Ian Wright is ready for his close-up

Rare photos of The Beatles, Stones, Hendrix to be auctioned
By Peter Lindblad

Mick Jagger and a soda bottle, photographed before
a performance in which he was struck above the eye
by a filed-down coin. The image appeared on
page 1 of The Northern Echo with the
headline "Blood from a Stone."
He was only a teenager, riding his bike from assignment to assignment in northeast England in all kinds of weather. Lugging his heavy camera equipment to and fro, young Ian Wright found himself in the middle of a cultural and social sea change.

Working as a dark room boy at a newspaper in the early '60s, Wright eventually was entrusted with the task of photographing a pop music scene that was suddenly exploding, his candid, expressive photos of stars like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, the Dave Clark Five, The Animals and The Kinks appearing in a supplement to The Northern Echo newspaper called "The Teenage Special."

And then there were the American acts, such as Johnny Cash, Gene Pitney, Roy Orbison, that brought their exciting brand of music over to Britain. Wright's lens captured them all, including a then-unknown Jimi Hendrix. When England was swept up in the Swinging '60s, Wright got as close to the action as anyone, and he would later rejoin the famed editor of The Northern Echo, Sir Harold Evans, at The Sunday Times in London, working all over the world, including the U.S.

Wright's book "On the Brink of Fame" includes a treasure trove of images from those thrilling days of yore, along with the fascinating stories behind each and every one of them. His work also appears at The National Portrait Gallery collection in London, with some included in the present exhibition "Beatles to Bowie," and will also be exhibited at The Morrison Hotel Gallery later this year in New York.

Soon, you'll have a chance to own your own piece of the Swinging '60s, as Wright is preparing to auction off some of his most beloved photos of The Beatles, The Rollings Stones, Hendrix and other greats through Backstage Auctions. In this interview, Wright talks about the sale and shares tales from a time when revolution was in the air.

Why did you decide to auction these photos off now?
Ian Wright: I do books now myself, and I’m going through this procedure, and I thought at 70 I might as well start a new life. And I’ve played around with this stamp collection for long enough, and I’ve got as much out of it as I possibly can. So that is the reason behind putting these things in with Jacques, to see what we could do, to see if we could get anything from them, because in the publishing industry, the same is happening as far as anybody now wanting to buy your material at a reasonable price to reproduce. And secondly, there isn’t enough coming in enough numbers to be represented by a gallery, and so I thought it’s time for me to move on. I’ve had them for 50 years. It’s about time I got something for them, get rid of them, get some cash in and then invest that into the publishing side. So that’s the reason behind it, no other reason for it. It’s just we thought we might take the money and do something with it in the autumn of our years. 

What do you hope the people who buy them get out of them?
IW: The one vehicle that should be marketed for some of this material is that if they have that material, then they own it. They have the rights to it. It gives them a hands-on something, particularly with the collectors. Secondly, of course, with that material, the other people that are going to be interested are going to be things like the Hendrix estate, and also the possibility that news agencies like Getty Images and people like that are always on the lookout to hoover up material.

Take me back to when you began. What got you into photography?
IW: It started in 1959. And the draw line is the Duke of Edinburgh brought in an awards scheme for youngsters to give them sort of a head start in various areas, such as keep fit and having a hobby, but they didn’t want you to have a hobby, because you got marks for each area that you were involved in. You had to do first aid, keep fit and hobbies of another kind, which I can't remember what that was … but you couldn’t have a hobby which was just like stamp collecting. It had to be a bit more than just model airplanes. And so, once again, what happened was, they led young people through the age of 14 into the three stages of this to go for two or three years was a bronze, silver and gold. So bronze obviously was for the youngest, and I was in for that. And consequently, they put all of these things through school. 

Now in those days in England, the Duke of Edinburgh Award was something that was a very prestigious thing to be involved in, and as well in those days, school teachers who had an interest in whatever it was always would put their name in a hat to say how they could help people who were looking to take on a hobby that needed some form of training. So we had a teacher in my school in the northeast of England ... and Arthur Soakell put in his name and said, “Well, I’d be prepared to teach photography.” And I thought, “Well, that sounds good. That sounds good. My dad’s got a camera.” Well, he did. It was a Box Brownie. And he said I could use it. So I stick my hand up and say, “Well, what do you want?” So for months and months, I was under the tutelage of my old school teacher, and twice a week I’d go around to his house, and his wife was there and his daughter was there, and he would get them to shift all the casserole dishes off the kitchen table, and then he’d put developing dishes dishes up on there, and then he’d teach the junior how to load a spool and put the film in with his eyes closed – things like that. And he taught me all the basics, the fundamentals of it all, and that’s basically my first interest in photography. 

