Stars in their Eyes: Icons of the British Music Scene

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Launch Slideshow

In our upcoming Made in Britain sale on 13 September in London, we feature a selection of portraits of the world’s greatest musicians. From the Beatles and Stones in the 1960s, through to Bowie and Elton John in the 1970s and the bittersweet Amy Winehouse from the 2000s, these portraits showcase how the photoshoots often catapulted the careers of both the legends and the photographers. Click through to see British music scene highlights from Made in Britain sale.

Made in Britain
13 September 2017 | London

Stars in their Eyes: Icons of the British Music Scene

  • Terry O’Neill, The Rolling Stones outside St. George’s Church in Hanover Square, London, 1964.
    Estimate £1,800–2,300.
    “Andrew Loog Oldman was the first to call me up and asked me if I would be able to take photos of this new band he was managing. He saw my photos of The Beatles and told me this band would be the next big thing. When I met them, I could tell that they were going to be different – mainly because they each had their own style going on. I wanted to take photos of them as a real working band – walking in Tin Pan Alley, carrying their suitcases to the gigs. That’s when this photo was taken, around 1964, in Soho, around Hanover Square.” – Terry O’Neill

  • Robert Freeman, John Lennon, 1964.
    Estimate £1,000–1,500.
    Robert Freeman is the photographer most closely associated with the Beatles. He designed eight of their album covers, two of John Lennon’s books, and the title sequence of their two films: A Hard Day’s Night and Help. This contact sheet of John Lennon was taken in 1964 during the sessions that produced the A Hard Day’s Night cover.

  • Chris Smith, Ali versus The Beatles, 1964.
    Estimate £5,000–7,000.
    In 1964 The Beatles visited Miami Beach to tape their final live appearance for Sullivan at the Deauville Hotel. At the same time, heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston and challenger Cassius Clay were preparing for a fight at Miami Beach's Convention Hall. Photographer Harry Benson arranged for the Beatles to meet Clay at his training gym – an unusual gathering, except that both The Beatles and Clay were regarded as rising stars of the moment. Clay led The Beatles out to the ring and they began playing around for the cameras. Chris Smith, one of the photographers there at the time, captured an early moment of a new history and its new heroes.

  • David Bailey, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, 1965.
    Estimate £7,000–9,000.
    Renowned British photographer David Bailey has worked for over half a century, photographing everyone from the Queen, to icons of fashion, music and art. With a stripped-down style, he reveals, “the pictures I take are simple and direct and about the person I’m photographing and not about me. I spend more time talking to the person than I do taking pictures.” This portrait of John Lennon and Paul McCartney evidences the surprising tension that he found between the two Beatles during their photoshoot.

  • Gered Mankowitz, Keith Richards, Wasted, 1966.
    Estimate £2,000–3,000.
    Gered Mankowitz was only 18 years old when he first photographed the Rolling Stones in 1965, and he quickly became their friend, travelling companion and official photographer, touring with them over the next three years. Here, Keith Richards is seen nodding-off, dressed in a stylish blue shirt and Hussar jacket, whilst the band was recording at the new Olympic Studios in Barnes. The Stones were among the first clients, recording six consecutive LPs there between 1966 and 1972.

  • Gered Mankowitz, Keith Richards and his Bentley, 1966. Estimate £2,000–3,000.
    As part of a series of at-home photos that Mankowitz shot of the whole band, he visited Keith Richards ’ recently purchased home Redlands in Sussex to shoot him leaning against his Bentley, named Blue Lena. The car was driven to Morocco the following year with Brian Jones and their girlfriends at the time as an impulsive decision by Richards before his impending court case for drug possession.

  • Terry O’Neill, Elton John Flying, 1972.
    Estimate £1,800–2,300.
    “When I first heard him on the radio, I thought he was American. Because of my early work with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, papers and magazines would often ask me who I thought was going to be the next big thing. I started to tell people about this guy I heard on the radio – so when I finally got the assignment to take photos – only then did I find out that Elton John was British!   I love working with Elton – he’s not only a great and generous man – but still one of the most talented musicians of all time.” – Terry O’Neill

  • Brian Duffy, Aladdin Sane, 1973.
    Estimate £10,000–15,000.
    For eight years, the photographer Brian Duffy worked with David Bowie, helping to shape and influence the musician’s changing personas. Bowie was drawn to create dramatic, fictionalised stage personas, and his sixth studio album marked the birth of the character Aladdin Sane . Bowie and Duffy had an instant rapport, and they collaborated with the make-up artist Pierre Laroche on the album cover, which is now one of the most recognisable images and has been referred to as the Mona Lisa of pop. Chris Duffy, the artist’s son, recalled in a recent interview that the famous red and blue lightning bolt which is painted across Bowie’s face was, in fact, inspired by the logo on a rice cooker in the studio kitchen.

  • Terry O’Neill, Amy Winehouse, 2008.
    Estimate £4,000–6,000.
    “I loved her voice – she was a real talent. I was asked to take photos for the event celebrating Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday in Hyde Park (London, June 27, 2008).  I only had a few minutes with her, and took only a few portraits before she was off.” – Terry O’Neill

  • Gered Mankowitz, Platinum Icons, 2006.
    Estimate £12,000–18,000.
    This beautiful portfolio of eight platinum prints of Mankowitz’s best shots include the iconic photoshoot with Jimi Hendrix . Hendrix was a bit of an enigma at the time, yet Mankowitz was able to portray something at once intimate yet glamorous. The photographer became closely associated with the guitarist, taking many of the shots which have gone on to define Hendrix in popular culture. Mankowitz says, “One of the things that struck me in hindsight is how lucky I was to work with him when he was still so happy. He was enjoying the attention so much, and it was fun. I think he was having a great time, he hadn't reached a point where he was exhausted or frustrated."

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