a ‘buzz on the streets’ of London in the 1960s and that he was ‘in the right place at the right time.’

He said: ‘There was this thing happening, a buzz on the street.

'Things seemed to be changing: music, fashion, young people everywhere having a good time, upsetting the older generation.

‘It was news, and I was in the right place at the right time, with the right attitude.’

He added: ‘My career, in many ways, started with The Beatles. 

'They were young, I was young, and the world was young.
'You have to remember that, back in the early 1960s, we didn’t have to automatically enlist in the National Service. So a whole new generation of kids suddenly had their worlds open up for them.’


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