Going on from there, I started building portfolios of pictures which he would look at and then critique them. But what I didn’t know was that his next door neighbor was a chap called Teddy Page. And Teddy Page was the chief photographer of the local paper The Northern Echo. And he showed these photographs to Teddy Page. Teddy Page said, “Well, the Duke is coming in June.” And he said, “I’m going to get your lad – because he’s the only one, your lad – I’m going to get him to go with the rank of press photographers and get him accreditation so that he can carry on doing his part for his medal, the Duke of Edinburgh Award, so that he can go and learn from the professionals." And so, like Keith Richards, whose first gig was singing in the choir at Westminster Abby at the Queen’s coronation, my first gig was by royal appointment because I had to go and photograph the Duke of Edinburgh when he came to the town to find out how his awards scheme was progressing. And then what happened was, we developed all these pictures – on the sofa, in his darkroom, in the kitchen, in the toilet, whatever, you know, putting towels under the bottom of the door so everything was light tight – and then they saw my photographs the next day. They took them to the editor of the paper, and the editor says, “Well, we’re expanding. We’re getting a new editor next year, and your lad leaves next year. Get him to apply for the job as the darkroom boy.” So I did, and I went the same day as Sir Harold Evans went to his editorship. We went for interviews on the same day. After our respective interviews, he became the editor and I became the darkroom boy that washed the floors, made the tea and do what they do as doormen.

Who was the first pop celebrity you ever photographed?
IW: Ella Fitzgerald. That was the first one, because what happened – I assume you know who Sir Harold Evans is … so Harry, in his week or month there, he found that I was upstairs in the darkroom. He wanted to begin his first-ever supplement. He eventually was the founder of Conde Nast travel magazine when he was the president and publisher of Random House. But the first supplement he did ... because he was a visionary, a modernist and he was only 33 and I was 15, and he was into The Beatles. He was into the Stones. He was into all this by ’62. He knew. He called it “The Revolution of the Last Century.” He wrote it, he chronicled it, and I photographed it and sent it across the world. And he made this little supplement. 

It was a broadsheet page, four pages, fold-over, every Monday, and by the beginning of ’63, on every Monday, it put 30,000 extra copies on the circulation. It was that good. It was that good. And it was called “The Teenage Special.” Because all the other photographers had all come through the war and had come through the ‘50s, they had no idea who these up-and-coming artists were. They knew who Ella Fitzgerald was, naturally, but these were the people coming over from Vegas, playing the nightclubs in the northeast. I didn’t really know who Ella Fitzgerald was, and Billy Epstein and people like that, but they came over from Vegas and played there. But the emerging Beat groups started or were formed about January or February of 1962, when The Beatles came back from Hamburg. And I was the one in the office that was the youngest of them all, and I was the only one that knew who these up-and-coming people were. And so, Harry asked me if I could do the photographs. The chief photographer agreed, with certain restrictions that I wouldn’t get time off, I wouldn’t get any overtime and I wouldn’t get any expenses, so I rode my bicycle to all of these events, all of these things that were just starting to happen. And that’s when I photographed The Beatles. They were on the bottom of the bill of “The Helen Shapiro Variety Show” in February 1963.

How many times did you photograph The Beatles?
IW: I photographed all four tours in 1963. First of all, Harry’s wife, his first wife – of course he’s married to Tina Brown now – his first wife, Enid, who’s passed away, she went out and bought a record player and bought all The Beatles records, and Harry used to jive around to them in the office. He even took me to see what he called “The Revolution.” He actually went and took me to one of these “Beatlemania” concerts, with 50,000 people in Hyde Street. And then I’d gotten to know them, of course, because I’d done them a favor with the picture of mine in the lift, "On the Way Up." That’s what set it all off really ... and Harry really got into this; he got into the groove. I got him backstage, and he met The Beatles, and he was jiving around. He was just a bit nervous, you know, because he had his university scarf on ... and I took him backstage and I introduced him to the boys. And then George Harrison came up and said, “Hey, that scarf is a little bit grotty.” And Evans had no idea what he was meaning, because “grotty” was a Liverpool expression for the word “grotesque.” So when Harry was given this, it was like being touched by the hand of God. Everything in the office was grotty – “I don’t like that headline. It’s grotty.” “I don’t like that intro. It’s grotty.” “I don’t like those shoes. They’re grotty.” And he just drove every bugger mad for about six months, but he captured what was in front of him, what he could see the other side of. He could see the political side of the change, he could see the social change and the music was what was driving all these changes.

