Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Beatles Files

The Beatles Files
Antonio G. Pereira © 2014 Antonio G. Pereira

        The Beatles Files by Andy Davis http://www.amazon.com/The-Beatles-Files-Andy-Davis/dp/1858338573 Published by Barnes & Noble Books Inc. New York by Special Arrangement with Salamander Books LTD. London
        This is the book that threw open the floodgates. A collection of photographs of The Beatles, from the British Newspaper The Daily Mirror (which had some great Journalists {Among them John Pilger - Read his book, 'Hidden Agendas' Published by Vintage Books An Imprint of Random House London http://www.randomhouse.co.uk  }), that were shot by their staff of quick thinking and excellent photographers during the 1960s. Some of these photos are very well known. Most of them were never published, and sat for decades in the Mirror's Photographic Archive.
        The collection is presented by former Beatles Monthly Picture Researcher Andy Davis, who did a capitol job selecting prime photographs from the Archive. Some of the '63 UK Tour photos you might remember from Beatles Monthly, or The Beatles Personality Annual, which was published in the U.S. in 1964. Throughout (starting with a Forward by former International Times Editor Barry Miles), Andy Davis chronicles The Beatles rise to fame and popularity through the wealth of Archival photographs. Whether photographed in concert in the UK during the first explosion of Beatlemania, or photographed with Brian Epstein's ever expanding group of Nems Artists, or during the fateful engagement in Paris just before Beatlemania exploded in the U.S. (One photograph in particular, of the snobbish behaviour of some members of the French audience leaving during The Beatles encore, is quite amusing.), all of the remarkable stages of their ascent are beautifully presented. Then the subsequent explosion of popularity in the U.S., followed by television and movies, is captured in pictures.
        Their statements about Segregation and Apartheid on page 78 (during the Fall 1964 UK Tour with Mary Wells {with whom the group is also photographed http://www.thelostsupreme.com/images/23marywells-custom2.jpg  }) are quite noteworthy. Paul the wide eyed optimist, and John the realist (with the secret heart of deep sensitive feelings http://observer1984.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-john-lennon-letters.html ). Just another reason (besides the groundbreaking music they were making) that The Beatles were embraced by so many on different continents, and hated by others. http://observer1984.blogspot.com/2013/10/tomorrow-never-knows-beatles-last.html And as their star shines ever brighter, more pictures of them performing on television in the U.S. and in the U.K., including their 'The Music Of Lennon & McCartney' Television Special (A touching photograph of John and Paul sitting on either side of a delighted Lulu during a break in filming.) for the BBC in 1965. There is also a photograph of John and Paul with Johnny Hamp (the Television Producer of their Special) who was an early and sincere champion of the group, dating back to when they were gaining popularity in Hamburg. And the photographs of their Christmas Shows. (Including a group photo of the entire cast of performers on stage. In the background you can see The Yardbirds, and just make out the top of Eric Clapton's head. Additionally, there is a photo of The Beatles backstage with two female fans whose parents (they must have had deep, deep pockets) flew them in to London from New York specially to see the Christmas Shows.) In the latter part of the book, John appearing on Not Only But Also with Peter Cook, Paul attending his brother Michael's wedding with Jane Asher (their last outing together before Linda Eastman entered his life), John and Cynthia attending a Fashion Show with George, where Pattie was modeling (as Yoko Ono entered his life), and Ringo appearing on Cilla Black's Television Show on the BBC. There are many other photos which will surprise and astound you. And all of them (400 in all) are reproduced from the original negatives, with crystal clear clarity. Highly Recommended.