It was the morning of September 12, 1963 when acclaimed fashion photographer Norman Parkinson was invited to Abbey Road Studios to shoot an emerging pop band called The Beatles.
Parkinson, already one of the most famous photographers in the country at the time of this shoot, was asked by Queen magazine editor Jeremy Banks to capture the early foundations of what would eventually develop into ‘Beatlemania’.
The band had just released their debut album Please Please Me, a record that catapulted the young Liverpool lads into the spotlight and straight to number one in the charts. The band members, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, were in typically busy fashion. Having just performed for the Saturday Club at the Playhouse Theatre in central London, they had also notched a gig at Fairfield Halls in Croydon, before a quick sell out show in Blackpool.
During their spare time the band headed back to the studio to record ‘Hold Me Tight’, ‘Don’t Bother Me’, ‘Little Child’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ when photographer Parkinson turned up armed only with black and white film. The rare images, taken at the President Hotel in Bloomsbury and the Abbey Road Studios, offer an insight to the relaxed mood of recording in the early days of the band.
At 6.30pm, the work stopped for a 30-minute tea break which allowed Parkinson to secure some photos of the band at their most comfortable. In collaboration with The Norman Parkinson Archive and Iconic Images, these images have now been released by ACC Editions.