As a photojournalist for the Daily Mirror of London for 22 years, the Scottish-born Maitland captured the images of European history in the making. Some snapshots:
Maitland covered the Queen¹s cousin, Princess Alexandria, during her trip to the Far East in the early l960s. It was the first time a member of the Royal family had been there since the l890s.
In Belgium, he covered the trial of a distraught family accused of murdering their deformed child, a Thalidomide baby. Maitland snapped a photo of the accused covering their eyes in the courtroom, as a Swiss doctor showed pictures of young Thalidomide victims on a large screen. Maitland’s shot was picked up by the French newspapers.That was a very emotional trial, Maitland said, and created controversy world-wide. Many in the world said that the mother had had every right to kill her monster child.
Maitland was assigned to former Prime Minister Winston Chuchill’s funeral. Perched on a window ledge in the famous Lyons Coffee House overlooking the Strand, he waited for the procession to make its way from Trafalgar Square. Accross the street, a large photo of Chuchill’s head hung in a store window just above the packed curbside-crowd. He took his shot as the casket passed in front of Churchill¹s picture. You could just see his head peering over the crowd, said Maitland, and it was just as if he was watching his own funeral.
Maitland toured the set during the filming of the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night. His relationship with Beatles publicist eventually turned into a friendship with fallen Beatle John Lennon. Maitland retained the rights to two of his pictures of Lennon. In one black and white photo from l974, a barefoot Lennon lounges yoga-like an his L.A. sofa. It was a month after Yoko Ono had thrown Lennon out, and a day after he made world headlines by being drunk and making a scene in a Hollywood club. He was ejected on to the sidewalk and the paparazzi sent his picture world – wide.
That next day, John was very humble and had given no access to any media except myself. This was his bottom – out and probably his spiritual awakening, relates Maitland. He got sober and not long after reunited with Yoko, back in New York. Yoko liked the picture herself and included it in her movie-bio of John entitled Imagine. Maitland received screen credit at the time. Maitland had an epiphany after a visit with his wife Lucie to his native Scotland. He returned with a desire to paint. He picked up a brush and started painting the highlands of Scotland on the closest thing he could find to a canvas – 3-by-5-foot chunk of plasterboard. I thought, well, this is insane, this is crazy, painting on drywall said Lucie. Lo and Behold, there was this beautiful painting. The only problem was, we could hardly lift it, let alone hang it!
The couple moved to Ashland, Oregon where every week-end Maitland’s art and photography can be seen at the Lithia Artisans Market.