Sunday, June 25, 2006

Beatles photo mystery solved

It seems the answer to Richard Woodd's Beatles magical mystery tour has been found.

The former Dominion journalist has for years wondered who took a picture of the band in Wellington during its 1964 New Zealand tour.

Saturday's edition of The Dominion Post featured the photo of the Fab Four, which spurred several people to put forward answers.

Former Dominion staff photographer Barry Durrant said the photo looked like the work of his mate Morris Hill, who was a photographer for the New Zealand Woman's Weekly and Auckland Star.

Mr Hill was known to have been close friends with a few of the band's promoters and was given an exclusive photo-shoot with the pop stars when they stayed at what was then Wellington's top hotel, the Hotel St George in Willis St. "When I saw the photo on Saturday morning I rang (photographer) Peter Bush and we both agreed it was one of Morrie's."

Mr Durrant said he covered the tour and admitted spending a bit of time hanging around outside the hotel, which was across the road from where he worked.

Mr Hill, who lived in Lower Hutt, died about two years ago.

Beatles fan Ray Battersby said the photo was one of a series taken at the hotel when the Fab Four visited Wellington.

A photo from the same shoot appeared on the front cover of the Women's Weekly at the time, and the mystery photo in question was printed in the magazine in the 1980s. He said the photo in Saturday's Dominion Post was a reversal of the original.

The school caps worn by Ringo, Paul and George are from Mount Albert Grammar School, Auckland, though it is not known why they were wearing them.


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