Thursday, August 9, 2012

The story behind the horned rimmed glasses photo

I love having this blog.   I cannot express in words the joy it brings me each and every day.   And the biggest reason why I get filled with joy is because of the wonderful and amazing people that write to me and help me in my quest to fill in the blanks in the history of the Beatles.    

As you will recall a few days ago, I posted a photo of The Beatles surrounded by one guy and two girls in which John was wearing his Buddy Holly style glasses.   From there I got two comments in the comment section saying, "Hey!  That girl sitting on John's knee is my mom."   

Well then the guy who took the photo, Graham Berry emailed me with the back story of the photo.   And (Ken Wood are you there?) after re-reading the story and looking at the Beatles on DVD website, I figured out that the photo was taken on June 23, 1963, which is pretty cool since that performance on 'Thank your Lucky Stars' is lost.  Mystery solved!  

So here is what Graham had to say about this photo:
The Beatles with Tony, Perry and Corrine.  Photo by Graham Berry

It was early 1963 and the Fab Four had just had their first hit. Back then we were quite good mates because my mate Tony had been recruited by Brian Epstein from the Liverpool Echo to be their first press officer (which he was for most of their subsequent career, despite the Derek Taylor legend) – we’d go to the pub near EMI with them after they’d recorded their first Radio Luxembourg appearances. But Tony reckons I took this one at a recording of Thank Your Lucky Stars in the canteen of ITV’s Birmingham Studios. Naturally when you’re just about to take a shot of four lads who’ll shortly be, did you but know it, the most famous group in the history of the planet, all you have is a crappy old plastic Brownie, but they accepted with good grace when I sat them down, and my then wife Perry plonked herself on John’s knee, while Tony’s wife Corinne sat rather more demurely by Paul’s side. Strange how the picture seems to reflect the pecking order, but, as Tony says, the informality is clear in John’s Buddy Holly glasses – by then he’d been instructed to always remove them for photos. Ironically, it’s one of only a couple of times that Tony ever posed with them in all their time together. Perry and I divorced in 1970 and broke off contact for 35 years, until I got in touch with her again via a semi-official UK government detective agency, and the first thing she sent me was this photo. I reckon it was just after John punched out Bob Wooler. Perry professed to be disgusted and disappointed, but in the event she just gave him a playful tap with her fist as she sat down and said: “Wanna fight?” He looked suitably abashed. Actually it was a pretty good line when you think about it. Why didn’t I get one with me in it? Maybe I just knew they wouldn’t last . . .

And Perry had to say this:
 It was taken on a Sunday in1963, probably in June, in the canteen of ITV’s Birmingham studios. Tony and Corinne, Graham and I had traveled up to watch the recording of Thank Your Lucky Stars on which “Tony’s Group” were appearing. Graham was Tony’s best mate and I was then married to Graham, so were often together, and were part of a little group which sometimes included the Beatles. Tony was their Publicist. I remember we traveled the truncated M1 in Tony’s new Mini and it took ages, but we were incredibly impressed that Tony had a car, and it never
occurred to us how tiny it was for the four of us. In the corridor walking in, we met Paul who gave me a hug (we’d met a few times before) and I remember talking about our up-coming joint birth date
(18th June) me 20 he 21. and said we’d meet up later. We watched the recording – Sandie Shaw and The Searchers were also on the bill, then we went to the canteen ( a bit of a greasy spoon)

John had been in some kind of skirmish and I remember giving him a bit of a punch on the shoulder and saying something like ‘put  em up then’ before saying lets have a photo. Graham had an ancient camera and did the deed. We were so matter of fact then, so un- starry, just  young people socialising. Ringo was telling us how  he’d just discovered Bobby Dylan’s music and we all joined in enthusiastically. I kept the photo when Graham and I divorced , but lost all track of it for years, only finding it again when we got back in touch.  I never used to mention the old sixties days, but it was part of a wonderful period of my life. Tony and Corinne are still dear friends and we meet from time to time . Graham and Suzie and Peter  and I are in e mail and skype contact still. We’re in our seventies now, John has gone, George has gone, Ringo and Paul are still looking


  1. Yes, great story and great to have a date too!
    There is a slight contradiction here as you might have noticed: Graham refers to the incident on Paul`s birthday party (June 18, making the news on June 21) - this would fit with the June 23 date. However Perry recalls talking to Paul about their upcoming birtdays - suggesting the photo was taken before June 18. I guess it is Perry who misremembered here.

  2. JUST posted this picture!!! That didn't take long at all!!

    This blog is something else, I'm telling ya!

  3. Agreed! Totally amazed by the fact that obviously a number of people that had direct or semi-direct relations to the Beatles are not only following this blog but also seem to do it almost daily. Comments like "this is my mother sitting on John`s knee" just make my day! It doesn`t get much better!