Paul McCartney Remembers Beatles Photographer Robert Freeman


The man behind covers for ‘Help!’, ‘Rubber Soul’ and more has died aged 82Robert Freeman, the photographer behind some of The Beatles‘ most famous album covers, has died aged 82.

Paul McCartney remembered Robert Freeman as “imaginative and a true original thinker” in a tribute to the late photographer who shot some of the Beatles’ most memorable album covers. (rolling stone)

Freeman’s photos of the Beatles ended up the covers of albums like With the BeatlesRubber SoulHelp! and Beatles for Sale. In his tribute, McCartney recalled the shoot for With the Beatles, which he noted always had the aesthetic of “a carefully arranged studio shot” considering the way the band is so meticulously lit.

“In fact it was taken quite quickly by Robert in the corridor of a hotel we were staying in where natural light came from the windows at the end of the corridor,” McCartney remembered. “I think it took no more than half an hour to accomplish.”

His work included the photos featured on the covers of classic LPs like the band’s second album ‘With The Beatles’, ‘Beatles For Sale’, ‘Help!’ and ‘Rubber Soul’.

He also worked on the ending sequences of the first two Beatles films, A Hard Day’s Night and Help!.

Paul McCartney paid tribute to Freeman via a post on his blog, describing Freeman as a “wonderful man” and “one of our favourite photographers who came up with some of our most iconic album covers.”

He said:

Dear Robert Freeman has passed away. He was one of our favourite photographers during the Beatles years who came up with some of our most iconic album covers. Besides being a great professional he was imaginative and a true original thinker. People often think that the cover shot for  Meet The Beatles of our foreheads in half shadow was a carefully arranged studio shot. In fact it was taken quite quickly by Robert in the corridor of a hotel we were staying in where natural light came from the windows at the end of the corridor. I think it took no more than half an hour to accomplish.

Bob also took the Rubber Soul cover; his normal practice was to use a slide projector and project the photos he’d taken onto a piece of white cardboard which was exactly album sized, thus giving us an accurate idea of how the finished product would look. During his viewing session the card which had been propped up on a small table fell backwards giving the photograph a ‘stretched’ look. Instead of simply putting the card upright again we became excited at the idea of this new version of his photograph. He assured us that it was possible to print it this way and because the album was titled Rubber Soul we felt that the image fitted perfectly.

I will miss this wonderful man but will always cherish the fond memories I have of him.

Thanks Bob.


McCartney also recalled how Freeman accidentally created the stretched effect on the Rubber Soul cover. To give the band a sense of what their covers would look like, Freeman regularly projected photos onto a piece of cardboard cut into the size of an LP sleeve. During the viewing session for the Rubber Soul photos, the picture fell backwards a bit in the slide projector, altering its dimensions.

See Paul McCartney Perform ‘Helter Skelter’ With Steven Tyler in Las Vegas. Beatles legend and Aerosmith singer team for “White Album” classic

“We have a special guest for you: Mr. Steven Tyler,” McCartney told the T-Mobile Arena crowd during the encore as the Aerosmith singer came onstage armed with his scarf-covered microphone stand. The singers then launched into “Helter Skelter,” with the two Rock Hall legends deftly switching off lines. McCartney and Tyler also improvised an outro that saw the pair bouncing off each other vocally.

Beatlemania was alive and well in Las Vegas Friday night (June 28) at Paul McCartney’s second show in Sin City on his Freshen Up Tour, and another famous rocker sang back-up on one of his biggest hits.

Steven Tyler — who’s back in Vegas for his Deuces Are Wild residency with Aerosmith — spent his night off enjoying the music of Macca. Before he hopped onstage to belt out “Helter Skelter” with McCartney, Tyler broadcast his joy to his followers through his Instagram account as he sang along with the chorus of “Hey Jude” from backstage.


Ahead of the Beatles icon taking to the stage, those in attendance reported a big commotion after McCartney’s former bandmate and pal Ringo was seen at the venue. Many were said to be snapping images of stickman Starr as they waited for the show to begin.

An Instagram post from McCartney’s fashion designer daughter Stella also showed her with Macca, Starr, Wood, and actor Emma Thompson. “Kick ass tonight dad,” she captioned the photo.

Tyler – previously who performed a Beatles medley during McCartney’s Kennedy Center Honors celebration in 2010 – also documented the performance as well as his backstage experience at the McCartney concert on his Instagram:


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