Paul McCartney and family on holiday in Malibu

Second-half of March 1971

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I met Linda Eastman in a New York photo lab, getting some films developed, and we got to be friendly over lunch. Then one day, I read that she’d married Paul McCartney. I was like, ‘Wow, go figure!’

A year later, I got a call from her and she said, ‘Henry, we’re out in Malibu, and we need some pictures for the RAM album’. So I went out and spent the afternoon sitting around the swimming pool, eating lunch, with the little girls Heather and Mary.

As I was taking pictures, Paul was sitting in a deck chair, plucking on his ukulele. I saw Heather and Mary hold hands and jump into the pool together. Without stopping, Paul started singing, ‘Two little sisters jumping in the pool’. It was a beautiful little melody and I thought, oh my God, there’s a Beatles song that only I will ever hear.

Towards the end of the day, Linda told me, ‘We need a nice portrait of the two of us’, so we went over, brought some flowers and took the pictures. Then she said, ‘We need these first thing in the morning because we want to send one to Life magazine’.

Life magazine was the Holy Grail for photographers, so of course I got there early. This was 1971, before scanning and emailing, so the lady from Life magazine was there, in the living room. She looked through the pictures on a slide board, picked one, put it in her purse, went to the airport and flew to New York with it. And that was the cover.”

Henry Diltz – From Henry Diltz: Rock’s ‘accidental photographer’ wins lifetime achievement prize – BBC News
Photography by Henry Diltz – From Henry Diltz: Rock’s ‘accidental photographer’ wins lifetime achievement prize – BBC News
From Interview with Life Magazine • Apr 16, 1971

Last updated on October 15, 2023

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