“I will tell you my first and my last memories of The Beatles.” said Jean-Marie, when I spoke to him a couple of days ago.
“The first was in 1963. I had just met them at Brian Epstein’s office. I didn’t speak English very well and their accents were hard for me to understand – but I had heard their music and I wanted to find a way that they would remember me. And so I took them into the studio, where I gave each of them a cigarette and a lighter. Then I asked my assistant to shut down all the lights in the studio. It was total darkness. I told them: “Light your cigarettes please !” I quickly made the pictures, like 45 seconds. Clic clac, thank you Kodak. “Let’s put the light back on.” Then I shook their hands and said: “Goodbye guys and thank you.” Well, they did remember me, and that’s why I was able to work with them from time to time over the coming years.”
“The last was four years later, in 1967. Brian Epstein had hired me to shoot some record sleeves. It all happened in February during the recording of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I had to build a photo studio inside the Abbey Road studio building, in a room next to their recording studio. I stayded there for one week. They needed group pictures of the four, so I had to wait a long time since it seemed there was always one of them hanging around somewhere – talking to the angels!”