Paul McCartney’s Upcoming Book, Photo Exhibition Captures Cusp of Beatlemania

“Millions of eyes were suddenly upon us, creating a picture I will never forget for the rest of my life,” says Paul McCartney in his upcoming book, 1964: Eyes of the Storm, out June 13.

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The book, Paul McCartney Photographs 1963–64: Eyes of the Storm, which will coincide with McCartney’s upcoming exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, will feature a larger collection of photographs taken by the former Beatle on his 35mm camera, while the band had just reached mega-stardom.

Pulled from McCartney’s archives, the 336-page book features 275 images taken at the end of 1963 and the beginning of 1964 when Beatlemania exploded in the U.K.—and following The Beatles‘ first visit to the U.S.— along with his own recollections of each photo. Each snapshot was taken by McCartney while The Beatles were in six cities, including their hometown of Liverpool, along with London, Paris, Washington D.C., Miami, and New York.

An early selfie (Photo: Paul McCartney)

“Looking at these photos now, decades after they were taken, I find there’s a sort of innocence about them,” says McCartney in a statement. “Everything was new to us at this point. But I like to think I wouldn’t take them any differently today. They now bring back so many stories, a flood of special memories, which is one of the many reasons I love them all, and know that they will always fire my imagination.”

He continues, “The fact that these photographs have been taken by the National Portrait Gallery for their reopening after a lengthy renovation is humbling yet also astonishing—I’m looking forward to seeing them on the walls, 60 years on.”

Featuring a foreword by McCartney, the book also features a preface by Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery, along with an introduction by New Yorker essayist Jill Lepore and an essay by Rosie Broadley, senior curator at the National Portrait Gallery.

Opening on June 28, 10 days after McCartney’s 81st birthday, the exhibition will feature a more in-depth collection of his behind-the-scenes and intimate photographs documenting the time around Beatlemania.

“These never-before-seen images offer a uniquely personal perspective on what it was like to be a ‘Beatle’ at the start of ‘Beatlemania’ and adjusting from playing gigs on Liverpool stages to performing to 73 million Americans on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,'” reads a description of the exhibition. “At a time when so many camera lenses were on the band, it is Paul McCartney’s which tells the truest story of a band creating cultural history, in one of its most exciting chapters.”

McCartney is also getting ready to release the 50th-anniversary limited edition pressing of the Paul McCartney and Wings’ album Red Rose Speedway, which featured the band’s first No. 1 single in the U.S. “My Love.” The Wings album will be released on Record Store Day on April 22, which falls a little more than a week before its original on April 30, 1973.

Photos by Paul McCartney / Nasty Little Man

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