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Posts Tagged ‘Gerry & The Pacemakers’

Died On This Date (September 20, 2012) Robert Whitaker / British Photographer Who Took Beatles “Butcher” Image

Posted by themusicsover on September 20, 2011

Robert Whitaker
1939 – September 20, 2011

Robert Whitaker was a celebrated British photographer whose shots of the Beatles are some of the most iconic images in pop music history.  Whitaker’s career in photography can be traced back to the late ’50s when he was attending college  in Melbourne, Australia.  It was while freelancing in 1964 that he had a chance meeting with Beatles manager, Brian Epstein while the band was in the midst of an Australian tour.  That lead to numerous photo sessions with the band over the next few years, including one on March 25, 1966 where Whitaker captured the infamous image that shows John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Paul McCartney wearing white lab coats and covered with baby doll parts, raw meat, and false teeth.  The photo was selected for the band’s Yesterday and Today cover as seen below, but Capitol records quickly recalled it, but only after several thousand got it.  The cover was changed making original copies of the “Butcher” cover extremely valuable to this day.  Away from the Beatles, Whitaker photographed the likes of Gerry & The Pacemakers, the Seekers, Mick Jagger, and Cream who used his photos of band members within the collage of their Disraeli Gears album cover.  Robert Whitaker continued to work in photography throughout the rest of his life, at times as a photojournalist for TIME and Life magazines.  He was 71 when he passed away on September 20, 2011.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus and Scott Miller for the assist.

What You Should Own

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Died On This Date (August 27, 1967) Brian Epstein / Managed The Beatles

Posted by themusicsover on August 27, 2010

Brian Epstein
September 19, 1934 – August 27, 1967

Although he also managed among others, Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas and Gerry & the Pacemakers, Brian Epstein is best remembered as manager of the Beatles.  Many give him credit for the early success of the band.  Epstein first met the Beatles after the Cavern Club show on November 9, 1961.  By late January of 1962, Epstein was officially the band’s manager.  He helped facilitate many of the band’s earliest successes, but by January of 1966, the Beatles decided not to renew their contract which was due to expire the following year.  Epstein was notoriously addicted to drugs, and on August 27, 1967, he died of what was ruled and accidental overdose.  He was 32 years old.  In later years, Paul McCartney claimed that “if anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian.”  And John Lennon once said that Eptstein’s death was the beginning of the end of the Beatles.

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Died On This Date (February 1, 1986) Dick James / Established The Beatles’ Publishing Company

Posted by themusicsover on February 1, 2010

Dick James (Born Reginald Vapnick)
December 12, 1920 – February 1, 1986

George Martin, Dick James, Brian Epstein

L-R: George Martin, Dick James, Brian Epstein

Dick James was a London-born aspiring singer and musician who eventually owned his own record label and publishing company.  Partnering with John Lennon and Paul McCartney in 1963,  James formed Northern Songs to publish Lennon and McCartney’s music.  George Harrison and Ringo Starr were signed on for a shot period as well.  Gerry & the Pacemakers and Billy J. Kramer were also published by Northern Songs during the ’60s.  In 1968, James sold the publishing company without offering the Beatles a chance to purchase their own catalog.  This apparently drove a deep wedge between James and the group since they never again owned the rights to their own songs.  During the ’70s, James established DJM Records, where he released the first recordings of Elton John and Bernie Taupin.  Dick James was 65 when he died of a heart attack on February 1, 1986.

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