Discover the hidden treasures of Paul McCartney’s 1964 archives, depicting the Beatles in the spotlight of stardom.
In the thrilling epoch of 1964, The Beatles, Liverpool’s shining sons, were swept up in a whirlwind tour that spanned the UK, Paris, and the United States. The frenzy of performances, the crescendo of adulation, and the relentless pace of their soaring fame created a historic chapter in pop culture. Yet, amidst this chaotic symphony, a quieter story was being written through the lens of Paul McCartney’s 35mm Pentax SLR camera, one of the era’s new-wave, easy-to-use devices. Now, this once-buried treasure trove unfolds in a stunning book, 1964: Eyes of the Storm, and a correlated exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery.
Bijzonder boekproject via Penguin: ‘1964 – Eyes of the storm’. Paul McCartney legde de opkomst van The Beatles vast met een pas verworven Asahi Pentax spiegelreflex camera.
Er is een limited edition. Deze is gesigneerd, genummerd, exclusief. Wereldwijde oplage 175.
— Erik Hoekstra (@ErikInkoper) April 28, 2023
McCartney, an eager new photographer, developed a ritual of marking favorite shots with a cross – a trick he might have borrowed from professionals. These candid snapshots, though not photographic masterpieces, held an intimate, documentary-style record of their journey – four working-class lads from Liverpool, revelling in their newfound celebrity status. The frames captured the unfiltered joy, the enthralling freedom, and the electrifying excitement that embraced Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.
The camera bore witness to the band’s authentic spirit – the soul of the early Beatles. It was more than just their growing success and escalating adulation; it was the Beatles’ unrestrained enthusiasm for their budding identity and the adventure it entailed. One could feel their spirit in the sleeve notes of their album ‘Beatles for Sale’, a timeless embodiment of their music’s emotional resonance.
McCartney’s lens was a silent observer to their lives, capturing moments of spontaneous joy such as their exuberant reaction to ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ hitting Number One in the US. The Beatles’ transformation from the boys next door to global pop icons is captured in these rare glimpses into their private world – a world filled with laughter, dreams, and the thrill of their escalating fame.
From the quintessentially French streets of Paris, bustling with cafes and bars, to their name glowing on l’Olympia theatre’s marquee, McCartney’s camera was their faithful companion. The US, their music’s birthplace, was the ultimate destination, representing the ‘storm’ in the book’s title.Journeying to Miami, the Beatles discovered an exotic new landscape, and McCartney switched to Kodachrome film to capture its vibrancy. Whether it was George Harrison enjoying poolside drinks or ground crew miming a guitar, McCartney’s photos documented their exhilarating ascent to stardom.
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