Are there any unusual or funny little stories you can tell from your days of hanging out with The Beatles?
IW: Well, basically when I started, I was only 15 and I was on my bike, and I had a big plate camera. In those days, naturally, I would just leave my bicycle in the stage door. And the doorman would say, “I’ll look after your bike. Off you go. You know where everybody is.” And I had free range backstage, because in those days, there were no backstage passes. They didn’t exist … So that was the first thing. I had carte blanche to go backstage and photograph whoever I wanted. Nobody was there to stop me. And usually, I was the only one, because no other newspaper at the beginning had a magazine like that. 

When we started, it was the end of October or November in 1962, and we started covering what was called the U.K.-U.S. beat tour, and they would send over American stars. It could be Buddy Holly. It could be Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent. And then they promoted the bill with a lot of up-and-coming beat groups, which The Beatles were one of. And then you had The Shadows and the Telstars and Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers, and all these people – 10 acts on each bill, with an American headliner. So I photographed all that lot. And then, of course, I got to know The Beatles, and I did this one photograph of them, because I heard this sound coming from the stage and I was completely awed by it. And it was at this variety show on a blizzard of a night on Feb. 9, 1963, and I can still hear it today. I just heard this mouth organ and “a one, two, a one, two, three, four.” And I was just riveted. I mean I’d never anything like it before in my life. And I went out front, and I think I was using the plate, I only had 12 plates. I took one of them live on stage … What was that first song they had? “Love Me Do” was No. 47 on the charts. And that was it. 

You could tell just by watching them perform on stage how they got the audience going, clapping their hands over their heads. You could hear the first screams from the young girls from the front row. And McCartney, who was never one to be shy about taking the limelight, he was cupping his hands around his ear and bending down and would wave at them to get them to scream more. And Ringo’s in the back. He’s like a Rolls Royce engine was Ringo. I mean this guy was born to drum. I mean he was the guy who was driving them on. He literally was like a wrecking ball was Ringo, but he was the sweetheart of the group. I would be backstage between the shows, two shows every night, and when they started to get popular only a few weeks after, because “Please Please Me” came out by the end of March of that year, and then it started, all of the stuff – the screaming started, all this mayhem, 50,000 people in a town that only had 30,000 inhabitants. You know, 30,000 people … More than the people who lived in the town were out in the streets.

And they would throw all this stuff on the stage, and the charladies, between the concerts, while one crowd was going out and the next audience was coming in, would sweep up all of the presents when they were gone. Usually, they were things like autograph books, but occasionally, people would throw a shoe, things like that. But the majority of things were teddy bears, toys, dolls. And when the charladies had collected it all up, they were all in bins … you know, dust bins. And they would bring them all up into the dressing room, and they’d all pile in and sign the autograph books, ‘cause the next day the doorman would get their books and then he’d charge them a couple of shillings to get their books back all signed by The Beatles and all the other people on the show. But Ringo would just sit there very quietly and he’d just pick out all the little dolls and all the cuddly little bears and this, that and the other, and he’d put them all in a lovely pile in a chair and he’d go to George Skelton, one of the managers of the (The Globe Theatre, Stockton-on-Tees), and say to George, “Just make sure you send them all around for the children’s hospitals in the morning, would you?” You had to be there. You just can’t make these things up. You had to be there to see it.

What was your favorite photo you ever took of The Beatles?

