"Trying to remember events of more than fifty years ago is a challenge but some things are crystal clear in my memory. My first memory of The Beatles is one of the latter and remains absolutely unforgettable" Tommy Hanley 2020 (pictured left).

Who was Tommy Hanley?

Tommy was a London born photographer, who first met The Beatles in late September back in ‘63, when he took the famed iconic ‘4 ties” image (above). He went on to photograph many, many, well-known musical artists over his long career, but was always returned to the  inner circle of The Beatles, right up to being the first to take a group photo of the three remaining Beatles in 95, following the tragic murder of John Lennon.

Tommy’s Story

As a young seventeen year old starting out to fulfil his dream of being a photographer, Tommy Hanley never anticipated that the road ahead would be filled with great musical icons. In his twenties he travelled around Britain as a staff photographer for John Bull magazine, which became the widely read Today publication. He quickly discovered that “there’s no show businesslike show business”

Tommy was with The Beatles right at the beginning of their meteoric rise to fame and became good friends with the members of the most famous band in the world. Tom worked closely with them in the 1960’s and 1970’s and as you will see from many of his photos was often present when the band were ‘off duty’ behind closed doors. He was with them when they wrote some of the songs that are so well known to us all and even sat with three of the band as they planned a break away group towards the end of their career. ‘With a Little Help from My Lens’ tells the story of his time with the ‘Fab Four’ in his own words.

He wasn’t dazzled by their success or fame and famously decided not to get on the plane with them for their first trip to the United States in spite of pleading from John and Cynthia Lennon. Above all he was a photographer who wanted to travel the world and photograph other interesting people and places although he spent three spells over a 30-year period with John, Paul, George and Ringo he also photographed many of the musical greats of the time from The Rolling Stones to Aretha Franklin.

His book is a fascinating insight into life in the inner circle of the Beatles and is illustrated with over 300 candid images carefully selected from his archive by his son, Tony Hanley.

This very special publication is limited to a numbered limited edition 1000 copies only, that are not on sale anywhere other than here

Labour of Love - Tony's Story

I am Tony Hanley, Tommy’s only son. I’m guilty for nagging my Dad into writing his story about his time with The Beatles, which he eventually completed in 2015. Sadly, soon after, his health took a wrong turn, and this project gathered dust for a few more years. I confess that in 2019, when I promised Tommy that I would bring his work to fruition, that I genuinely didn’t have a clue as to what I was letting myself in for. Its been a journey to say the least. Numerous stops and starts, motorways and cul de sacs. I have met some super people on the way. I can also confess that my real day job is a solar system away from book creation and production, so there will be no sequel, this is it.
The pandemic was the window of opportunity to embark on creating a special legacy to his fascinating story and his incredible photographic work. Massive thanks are due to super talented book designer, Emily Benton. who connected me to the finest quality printers on the planet Albe de Coker, and Mr Toby Hartwell  who besides kept pushing me on, met Tom many times to record interviews at length, just before Tom passed away in 2021.
I was blown away and also genuinely thank the highly respected professionals that kindly submitted preface and foreword contributions, Jill Furmanovsky, David Sinclair, Mark Lewisohn, and Chris O’Dell.
The early bird testimonials are all incredibly positive. Its satisfying to know that the effort and investment to make this happen has brought joy and pleasure seeing his images, and reading his story from behind the lens. Thank you for all of the feedback.
As an individual that always avoided the limelight, I think my dad, Tommy, would be both taken aback and proud to have seen his own words and images brought together so beautifully in this book.
Tony Hanley. Aug 23

Read All about it

The website is run by a massive team of one, thats Tony Hanley, the late Tommy Hanley’s son. Its taken over two years to get this far, and there is shed loads of content to share, so keep coming back, I am sure you wont be disappointed!

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