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New exhibition The Beatles: A Mad Day to open this Spring

2 months ago

New exhibition The Beatles: A Mad Day to open this Spring
The Beatles. Credit: Tom Murray

In the summer of 1968, Murray had the unique opportunity to assist renowned photojournalist Sir Don McCullin in photographing The Beatles during the recording of The White Album.

Armed with just two rolls of film and a Nikon F:35mm camera, Murray produced a stunning collection of color images, now famously known as the ‘Mad Day Out.’

The exhibition will showcase the full collection of 23 images, providing viewers with an exclusive insight into the iconic band’s candid moments. All artworks will be available for viewing and purchase at RedHouse Gallery in Harrogate.

Tom Murray said:

“It was as perfect a day as I could wish for. Getting to hang out with one of my favourite bands and take pictures was just sensational.”

During a time when The Beatles kept to themselves and away from photographers as much as possible, Murray couldn’t believe his luck; alongside McCullin, he had been selected as one of the few people given carte blanche to photograph the band.

The Beatles, All Together Now, St Pancras, Old Church and Garden. Credit: Tom Murray
The Beatles, All Together Now, St Pancras, Old Church and Garden. Credit: Tom Murray

Tom added:

“It really was a mad day rushing around London. We would get half-an-hour, maybe forty-five minutes at the most, in any one place before too many people arrived, which was really good. I doubt you could do it now. You’d be inundated with screaming fans and paparazzi in about 30 seconds!” 

The day after the shoot, The Beatles recorded the single Hey Jude. Murray processed and printed his two rolls of film, and, remarkably, stored them away for almost thirty years. These photographs were only viewed in public for the first time in 1998, and the colours, tone and definition are astonishing for their age – the original slides were kept in the dark in an envelope for many years.

The Beatles from The Thames, St Katherine's Dock. Credit: Tom Murray
The Beatles from The Thames, St Katherine’s Dock. Credit: Tom Murray

Tom said:

“At first they were fed up of having pictures taken, so they stopped doing shoots altogether. However, when they kept seeing out-of-date photos they decided to do one final day of what they called ‘mad’ photography. They hired Don to capture their antics as they wanted, and I was left to my own devices to shoot whatever I liked. It’s a photographer’s dream to be free to shoot what they want: no brief, no instructions and no restrictions.”

Murray’s complete ‘Mad Day Out’ collection of 23 photographs will be exhibited with just one example of each image available to purchase. These rare prints will be complemented by artworks from Astrid Kirchherr, Dudley Edwards and Peter Blake.

The exhibition – ‘The Beatles: A Mad Day Out’ will go on display in Harrogate from Friday 19th April – Saturday 25th May.

For more info on The Beatles click here.

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