LONDON (CelebrityAccess) – In 2020, respected musician and cultural icon Paul McCartney rediscovered nearly a thousand photos in his archive taken on a 35mm camera by … the man himself.
The photos record the months of December 1963 to February 1964 when Beatlemania became a “thing” and captures the band’s first visit to the USA when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. In addition, the photos capture George Harrison’s 21st birthday. Elsewhere in the treasure trove of history is documentation of their shows in New York, Liverpool, Paris, and more.
The photographs are set to exhibit at London’s National Portrait Gallery in June under the title, Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm. According to National Portrait Gallery Director, Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, McCartney came up with the idea for the exhibit immediately after finding the photos in 2020.
“He said he’d found these photographs that he remembers taking but thought had been lost,” Cullinan said. “We sat down with him and began going through them. It was extraordinary to see these images – which are unseen – of such a well-documented, famous, and important cultural moment.
“They’re taken by someone who was really, as the exhibition title alludes, in the eye of the storm looking outside at what was happening,” he continued. The show will run from June 2023 through October 2023.
In addition, McCartney has unveiled plans for a new book, featuring 275 of those photographs in June – the month he celebrates his 81st birthday. The book titled, 1964: Eyes of the Storm is set to be published on June 13 by Liveright.
The book will include a foreword by McCartney and include several never-before-seen portraits of John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. The book introduction is by Harvard historian and New Yorker essayist Jill Lepore and features a preface by Nicholas Cullinan and Another Lens, an essay by Senior Curator Rosie Broadley.
“Anyone who rediscovers a personal relic or family treasure is instantly flooded with memories and emotions, which then trigger associations buried in the haze of time,” McCartney wrote in press materials. He added:
It was a wonderful sensation to be plunged right back. Here was my own record of our first huge trip, a photographic journal of The Beatles in six cities, beginning in Liverpool and London, followed by Paris (where John and I had been ordinary hitchhikers three years before), and then what we regarded as the big time, our first visit as a group to America.
Watch a trailer for the book below.