For the next six months, Londoners will have the opportunity to view some rare and intimate photos of the Beatles from their pre-Ringo Cavern Club days. The photographs of John, Paul, George and Pete were taken by Paul's brother Mike just after the band's return from their historic gig in Hamburg, Germany. Mike McCartney recalls:
"They had bought these wonderful leather suits out there, all new and shiny, and they looked absolutely amazing. The best thing about that picture was the instructions I gave them. I told them to look at the light bulb so they would look cool. But only John and Paul did, so you've got two looking one way and the others somewhere else .
"When I was about 14, I taught myself photography in the back bedroom. I did my own developing and printing. The music was important to my brother and the photography was important to me.
"The Sixties were a magic time, and we were living the magic. You can see it in these photographs. But I decided to take them out of the public gaze because I felt it was time to move on."
Another photograph in the collection allows a peek into the McCartney family home at 20 Forthlin Road in Liverpool. Although Paul appears to be relaxing as he reads his newspaper, brother Mike reveals that, "Paul looks all nonchalant and at ease, whereas in fact his leg was over the arm of the chair to hide a hole where a spring used to poke out."
Eleven of Mike McCartney's photographs have been purchased by the National Portrait Gallery and will go on exhibit beginning March 17.
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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