David Hurn reveals the story and the process behind an iconic image of The Beatles’ Ringo Starr
In 1964 The Beatles starred in the feature film A Hard Day’s Night. Blurring the lines between the reality of their pop-star status and fiction, the film follows several days in the life of the group as they navigate television appearances and record label executives. Coming at the height of ‘Beatlemania’ the screaming fans depicted in the film were mirrored by the hoards of fanatic young girls that would await the band at all of their public appearances. David Hurn, following a tradition of Magnum photographers working on film sets, took this photograph of fans eyeing Ringo Starr on the moving train, where the film was primarily shot.
The Behind the Image series uncovers the untold stories that lie behind some of the most-well known images by Magnum photographers. Here, we speak to Magnum photographer and judge of the 2017 LensCulture and Magnum Photography Awards David Hurn to discuss the sequence of events that led to the surreal moment, and what might have happened had he not taken that shot.
What is happening in this photograph?
The photograph was shot in 1964 during the making of the film A Hard Days Night, a film staring The Beatles. Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey, MBE), is sitting in the carriage of an old-fashioned train. Fans have invaded the train and are looking through the outside window.