Magical mystery tour: Paul McCartney’s unseen photos to be published in new book

1964: Eyes of the Storm will bring together 275 forgotten snapshots of the Fab Four taken by Paul as they toured six cities, including their first ever visit to the US

Never-before-seen photographs taken by Paul McCartney recording the eruption of Beatlemania are to be published in a new book this summer.

The images record the months towards the end of 1963 and beginning of 1964 when Beatlemania gripped the UK and the band first visited the US, where they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, thereafter becoming some of the most famous people on the planet.

1964 by Paul McCartney.
1964: Eyes of the Storm by Paul McCartney. Photograph: Penguin Random House

1964: Eyes of the Storm, which will retail at £60 and is being published by Penguin Random House, will collect 275 of the photos from McCartney’s archive, with a foreword from the musician and reflections on the images.

The photographs will be split into six “city portfolios” covering Liverpool, London, Paris, New York, Washington, D.C. and Miami, and feature a number of never-before-seen portraits of John, George and Ringo.

A trailer for 1964: Eyes of the Storm - Photographs and Reflections by Paul McCartney.

In his comments, McCartney remembers the “pandemonium” of the time, and conveys his impressions of Britain and the US in 1964.

The cover image is a cropped version of a photograph McCartney took out of the back of a car on West 58th Street in New York, crossing the Avenue of the Americas. In the caption for the photo, McCartney says the “crowds chasing us in A Hard Day’s Night were based on moments like this”.

The book’s publication will be complemented by an exhibition of the photographs at the National Portrait Gallery in London, running from 28 June to 1 October.

McCartney said that “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.

“This was exactly my experience in seeing these photos, all taken over an intense three-month period of travel, culminating in February 1964,” he continued. “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.”

The book will also feature three essays; Beatleland, an Introduction by Harvard historian and New Yorker essayist Jill Lepore; a preface by Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery; and Another Lens, by National Portrait Gallery senior curator Rosie Broadley.

1964: Eyes of the Storm will be published on 13 June in the UK. It is also being published in the US, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

McCartney’s previous book, a two-volume collection of lyrics and archive material titled The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, was named Waterstones book of the year in 2021. Reviewing the book in the Guardian, Blake Morrison said: “Anyone with even half an interest in the Beatles will find The Lyrics fascinating.”

1964: Eyes of the Storm (Penguin Books, £60). To support The Guardian and Observer, order your copy at Delivery charges may apply.


Sarah Shaffi

The GuardianTramp

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