One of my favourite photographs in Gered Mankowitz’s 50 Years of Rock and Roll Photography exhibition comes from the Cloud Nine cover session that Gered shot with George Harrison in the mid eighties. Actually, I liked it so much that I put it on the front cover of our exhibition catalogue. The photograph is a variant of the cover image used on the single “Got My Mind Set on You” and shows George dressed in black with his guitar alongside, against a beautiful blue sky background dotted with fluffy white clouds.
Gered is so well known for photographing The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix that it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that he also photographed half The Beatles. (We also feature a Paul McCartney tryptich in the exhibition, so that ‘s two out of four Beatles covered.)
Gered has very fond memories of the shoot with George: “I had met George on several occasions but had never photographed him. Therefore I was delighted when the art director and my dear friend David Costa asked me to shoot the Cloud Nine cover. We shot in my studio in Hampstead and had decided that we would use several painted backgrounds of various cloudy skies, as well as a huge textured canvas. George arrived by himself without any entourage and was a wonderful and most patient subject, as I had decided to shoot on the rather slow and laborious large format camera. He regaled us with tremendous, funny and occasionally filthy Liverpool stories over lunch and involved himself with all aspects of the shoot. The heroic, ‘man in black’ portrait was influenced by one of the cowboy heroes from my childhood called Paladin!”
It is available to purchase in a range of sizes. In the exhibition we show it on 30 x 40 inch paper, and the detail is pin sharp in that very large format.
Full details on the exhibition are here.