My Time With the Beatles By Henry Grossman
Best known for his classic contributions to publications such as Time and LIFE, revered photographer Henry Grossman has captured everyone from Oscar-winning actresses Elizabeth Taylor, Meryl Streep and Barbara Streisand, seven Presidents including John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon to rock ‘n’ roll legends Jimi Hendrix, Rod Stewart and the Grateful Dead.
However, most are unaware of Grossman's long 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 tucked away, awaiting rediscovery. Now, for the first time ever, over 1,000 of these images – most of which have never been published or even seen – are finally being made available in Places I Remember: My Time With the Beatles, published in a limited quantity of 1,200 numbered copies, the first 250 signed by the photographer Henry Grossman. The collection is unprecedented in its scope and intimacy.
Working closely with the photographer, editors Kevin Ryan and Brian Kehew, who published the book through their company Curvebender Publishing, spent over four years culling the best images from this incredible archive and distilling them into one remarkable volume. Weighing in 13 pounds, 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.
“The Beatles experience is such a positive and powerful part of so many lives,” says Kehew. “People enjoy more than just their music and long for more detail, new information, more intimate connections to their lives. Grossman captured not just the Beatles but the world they lived in allowing the viewer the whole scene, the subject’s own view, the situation they were in and what it felt like to be there. It’s a unique approach, very different than anything we have ever seen.”
“Any one of these unpublished sessions turning up would normally be a great find,” adds Ryan, “so it was even more incredible that this many wonderful photos had gone unseen. This is not just another book of Beatles photos. This is among the most significant collection of Beatles images in existence, both artistically and historically.”
Grossman's relationship with The Beatles began in early 1964 when he photographed them during their iconic first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. By 1965 he had become a trusted friend and companion, traveling with the group 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. 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.
“This new book is the best of my many Beatles photographs,” says Grossman. I’m happy to share some of my favorite work and thoughts on those scenes. These are souvenirs of places I remember and some very memorable friends.”
Henry Grossman was born in New York City to renowned etcher Elias Grossman who had been commissioned to do portraits of Gandhi, Einstein, Mussolini, Paul Robeson and others.
Grossman studied photography at the Metropolitan Vocational High School. While at Brandeis University on a four-year Theater Arts scholarship, he photographed guest speakers Eleanor Roosevelt, Marc Chagall, David Ben-Gurion, e.e. cummings, Robert Graves, John F. Kennedy (on the day he announced his run for the presidency), Adlai Stevenson and Henry Kissinger, among others.
While still in his twenties, he went on to shoot numerous assignments and covers for Life Magazine, the New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Paris-Match and others. His subjects ran the gamut from prominent political figures to painters, sculptors and writers and, especially performing artists.
Grossman shot the Beatles extensively between 1964 and 1968. Despite a background in classical music and portraiture, Henry, only a few years older than the Beatles themselves, developed an immediate rapport with the group. In addition to covering their initial appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and the movie locations of Help, Henry enjoyed unprecedented access and was invited into the Beatles' homes to photograph them informally with their friends and families.
Unknown to many of Henry's subjects and colleagues was the fact he was an actor and Wagnerian tenor. After attending Brandeis he later studied with Lee Strasberg where his classmates included Dustin Hoffman and Elliot Gould. Henry went on to perform at the Metropolitan Opera as a principal tenor and on Broadway for a run of more than 1,000 performances in Grand Hotel.