Taken in 1964 at the Futurist
Theatre in Scarborough, England,
on the eve of The Beatles'
"Eye of the Hurricane" U.S. tour.
IW: I think the early ones, of course, are very, very scarce, because there weren’t many photographers taking them. There’s great value in the first two that I’ve just explained. But my favorite portrait of them was the one of them in the window ... there’s one of them in a window of a theatre, and in the background, you can see the crowd and you can see the Futurist Theatre background, and I kind of got to know them. They nicknamed me “Wrighty,” that’s where I got my nickname from. John Lennon nicknamed me “Wrighty” after I took the picture in the lift. And about 18 months later, they were there in the theatre, and John said, “Hey Wrighty,” he said, “Have you got a passport?” And I said, “No, I don’t.” And he said, “Oh, you’re out of luck. We’re going to America next week. You could have come with us.” And then he said to the rest of the lads, “Hey, let’s just go next door and do a picture for Wrighty,” before the Futurist Theatre. And they walked into this other room where those windows are. None of the other photographers were allowed in, and I got that one picture, and that was so encouraging to a young lad that had seen them on the bike about 18 months before. Now there’s 50,000 people on the street looking up at the theatre. There’s 150 photographers, journalists – radio, television – and suddenly the kid on his bike wasn’t a kid anymore. So I think that has to go down as one of the nicest portraits I’ve ever seen or ever done, and then they left a few days later for the “Eye of the Hurricane” tour, which they just celebrated here yesterday – 50 years yesterday, that The Beatles performed in Las Vegas on that tour that they invited me to go on. And I think that picture is definitely in that auction, too. There’s a lot of anecdotes I’ve written as captions to with them. 

What do you remember about your first encounter with The Rolling Stones?
IW: Well, the first one, I met them was the first time they ever played outside of London in one of these middle annexed towns, because Mick Jagger had an agreement with the group that to if he was going to stay with them, he had to honor a grant that was being given to him by the Conservative government, that was issued by the Prime Minister and Home Secretary, that he had been awarded a grant for extra education. I mean, the guy was brilliant in whatever he did. If he’d become the CEO of British Telecom or whatever, he’d still be there. He was that good. The guy was bilingual in French, Latin, Greek … it was just unbelievable. But what this grant afforded him was the fact that he had a place in the London School of Economics, and he was so determined that he wasn’t going to let his parents down or the government that was giving him this grant, that he told the Stones that he had to go through those doors at 9 o’clock every weekday. They agreed to do that. He went to the London School of Economics. 

Of course, that played out very well later on in life, because when they had Allen Klein, after he bankrupted The Beatles, Allen Klein just about bankrupted the Stones. And then all of a sudden, Jagger stepped in with Count Loewenstein, or whatever his name is … he just died, this guy from Lichtenstein. And the two of them got their heads together and they became the financial wizards behind Rolling Stones, Inc., and when they got Warhol to do the red tongue, the Rolling Stones’ logo. And it was because of that intervention and Jagger’s expertise in learning at the London School of Economics, that’s what got them financially set forever more on end. And that’s how I got to meet with them the first time, as they came out of their cocoon of London, they came up to the northeast of England. And the one I got to know probably the best of all the people I know that are in my book is Mick Jagger. And that’s because we were both hooked and completely besotted by the English game of cricket. Yeah, yeah, yeah. When we first met, we talked about cricket. When we met on previous occasions, we talked about cricket. I bumped into him once at [an airport], where we were getting on the same flight from Paris back to London, and we sat back and started talking about cricket on the plane. And that’s how it all came about. And then when I was living in France, I wasn’t living very far away from where what he calls his main world residence, in the Loire Valley in Saumur. He’s got one of those chateaus on the river Loire. And we had a cricket team in France, all ex-pats. And when he moved there, he became president of the Saumur Cricket Club, and I saw him in France playing cricket. 

So, all the way through, there’s been this connection, and I haven’t seen him for a while, but a few years ago, we were both members of a cricket charity called the Lords Taverners. And a few years ago, they were doing an auction of prints of mine to raise money for a charity, and it’s a patronage with members of the Royal Family, etc. It’s a very well-respected club, a lot of celebrities, authors … people like that who indulge in it. Anyway, Jagger had agreed to open it for me, but neither of us gt there. It was the time when the volcano erupted in Iceland, and he was in his home in Guadalupe in the West Indies, and I was here. And neither of us got there. It was a bit of a shame ... So it was just one of those … but that was something [different], because none of The Beatles were interested in any kind of sport or anything like that. But in the years that have gone past there’s been one or two of us that have come out into the cricketing … Tim Rice is a big cricket supporter. Eric Clapton is, as well. Bill Wyman was a lunatic on cricket. So often, that’s a very good connection going from this kid on a bike still pertains today, that relationship … yeah.

