efe-epaAmsterdam

Over 100 photographs showing behind-the-scenes and personal moments lived by The Beatles captured by one of their private photographers have gone on display in the Netherlands for what was possibly the last time before they go on sale.

British photographer Robert Whitaker's images had been kept safe by his son, Ben, and were also bought by his old friend Ivo de Lange, who now honors his memory with this exhibition.

"He had real access to The Beatles in a much more personal way than many of the other photographers at the time," Ben Whitaker told EFE in an interview at the "Unseen Beatles" exhibition at the 5&33 Gallery in Amsterdam.

"He really had access to them in their hotel rooms, backstage, it must have been very exciting for him," he added.

Whitaker said he thought his father would have liked to play with the Liverpudlian band.

"They'd start picking up instruments and just playing the instruments, and he wished he'd been able to play an instrument himself and join in sometimes," he said.

Indeed, Whitaker's photographer friends knew him affectionately as "the fifth Beatle" as he always went with them on trips, capturing every second of fame and behind the scenes moments.

"He had his camera, that was his instrument, so he took photos instead," said the photographer's son, adding that he never got to see his dad really take photos. "It really is a shame," he said.

"Although I didn't get to see him take photos at the time I know from the stories he told how passionate he was about it," he added.

De Lange was a friend and client of Whitaker, from whom during a stay in London he acquired a complete series of photos taken between 1964-66.

He told EFE most of the photos on display at the gallery had not been exhibited before: "Most of these photos have never been published or have been seen somewhere else."

He said half the collection was shown in the Finnish city of Kuopio some six years ago and had been slated to travel to the Japanese capital Tokyo, but the Fukushima disaster led to its cancellation there.

The 130 photographs of John, Paul, George and Ringo were up for sale and the exhibition would be the last chance for the public to see them.

De Lange, 69, said he no longer wanted to look after the photos and could use the money from their sale for a museum he owns.

The collector had not put prices on individual images as he hoped someone would buy the whole series.

Some 10 years ago, Whitaker estimated the collection was worth about 1.2 million euros ($1.3 million).

Whitaker met The Beatles during a visit to Australia in 1964. He was accompanying a journalist friend and decided to take some photos of the band, whose members were so impressed with the results that they asked him to move into their London studio to become one of the team.

His photographs show the famous musicians in their daily lives, posing and looking into the camera.

De Lange decided to exhibit his collection to coincide with the 55th anniversary of the first and only visit The Beatles made to Amsterdam.

The exhibition runs until Mar. 17 at the gallery belonging to Art'otel Amsterdam near the city's main train station.

"Because the collection is for sale, it might be the last chance to admire these pictures," information about the exhibit on the photographer's official website said.

By Imane Rachidi