Never-before-seen John Lennon photos now available for sale
by Adam Forrest, Beatles News Editor
Published November 20, 2013
New York-area photographer Rich Rosen has now made available for sale to the public, for the first time, prints of never-before-seen pictures of John Lennon and Yoko Ono taken at the Record Plant in New York City in 1973, the same studio where John recorded Imagine in 1971 and Double Fantasy in 1980.
This recording session was just before John left for L.A. with May Pang in October 1973, only four years after the Beatles broke up. John and Yoko were rehearsing for a TV appearance with Elephant's Memory. This day, John was producing, he did not perform.
An image from the photos of John Lennon by Rich Rosen
Mr. Rosen also recorded audio that night at the session, some of which can be heard on his official website. He said, "Sony had just come out with their first high-end portable cassette recorder which I hung from my belt. John asked me who made it. I said it was a Sony to which he replied, 'that's very Japanese of you.' He also thought recording audio while taking stills was a clever thing to do."
The images of Lennon at work are strikingly beautiful and show him as only an insider at the time would have seen him, offering fans a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into a very interesting time in John's life.
Remembering the night of the session, Mr. Rosen said, "You could cut the air with a knife. I don't think many people knew at the time that the famous couple's marriage was in turmoil. The tension was off the charts. It must have been very hard for them work together, which is reflected both in the pictures and on the audio."
"At first, I stayed back, sensing John was in no mood to be photographed for the billionth time. But later that night, when he saw me lying on the floor clicking away, I guess he realized how hard I was working and smiled. With just a look, I knew he had given me permission to enter his world no matter how dark at the time."
What were John and Yoko like? Mr. Rosen said, "I remember Yoko as being all business. Period. John had an amazing talent for prioritizing requests which were hitting him non-stop."
"One day I brought the pictures to show John, he said he'd take a look later on. Well, later on meant five hours later on. I had left the portfolio in one of the studios and later I heard, 'Let's have a look.' John's only comment was, 'Well, they're certainly different.' Then May or someone pulled him away to do the 104th next thing on his schedule."
As a special bonus, anyone who buys two or more prints of the photos from the session will get a CD with Mr. Rosen's entire unedited audio from that incredible night. It is over an hour in length and a true treasure for all Beatles and John Lennon lovers. All prints will be signed and numbered by the photographer, and will also include a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Mr. Rosen.
For more information, and to buy prints of these very special photos, visit unseenlennon.com.