What would you say is something interesting about the Stones or individual members of the Stones that the public doesn’t know about, maybe about them as people or a story?
IW: Well, gosh, I thought I’d given you about 10, hadn’t I? (laughs) I mean, people don’t realize that Keith Richards sang at the Queen’s coronation in 1953. So there’s one. And then I met Jagger when I was 17, and in ’64. That’s when I took that picture of him holding the Coke bottle (taken at the Globe Theatre at Stockton on Tees, England), and he was telling me that he had promised his father that if they hadn’t made it and weren’t earning money in any way, shape or form earning money, then he said he, after six months, was going to give up. And I said, “What you were going to do?” And he said, “I know what I was going to be. I was going to go into your game.” I said, “Be a photographer?” He said, “No, be a journalist.” I said, “Really? What were you going to do?” Oh, he said, “I had it all worked out. I was going to be a bilingual economist/journalist working for the Financial Times, working at the stock exchance, etc., in England, and at the bourse in Paris.” And I said, “Oh, yeah? Really? Good.” That’s just how he was. He was so intelligent, it was beyond belief. Nobody . He passed every exam going in every category ... he would go with his brothers, his mother and father, because they lived in Kent, where you could get across the channel pretty quickly on the ferry to France, and they would go on camping holidays. And he was 12, was Jagger, and he acted as the family interpreter.

What do you remember about watching them as performers compared to The Beatles?
IW: Well, they didn’t have that … because their music was rhythm and blues, as opposed to The Beatles, which used quite a number of things. But their songs were really all up-tempo, even though a lot of them they covered from people like Chuck Berry or Buddy Holly and made them their own. And they were much more dynamic ... I think both of them had the same professionalism, and they certainly enjoyed what they were doing every time they walked on stage. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. You never got anything but their level best. But as for the Stones, they had to try and find a way to present themselves, whereas The Beatles had … the Stones didn’t have someone with the charisma, the style or the vision of Brian Epstein to put his guys in suits. The Stones were all sort of a motley “rag-tag and bobtails group,” which then led to the long hair and they got a bad press reputation really, basically because they didn’t have anyone do what Epstein had been with The Beatles.

What is your favorite shot of The Rolling Stones or Mick Jagger even?
IW: Well, there’s only one that stands out for me, and that’s the one taken after the portrait of Jagger holding the bottle. It was the night that some people were throwing filed-down coins. That was just the lunacy of the Teddy boys. And they had filed down these coins and they were just throwing them at the stage in the hopes of cutting someone up and taking their eye out. And I was down in the orchestra pit. I was watching this before this happened, and a banner? flew over my head and crashed into Charlie Watts’ part of the stage where his drums were. Jagger was adept at ducking flying stiletto heels, but he didn’t duck because he couldn’t see the coin coming and the coin came and split him, it split him above his right eye. And blood just came cascading down in a second all over his face – all down on his shirt, on his trousers and dripping on the floor, and I got a picture of him being taken in with a white hanker chief out and he held it up to his eye to stem the flow of the blood. And I got the shot and went straight back to the office with it. And Harry said, “That’s page 1.” And I left it. I left the picture with him, and then I come for it – I think he had to go for a swift pint before he went home – and I went over and I got the paper the next morning. There was Jagger standing … there he was on page 1 of the paper, the Northern Echo, and all it said was, “Blood from a Stone.” So not only is that a rare photograph. It’s also the best headline anybody ever wrote for one of my photographs.

Another big star you met and photographed was Jimi Hendrix. How did you come to shoot him and what was he like?
IW: He was very nice. He was very shy, a tall chap, very skinny, buck teeth, very sure of himself, as all the Americans were, whether it was Tommy Roe, Bobby Vee, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash – all the Americans had all this charisma about them and the way they conducted themselves. Jimi was
Famed photographer Ian Wright was
on assignment in Darlington, England, when
he met Jimi Hendrix. This photo is
regarded as the very first posed,
non-concert photo of Hendrix in the U.K.
immaculate in everything that he did, and I got a call from Chas Chandler, who I’d known from The Animals, because he came from the same part of the world as me, and of course Chas had been the bass player for Eric Burdon and The Animals. And he remembered me on my bike, and, as you might be aware, he found Jimi at CafĂ© Wha? in the Village, in Greenwich Village … and they had recorded “Hey Joe,” and they started the tour in my part of the world. 

