BEATLES’ LAST PHOTO SHOOT
Beatles’ last shooting took place on Friday, August 22, 1969 at John and Yoko’s home in Tittenhurst Park two days after their last recording session together. 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.
1969, The relationship between the Beatles members was already strained. Their final recording sessions were marred by rows, exchanges of cutting remarks, and even George Harrison’s temporary departure from the band. Nevertheless on August 22, 1969, just a couple of days after they did their very last recording session together for “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” all four Beatles went to John and Yoko’s then newly-bought property at Tittenhurst Park in Berkshire for what would be their last photo shoot together.
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.
Photos from this shooting was used on Hey Jude (original title: The Beatles Again) cover. It was a 1970 collection of non-album singles and B-sides by the Beatles.The glass above the door was covered with another image from the same shooting.
It was also the last occasion in which all four Beatles members were together for band duties; thereafter their only meetings were business-related.
It was a painful shooting. George later recalled the circumstances of the shoot: “They were filming us having a row. It never came to blows, but I thought, ‘What’s the point of this? I’m quite capable of being relatively happy on my own and I’m not able to be happy in this situation. I’m getting out of here.”