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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Whitaker’

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.

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