Rest in Peace, Famed Photographer Fiona Adams, Responsible for One of the Most Iconic Beatles Photos Ever Taken



Rock Cellar Magazine

Fiona Adams, a photographer responsible for some of the most iconic photos taken of The Beatles over the years, has passed away at the age of 84.

The Guardian reported her passing with a detailed obituary, pointing out that it was Adams who shot an action photo of youthful Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison as they leapt in the air for a photo that would later land on the cover of the group’s first EP, Twist and Shout.

The band’s leap off a brick wall on Euston Road would go one to be one of the most iconic photos of the Beatles. In its obituary, the Guardian told the story of that fateful afternoon in April 1963:

As instructed, the four positioned themselves a little behind the edge of the crater. Then, at Fiona’s command, they jumped as high as they could.

“I didn’t even think to check whether it was safe or not,” the photographer told her friend Lynne Ashton, who recorded her vivid memories of the sharp end of swinging London. “I struggled down into the crater with my heavy camera case. There was a pile of fallen bricks and detritus at the bottom. The boys did their bit and stood patiently – beautifully silhouetted against the sky and the buildings. I set up my camera and shouted: “One, two, three – jump!” And they jumped – twice. Cuban heels and all.”

In a reflection shared on the late photographer’s official website, Fiona Adams offered up more details surrounding that afternoon, and how the Beatles “readily agreed” to her concept:

As far as I remember, we all managed to pile into one taxi; the four Beatles, myself and Maureen O’Grady of Boyfriend, – plus the camera gear! I climbed down the rubble into a bombed-out cellar, open to the sky, and had a wonderful session with the Beatles lined up on the wall above who couldn’t have been more co-operative.

In addition to her Beatles photography, Fiona Adams was known for portraits of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and many more legends.

May she rest in peace.

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