Mad Day Out
by Tom Murray

The series of photographs of The Beatles by Thomas Murray has become known as The Mad Day: Summer of '68

Seven years ago, Christie's appraised The Mad Day: Summer of '68 color negatives at $100,000 (US Dollars) each for 23 negatives totaling $2.3 Million.

The locations for the shoot were random as the group could not stay in one place for too long as the crowds of Beatles fans started to get out of hand.  The locations were: a pocket park in Highgate, a house at Swain's Lane, Old Street Station on the roof and a Georgian square by the Thames.

There was a homeless man sleeping on the park bench where the Hollyhocks shot was taken.  No one woke him up or even knew who he was.  Thomas often wonders if anyone ever told the man that he was photographed with The Beatles.

Paul McCartney almost fell off of the roof of the Old Street Station in London during the photo session.

John Lennon suddenly dropped to the ground in the middle of the shoot.  The other Beatles, looking concerned, hovered over him to make sure he was okay.  This wasn't staged…it was just John being John.

It was by pure coincidence that The Mad Day shoot happened.  Thomas was asked by war photographer Don McCullum to join him on a shoot of a pop group that he had never shot before.  Little did Thomas know that the pop group was none other than The Beatles.

Thomas was invited back to Paul McCartney's home after the shoot for tea.  At that time, Paul had four or five girls who regularly staked out the house.  When Paul's Mercedes pulled up to the house and he came out, they were all screaming…then the other Beatles came out of the car and the girls nearly fainted.

The Mad Day: Summer of '68 was a one-day shoot.

Thomas' favorite portrait subject was Elizabeth Montgomery…a super client and dear friend.

Thomas' favorite shoot location is in Death Valley, California, USA.  Thomas did a fashion shoot there in August of 1985 and he thinks of it as the most beautiful place he has ever photographed.

When Thomas returned from working in Africa, he wrote to the top four photographers in the United Kingdom and also to Lord Snowdon on the advice of a film and stage director that he had worked with in Africa.  Only Lord Snowdon answered.  He then went for an interview at Kensington Palace, he knew of two jobs; one at Vogue and one just available that day as Photographer for the Sunday Times Magazine, working with Snowdon, Eve Arnold and Helmut Newton.  Thomas then became apprentice to Lord Snowdon.

Tidbit from the Mad Day Out shoot
The Summer of 68
All photos copyright Tom Murray