PLACES I REMEMBER: My Time WithThe Beatles, by Henry Grossman
***All copies of Places I Remember have been sold. Please see Kaleidoscope Eyes for more of Henry Grossman's photos of the Beatles.
Curvebender is proud to announce the release of Places I Remember: My Time With The Beatles, by photographer Henry Grossman. Best known for his classic contributions to publications such as Time and LIFE, few are aware of Grossman's long and fruitful relationship with the Beatles during the 1960s. For over four decades, the vast majority of his Beatles archive (which tops a staggering 6,000 photographs) has been hidden away, awaiting rediscovery. Now, for the first time ever, over 1,000 of these images — most of which have never been published — are finally being made available in Places I Remember. The collection is unprecedented in its scope and intimacy.
"The Beatles allowed just a few select photographers greater access than most," says renowned Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, "and no one was ever closer than Henry Grossman… He captured them in one exclusive session after another." Grossman's relationship with the group began in early 1964 when he photographed them during their iconic first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. By 1965, however, he had become a trusted friend and companion, traveling with The Beatles to The Bahamas and Austria during the production of Help! Over the next three years, he would photograph them time and again behind closed doors, capturing a rare insider's view of The Beatles' world. "They were accustomed to seeing me with a camera, documenting everything that went on around me," Henry explains. "It was simply part of me, part of who I was. More than that, I had become a friend… I was first a friend and second a photographer… So when I pulled out my camera, no one thought twice about it. No one cared. It wasn't seen as invasive." From private moments at home with their loved ones, to late-night parties and recording sessions, Grossman took more photos of The Beatles — over a longer period of time — than any other photographer. Amazingly, only a handful of the more than 6,000 images he took of the group has ever been published — until now.
The existence of such a substantial trove of never-seen images is one of the most unexpected and significant Beatles discoveries in many years. The book's editors, Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan, first became aware of Grossman's unseen archive in 2006 while finishing work on their first book, Recording The Beatles. "When we were researching that book," explains Kehew, "we had learned that Henry had taken some incredible pictures of the Beatles in the recording studio for LIFE magazine back in 1967. We arranged to feature two unpublished images from that session in our book, and they were obvious highlights." However, Kehew and Ryan were not yet aware that Grossman's archive extended far beyond that particular photo session. "We went to visit Henry at his home after Recording The Beatles came out," explains Ryan, "and we casually asked if he had taken any other photos of the group. He disappeared for a moment and returned with a massive pile of contact-sheets, literally thousands and thousands of photos that no one knew existed. We were stunned. It was almost unfathomable that so many images could have gone unpublished for so long." Adds Kehew, "The photos showed things we had never seen, and they were more beautiful and higher quality than virtually any other photos taken of them. Thousands of the world's greatest Beatles photographs had been sitting unseen for over forty years in a New York closet."
A collaboration between Grossman and Curvebender soon followed, resulting first in Kaleidoscope Eyes, a limited-edition book documenting an entire evening at Abbey Road Studios while the group recorded Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The long-term goal, however, was a definitive overview of Grossman's Beatles photos, and it was no small task. Working closely with the photographer, Ryan and Kehew spent over four years culling the best images from this incredible archive and distilling them into one remarkable volume. Weighing in at 528 pages and featuring over 1,000 black and white and color images, Places I Remember is a landmark in the world of Beatles photography. The images are presented chronologically, and the accompanying text by Grossman clarifies and explains events along the way. The result is an engaging first-hand account of a journey into the Beatles' world at the height of their fame.
"Mostly unseen all these years, Grossman's archive is artfully and intelligently revealed in this book," says Mark Lewisohn, "and so we have, for the first time, unarguably the premier Beatles photo collection. It's a thrill to see and a feast to learn from — pure unmistakeable layers of how it was."