Paul McCartney’s personal Beatles photos review – Never-before-seen John Lennon

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It’s been 60 years since The Beatles shot to fame and to celebrate, Sir Paul McCartney has unearthed a ton of his previously unseen personal photographs from the heady days of Beatlesmania.

Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm opens at the National Portrait Gallery tomorrow following the building’s reopening last week by the Princess of Wales. popped along this morning to see what all the fuss was about, only to be very impressed by the special exhibition that no Beatles fan will want to miss.

Out of 1000 possible snaps, 250 were selected for display by curators, taking us on a touring journey from grey England in 1963 to Paris, New York and Washington – concluding spectacularly in colour with Miami.

Throughout the exhibit are QR codes on the wall that link you to audio clips of Macca’s own thoughts on his pics, giving added insight into his pictures.

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Highlights have to be of the Fab Four captured naturally backstage at concerts, including snaps of John Lennon wearing his thick glasses. Blind as a bat, the late star would avoid wearing them in public during the Beatles’ early days but clearly trusted McCartney to capture him wearing them. 

There are also a few artefacts on display throughout including a diary entry of Macca’s and incredibly his original handwritten lyrics to I Wanna Hold Your Hand, which must be worth a few bob.

In the USA tour section, there are plenty of photos that give the viewer an idea of what it must have been like to be the subject of Beatlemania, as McCartney snapped fans screaming with joy at the Fab Four from his perspective as the band entered and exited venues.

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Our favourite section was right at the back when the black and white of earlier on switched to mesmerising colour, perfect for capturing sunny Miami. Here The Beatles are at their most relaxed, enjoying a rest in private with some particularly funny faces pulled. 

Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back documentary beautifully cleaned up old footage of the Fab Four, but these photographs are so clear they look like they were taken yesterday. And on the way out of the exhibit is an attached gift shop full of treasures from t-shirts and mugs to prints of some of the best photos on display, plus the accompanying new book, for fans to peruse. 

Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm opens at the National Portrait Gallery tomorrow and runs until October 1. Tickets can be booked here.

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