Never-before-seen photos of the Beatles from 1964: NPR

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“The crowd that pursues us in A hard day’s Night were based on moments like this,” McCartney writes. “Gone out of the back of our car on West Fifty-Eighth, crossing Americas Avenue.

Paul McCartney/1964: Eyes of the Storm


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Paul McCartney/1964: Eyes of the Storm


“The crowd that pursues us in A hard day’s Night were based on moments like this,” McCartney writes. “Gone out of the back of our car on West Fifty-Eighth, crossing Americas Avenue.

Paul McCartney/1964: Eyes of the Storm

When the Beatles embarked on the tour that helped launch the British Invasion in 1964, Paul McCartney had a 35mm camera on hand to help document the historic mayhem. Now, more than half a century later, McCartney’s never-before-seen photos from that tour are getting the treatment of a coffee table book – as well as an exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery.

The two collections will be titled 1964: Eyes of the Storm, the two are due out in June and will compile 275 photos taken during the band’s tour of Liverpool, London, Paris, New York, DC and Miami. McCartney himself wrote the foreword to the book, along with notes reflecting the photos he took – which include portraits of his bandmates John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

John Lennon and George Harrison, photographed in Paris in 1964.

Paul McCartney/1964: Eyes of the Storm


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Paul McCartney/1964: Eyes of the Storm


John Lennon and George Harrison, photographed in Paris in 1964.

Paul McCartney/1964: Eyes of the Storm

The archive’s title alludes to the massive attention the band received, as Beatlemania took hold – as McCartney asks in his foreword, “How can you call it (but) pandemonium? ” – and the four musicians experienced an upheaval that changed their lives. The three never-before-seen photos on this page not only capture this heartbreaking change, but also moments of quiet contemplation.

Self-portrait of Paul McCartney, taken in a mirror in Paris in 1964.

Paul McCartney/1964: Eyes of the Storm


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Paul McCartney/1964: Eyes of the Storm

“Anyone who rediscovers a personal relic or family treasure is instantly flooded with memories and emotions, which then trigger associations buried in the mist of time,” McCartney writes in 1964: Eyes of the Storm. “That was exactly my experience seeing these photos, all taken during an intense three month period of travel, culminating in February 1964. It was a wonderful feeling to be immersed right away. Here is my own recording of our first big trip, a photographic diary of the Beatles in six cities, starting with Liverpool and London, followed by Paris (where John and I had been ordinary hitchhikers three years before), then what we considered the big moment, our first group visit to America.”

The book 1964: Eyes of the Storm releases June 13. McCartney’s photos will be part of an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London from June 28 to October 1.

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