And Chas called me up and invited me ‘round to a rhythm and blues club in a pub, and he said, “I’ve just come back from America with this chap.” He said, “Nobody’s heard of him. His name is Jimi Hendrix.” I even wrote the name down incorrectly. I’d written it as “icks,” not “ix.” So that’s how famous he was. And Chas says, “Can you come around and take a couple of pictures?” He said, “He’s going to be big. He’s going to be big.” I said, “Oh, I know how this goes.” But I went around and took two photographs. They’re in the sale. They’re the first professional portraits, as far as we know. They pre-date the Gered Mankowitz studio pictures, because “Hey Joe” wasn’t in the charts, but the recollection I have was Chas was making the rounds at sound check, and he introduced me. He was very polite and Chas asked me what I thought, and I said, “I thought he was a very nice fellow.” He had Noel Redding on bass guitar and Mitch Mitchell on the drums, and you can tell it’s very early because Mitch Mitchell hasn’t got an afro yet. 

So they get everything plugged in, they start and I thought this is like the orchestra’s always out of tune when they’re tuning up before a recital. Well, they started playing all this stuff out of tune and out of key, and I thought, “Well, they’re just tuning up.” Apparently, that was the bloody music – just terrible. Anyway, within a few seconds of this, they’re blowing the fuses in the amps. That was the first thing that went wrong. You could see smoke coming out the back. Anyway, this sort of club president, he said they knew that was going to happen and they just kept going, and then all the bloody fuses blew in the whole place, in the pub. It was done. Everything was in total darkness, so I was off. I never saw him again.

That was the only time you saw him?
IW: Yeah, I think I was only there 20 minutes. Why would I do anymore? I didn’t know he was going to be famous. This was 1966. We had no idea. In the back of my book, there are pages of photographs … who are they? We don’t know. You can’t identify them, because they weren’t on the bill. A lot of them died too young. A lot of them fell by the wayside. And so consequently, by the time this happened, I’d gotten pretty wise to all this by then. I’d become a bit of an old salt by then, I knew the deal. But I wasn’t going to let Chas down. They’d been good to me, the Animals. Every time they came up, I’d always had to photograph them before “House of the Rising Sun” became a hit.   
Were you aware of the other ones by Gerard Mankowitz that were said to be the first?
IW: Well, I don’t think anybody could say they were the first because the clothes that Jimi’s wearing in the photographs I took were all dated, and they were exactly … he had on exactly the same Carnaby Street uniform as he’s got in Gerard Mankowitz’s studio, which was probably about a month later. So it was just fortuitous that I knew Chas and he had the sense to call me up. In fact when the photograph was published, there was a reporter there and there was a critique in there – she didn’t see the show either, because it was over almost before they went on. She wrote two paragraphs in “The Teenage Special” and my photograph went in of Jimi Hendrix and it was the size of a thumbnail.

When did you realize that Jimi was a huge star?
IW: Well, it wasn’t long after that. I think either Spencer Davis or Denny Laine of the Moody Blues had been telling me something about being on a recording for the British television “Top of the Pops” show. And he’d been on there, and they were raving about him. They were raving about him. They’d never heard anything like it, and apparently, I didn’t know Eric Clapton at all, but he said a big influence was Jimi Hendrix. He just thought the sun shown out of every part of his orifices.

Out of everyone you’ve shot, who was your favorite out of these three or any other stars you photographed?

IW: Well, I don’t know, but for facial expressions, Jagger’s face is pretty, pretty unique. I mean, that aura that we were talking about earlier, I think it comes through in portraits I’ve taken of him … but for me, photographing people, I never had problems with any of them. Never did I have any problems at all. But for me, the nicest and one of the greatest solo singers of all-time, a guy who would bend over backwards when you were with him … that was Roy Orbison. And on the ladies side, the nicest person, with the best voice ever in the whole of the ‘60s, was definitely one of the nicest persons on the female side ... one of the nicest people of any genre which sticks out in my mind is No. 1 Roy Orbison and then Dusty Springfield. But from what we’ve got (in the sale), the biggest character, of course, was Lennon, and he was the charismatic leader of The Beatles. When I did my picture of them in the lift, if I had to talk to them, it was him that thought about it. It was him that told them, “Get in the lift.” And then it was Lennon who then placed himself front and center square under the counter in the middle of the picture. He was totally in charge of The Beatles in early ’63, but as far as my favorite portrait goes, I think it was the picture of Jagger. He had a marvelous face, wonderful features.

The 2014 Rock and Pop Auction goes live on September 27th. 

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