Friday 19 April - Saturday 25 May 2024

The Beatles: Mad Day Out

Tom Murray

RedHouse is delighted to present an exclusive glimpse behind the scenes with The Beatles, featuring images by acclaimed photographer Tom Murray.

The exhibition – ‘The Beatles: A Mad Day Out’ – will open in Harrogate on Friday 19th April, and will show for just five weeks – until Saturday 25th May.

In the Summer of 1968, Tom Murray was invited to assist renowned photojournalist Sir Don McCullin in capturing a new publicity campaign for The Beatles, who at the time were in the midst of recording The White Album. Armed with just two rolls of film and a Nikon F:35mm, Murray produced some of the most revered colour images of the band, now known as the Mad Day Out.

“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.”
Tom Murray 

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 capture the band.

Murray: “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 images 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.

Murray: “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 However, when they kept seeing out-of-date photos they decided to do one final day of what they called ‘mad’ photography.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.”

Tom Murray’s complete Mad Day Out’ collection, consisting of 23 images of the Fab Four,  will go on exhibition from Friday 19th April. These rare prints will be complemented by artworks from Astrid Kirchherr, Dudley Edwards, and Peter Blake.

All artworks are available to view and purchase – please click here to request the digital exhibition catalogue.

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