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Previously unseen Beatles images on show in London

February 16, 2022

A one-off exhibition that includes previously unseen photographs of The Beatles, shot by Tommy Hanley, is now on show in a window of The Hari hotel in Belgravia, London.

The exhibition showcases 48 images of the legendary rock group and their friends and collaborators by the renowned pop culture photographer, the late Tommy Hanley, and will run until 2 April 2022.

The window installation displays specially selected Beatles and Beatles-related exclusive photographs (including people such as keyboardist Billy Preston, Cilla Black and Harry Nilsson) that includes images produced from Hanley’s original negatives.

Part of the Tommy Hanley exhibition of The Beatles photographs in the window of The Hari hotel in London

Part of the Tommy Hanley exhibition of The Beatles photographs in the window of The Hari hotel, London

The candid photos of the world’s best known band and a selection of stars from the time were taken by Tommy Hanley over the course of his 30-year friendship with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

The images include Jimmy Nichol (who temporarily replaced Ringo Starr whilst he was in hospital) pictured with only bongos to drum, John and Yoko at Tittenhurst Park after The Beatles split up and the first image of the three remaining Beatles following the tragic death of John Lennon.

Yoko Ono Lennon kindly granted permission to include a number of Hanley’s iconic images of John Lennon from her private collection, notably the famous ‘Imagine’ images shot in 1971.

The window installation was organised by Art Vinyl – who have curated annual exhibitions to celebrate the best in record cover design for the past 16 years.

More of the Tommy Hanley images of The Beatles that are on show at The Hari hotel in London

The founder of Art Vinyl, Andrew Heeps, explained, ‘This is an amazing opportunity for us, diversifying from our usual record cover art exhibitions, to deliver our first ever photography installation – and what a talent we’ve had the chance to work with. Now looking at the multiple photographic artworks on each side of our giant installation, you can almost hear the soundtrack in one’s head, the immediate connection these familiar faces have made on our collective music history.’

‘With a Little Help from My Lens’ book

The installation is a prelude to the launch of Tommy Hanley’s limited edition book ‘With a Little Help from My Lens’ that documents his time spent with the ‘Fab Four’.

The cover of Tommy Hanley’s ‘With a Little Help from My Lens’ book

Tommy Hanley was a London born photographer who honed his craft on iconic music stars of the 1960s and 1970s. Jazz and rock greats, such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Marc Bolan and Tina Turner were all captured by his lens.

Hanley’s pictures captured music legends in candid photos that reflect his close relationship with the stars of the day – none more so than those he took of The Beatles, from their early humble beginnings to the tragic death of John Lennon.

The upcoming book ‘With a Little Help from My Lens’ is Tommy Hanley’s personal account of the time he spent with The Beatles. Originally written in 2009 it has been brought to life by his son, Tony Hanley. The 1,000 limited edition copies include over 100 of Tommy Hanley’s images, from the height of the group’s early fame in the early 60s to fascinating intimate images shot in the Apple Offices at the end of their career together.

Tony Hanley in front of The Beatles window installation shot by his late father Tommy Hanley

Tony Hanley in front of The Beatles window installation shot by his late father Tommy Hanley

Tony Hanley commented, ‘My late father, Tommy, originally penned this book well over 12 years ago. Sadly, his health slowly deteriorated to the point that he could no longer continue, so I made a promise to bring it to life one day. It is indeed a great moment to be able to share, just a small selection of his images which, using today’s digital technology, have been brought back to life and appear in all their glory in the book, as well as his fascinating and personal account of the friendship he enjoyed with The Beatles. Tommy’s images are clearly not ‘run of the mill’ and the selection of his work on display for the Art Vinyl exhibition, is a proud moment and a chance for everyone to enjoy his work featuring The Fab Four as well as many of the personalities that were also part of the 1960s scene.’

Mark Lewisohn, Beatles historian and author of ‘Tune In’, explains in the book’s foreword, ‘Hanley was another Londoner who had The Beatles’ confidence, as well as a first rate feel for releasing the shutter. Often the only photographer in the room, he enjoyed fine exclusives.’

‘With A Little Help From My Lens’ chronicles Tommy Hanley’s time working with The Beatles, right up to his experiences in the 1980s when he was appointed as an archivist by Apple Corps to assist in tracking down photographs and memorabilia for The Beatles’ ‘Anthology’ project.

You can discover more about the Tommy Hanley book on the Tommy Hanley Photography website.


Related articles:

Hard day’s shoot: lost Beatles images on display

Astonishing cache of unseen Beatles photos discovered after 50 years

Rare Beatles Abbey Road photos revealed

How the Abbey Road album cover was shot

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