Beatlemania through the eyes of Paul McCartney

The exhibition, at the National Portrait Gallery in London, presents a series of photographs taken by the same musician between November 1963 and February 1964.

Seen through the eyes of Paul McCartney, Beatlemania is the focus of an exhibition dedicated by the National Portrait Gallery in London to the images the British musician himself took with a Pentax camera in the early 1960s, when the Liverpool quartet became a global phenomenon. .

With this exhibition called Eyes of the Storm, the gallery also celebrates its reopening after an ambitious remodeling, considered the most important in its history.

McCartney took the photos, which he found in his archives in 2020 during the pandemic, between November 1963 and February 1964 while the quartet was on a world tour.

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The images capture many of the intimate moments of the other band members – John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr – and offer a unique look at the environment, personality and how the musicians realized the phenomenon that was growing around them.

It includes pictures of his fellow group members as well as his actor Brian Epstein in moments of focus, relaxation as well as joy.

Photo: AFP

These are unpublished photographs, never made on paper, and McCartney himself has dedicated his time to helping the gallery so that these Beatles moments can reach the general public.

The director of the National Portrait Gallery, Nicholas Cullinan, told EFE that this exhibition is “amazing because of course the Beatles are so famous, almost legendary,” but seeing “all these images that show for the first time what Beatlemania it was like” is extraordinary.

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The director described working with McCartney on this exhibition as “fantastic”, noting that McCartney had been entrusted with “such a wonderful archive” and was “generous with his time, putting in hours upon hours to share his memories behind each work. He really brought a very intimate experience. For what it was like to live it.”

Since the images are never transferred to paper because there are only negatives, a team of renowned photography professionals has worked to process the images.

The footage, mostly in black and white, was taken in Liverpool, London, Paris, New York, and Washington, D.C., as well as Miami – the latter in colour.

The sampler is divided into several rooms, each dedicated to the six cities the four visited at the Beatles’ most intense moment, while posters of screaming women in the US and newspaper clippings give an account of the musical success.

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In these photos you can see the other members of the band in relaxing moments, swimming in a swimming pool in Miami or when they travel, while you can also see photos of their interviews for American television.

“We were just wondering about the world, excited about all these little things that were making up our lives. We were fascinated by what we were doing and what was happening to us which is something I never lost. I never lost that sense of wonder,” McCartney writes on a wall in the gallery.

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In addition to the exhibition, a book was also published entitled “Eyes of the Storm”, published by the Liburuak Publishing House in Spain on the 13th, which contains a foreword written by Paul McCarty himself who says: ” Suddenly, millions of eyes were turning to us, creating an image that would not I will never forget her for the rest of my life.”

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Terry Alexander

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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