The photos were taken by the Beatle on the band’s history-making tour to the US that marked their meteoric rise to international fame
It was December 1963. A young Paul McCartney, along with his bandmates from The Beatles, was just about to embark on his first musical tour to America. Equipped with a 35-millimetre camera, he was prepared to capture the upcoming adventure on film. McCartney knew that they had finally hit the big time—but had no idea then just how big they would become.
The tour, which made the rounds in London, Liverpool, Paris, New York, Washington, and Miami, went on to become pivotal in pop culture history as the definitive event that launched the international career of the Fab Four.
Come 28 June 2023, get a rare first-person look at the whirlwind. Hundreds of images from McCartney’s camera, all taken during the three-month tour period between December 1963 and February 1964, will be shown at London’s National Portrait Gallery in an exhibition titled Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm.
It was McCartney himself who approached the National Portrait Gallery after recently finding the photos by chance. The singer had previously believed that he had lost the images.
The exhibition will be complemented by a companion book, titled 1964: Eyes of the Storm, featuring 275 photos taken by McCartney during the tour. The tome will be launched on 18 June on the singer’s 81st birthday.
In its description of the exhibition, the National Portrait Gallery writes: “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.”
The exhibition is a part of an exciting lineup of events that will mark the gallery’s reopening following a three-year refurbishment that it embarked on during the pandemic.