The Beatles’ last photo session

Friday, August 22, 1969
Timeline More from year 1969
,
Location:
Tittenhurst Park, Ascot, Berkshire, UK

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Hey Jude (2014 reissue)

By The Beatles • Official album


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The Beatles’ last photo took place on this day at John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s home in Tittenhurst Park, two days after their last recording session together. From formidablemag.com:

The photographers were Ethan Russell and Monte Fresco, with additional pictures taken by The Beatles’ assistant Mal Evans. Some low-quality film footage was also shot, some of which is thought to have been shown on the BBC Two arts programme Late Night Line-Up on 19 September 1969, during an Abbey Road special.

[…] Photographers Ethan Russell and Monte Fresco were enlisted to take on the shoot, with the band’s assistant Mal Evans taking a few photos himself. Paul McCartney’s pregnant wife Linda was also there, also taking footage on Paul’s 16mm camera, as well as Yoko herself. The final photos consisted of various images of the band in different places in and around the property, with Linda and Yoko also appearing in some of the behind-the-scenes shots. […]

George Harrison was miserable from frame one to frame 500. He was so over it. I don’t think he did anything but scowl for three hours.

Paul was trying to hold it together. He had his arms crossed like, ‘Come on, lads!’ But the concept of the Beatles just didn’t sync with who they were anymore. I could have asked them to smile, but it would have been totally fake and I’m glad I didn’t. This marriage had come to an end – and boy does it show.

Photographer Ethan Russell – From The Guardian, February 10, 2019

Linda shot some 16mm footage on my camera. That turned out to be the last film taken.

Paul McCartney – From The Beatles Anthology

From nemsworld.com:

The group photo session began in front of the main house, the Beatles standing among the pillars supporting the terrace canopy. They then walked down the main garden path, past the Diana statue, to a paddock of high grass (an old cricket pitch), where George, Paul, John, and Ringo stood in a row, being photographed and filmed from all sides.

John and Yoko then lead a pair of donkeys from the nearby stables, and the Beatles posed with them.

The Beatles were then photographed at the following locations – Underneath the Cypress tree near the Diana statue – Underneath a pair of Weeping Blue Atlas cedar trees – In front of the Atlas trees – On the lawn near the main house, in front of a retaining wall – On the balcony, leaning against the front door of the Victorian assembly hall, surrounded by stone busts – Looking over the balcony (joined by Linda and Yoko) – Standing in a side doorway of the assembly hall – Sitting, and then standing, in front of two arched porches in the southern wall of four terraced cottages – John and Ringo then going upstairs and looking out of the first floor windows – On the walled path between the cottages and the main house – Indoors, sitting at a large wooden table – Outside, grouped in a corner of the Southern balcony of the main house.

Photos from this session would be used to promote the “Something / Come Together” single released in October 1969, and to create the artwork of the “Hey Jude” US compilation released in February 1970.


Cover of the “Hey Jude” US compilation

From 1969: Tittenhurst (nemsworld.com)
From Twitter – OTD 1969 #TheBeatles turned up at Tittenhurst Park (John’s house in Ascot) for what turned out to be their last photo shoot together
From Twitter – OTD 1969 #TheBeatles turned up at Tittenhurst Park (John’s house in Ascot) for what turned out to be their last photo shoot together
From Hipsteria on Twitter: “The End of a Dream The Beatles’ final photo session, Tittenhurst Park, 22/08/1969 By Ethan Russell & Monte Fresco. https://t.co/xjKA0etAy4” / Twitter
From 1969: Tittenhurst (nemsworld.com)
From Hipsteria on Twitter: “The End of a Dream The Beatles’ final photo session, Tittenhurst Park, 22/08/1969 By Ethan Russell & Monte Fresco. https://t.co/xjKA0etAy4” / Twitter
From The Beatles: What If? | TIDAL Magazine
From Twitter – OTD 1969 #TheBeatles turned up at Tittenhurst Park (John’s house in Ascot) for what turned out to be their last photo shoot together

From Twitter – OTD 1969 #TheBeatles turned up at Tittenhurst Park (John’s house in Ascot) for what turned out to be their last photo shoot together
From 1969: Tittenhurst (nemsworld.com)
From The Beatles during their last photo session in Tittenhurst Park, 1969 : OldSchoolCool (reddit.com)
From Beatles Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, George Harrison et John Lennon, vers 1969. Référence # 1013 Fichier 103 THA © CCR /Le Hollywood Archive – Tous droits réservés Photo Stock – Alamy (alamyimages.fr)

Last updated on December 20, 2021

The Beatles Bible

If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.

Have a look at https://www.beatlesbible.com/1969/08/22/the-beatles-final-photo-session/

The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years

"With greatly expanded text, this is the most revealing and frank personal 30-year chronicle of the group ever written. Insider Barry Miles covers the Beatles story from childhood to the break-up of the group."

We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!

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