Updated for the 49th Anniversary of the shoot.
On Sunday, 28 July 1968, in the midst of recording the The Beatles (aka the White Album), the band decided to spend what became known as A Mad Day Out being photographed at seemingly random locations in London. The Beatles were in need of new promo images and brought in veteran war photographer Don McCullin as primary cameraman, with additional photographers Ronald Fitzgibbon, Stephen Goldblatt and Tom Murray.
I was familiar with this infamous photographic play-date, as some of the images have been published over the years in various books and magazines. One was even used inside the gate-fold of the Beatles 1962–1966 (widely known as The Red Album) and Beatles 1967–1970 (widely known as The Blue Album), two best of collections that came out in 1973.
Flash back to about three years ago. I was contacted by photographer and teacher, Erika Gentry, who knew of my interest and knowledge of all things Beatles, as well as my business as a photographers agent. Erika arranged a meeting with Ken and Melanie Light of Fotovision, a non-profit documentary photography organization in Berkeley, California. They brought over stacks of xeroxes of proof sheets of the Beatles taken by Stephen Goldblatt in 1968. It was exciting looking over the pages of these Mad Day Out images, recognizing some and viewing alternates that I had never seen before.
Fotovision wanted to do some sort of book project and gallery show with the photographs to benefit their organization, so I gave them some feedback about what the project could be and who I thought the audience was. I then contacted Michael Rylander, a friend I knew, who not only was a huge music and Beatles’ fan, but also an exceptional art director and designer. Michael and I had several meetings, sifting through the images and editing them into what became the final series. Michael then proceeded to design the beautiful book along with a stunning clam shell casing which included a paisley linen interior lining.
The beautiful limited boxed edition of MAD DAY OUT, designed by Michael Rylander, was released in November of 2010. It seems like a perfect time to revisit this book once again, as we celebrate the Beatles’ 50th Anniversary. Their first record, Love Me Do was released on October 5, 1962.
THE ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE: COLLECTIBLE BEATLES BOOK OF NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN PHOTOGRAPHS
This is a very small boxed set edition of 250. Mad Day Out is a profound pictorial document of the Beatles taken during the summer of 1968, containing rare and unseen photographs accompanied by a full length commentary by world renowned cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt. A stylishly designed volume of 110 pages master printed by Ben Zlotkin of Edition One in Berkeley, California. Also included is a limited edition archival print of the Beatles made by Stephen Goldblatt that has never been published before. All books and prints are signed and numbered.
Hand bound and finished in white linen, the book is housed in a custom chocolate linen covered box, lined in paisley satin, with a hidden compartment to hold the print. Books are numbered 1 to 250 and signed for authentication by Stephen Goldblatt. This book and print was created by special agreement with Mr. Goldblatt as a fundraiser for Fotovision.
L to R: Michael Rylander, Stephen Goldblatt & Norman Maslov
Stephen Goldblatt was educated at London’s Royal College of Art and began his career as cameraman for documentaries and commercials. Goldblatt made the transition to feature films in the mid-1980s, quickly acquiring work with directors Tony Scott, Francis Coppola, and Richard Donner. In the 1990s, Goldblatt joined the Batman series with director Joel Schumacher and shot Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. He has earned two Academy Award nominations, one for Barbara Streisand’s The Prince of Tides (1991) and the other for Batman Forever (1995). His latest movie is The Help, based on the bestselling novel by Kathyrn Stockett. At the beginning of his career, Mr. Goldblatt was a music photographer who was hired to photograph The Beatles while they were recording The White Album in 1968. While several of those images have been published in Life and used in the album, the contact sheets laid in a drawer for decades while Mr. Goldblatt pursued film.