The Who. They were great, I loved these guys. For me they were like cute little ruffians. They made me think of Dickens, of Oliver Twist, Fagins gang. – Art Kane
Knowing that John Entwistle and Pete Townshend wore jackets made from flags, Kane decided to wrap them in a Union Jack: actually two, sewn together for the session. Initially they worked in his Carnegie Hall studio shooting on a seamless white background. Subsequently Kane took the group to Morningside Park, near to NYC’s Columbia University. Here he had them pose sleeping, against the base of the Karl Schurz monument.
He wanted to show them as both irreverent and lovable in a devilish kind of way. The photograph was a homage to a Cartier-Bresson photograph of a vagrant asleep in Trafalgar Square. An underexposure in overcast conditions produced deeply saturated colours, causing the flag to jump out from the dark background.
Pete Townshend always remembered the shoot – in the seventies he admonished another photographer who didn’t give them enough instruction: “When Art Kane took our picture, he told us, go there, do this, do that, be asleep, put your head on his shoulder…we like that kind of direction”