Thursday, 29 April 2010

The Hidden Gallery

Menier Gallery in London yesterday revealed a collection of unseen photos of The Beatles from 1963/64. The 37 shots were unearthed after languishing in an attic for almost 50 years.
Photographer/journalist Paul Berriff discovered the pics at his home in north England. The photos, which chronicle the band members rehearsing onstage, smoking in their dressing room, and relaxing with drinks and snacks backstage, goes on display today.

"I started to root around in my attic and I found this box of about 800 negatives, and in it were shots of these old pop groups in 1963. I was absolutely knocked out when I saw the quality and realised I should do something with them," the Daily Express quoted Berriff as saying.

Berriff took the pics after the boy band gave him unlimited access on tour when he was a teenage snapper - just months before Beatlemania gripped the world.

The photographer had stored the negatives at his home, along with hundreds of other images of musicians in the 1960s.

Menier Gallery
51 Southwark Street
London SE1 1RU
Phone: 020 7407 3222

The exhibition runs until noon Saturday 1st May and entry is free.

The black and white photographs were taken backstage and onstage during The Beatles’ 1963/1964 UK tours. The band toured the UK through February, March, May and June 1963.

Finding his feet in his chosen career, Paul Berriff, the man behind these amazing images, was lucky enough to gain access behind the scenes, spending many hours with the Fab Four in the pre-gig buzz. He quickly built up a rapport with the band members, who were happy to let him practise his art, building an intimate photographic record of their rise to fame. Sometimes they posed and played up for the camera, at other times images were shot ‘off the cuff’, capturing them in their most unguarded, natural form.

As the band went on stage to play to the crowds of screaming girls and adoring fans, Berriff positioned himself as close to the stage as he could, almost sharing the performance platform with them. This unique view provided the opportunity to catch them at their most animated; playing the music they loved, to the people who loved them.

Shortly afterwards, with Beatlemania reaching fever-pitch, it became increasingly difficult to gain an audience with this ground-breaking band; resulting in many of the photos taken later in their career being shot by a small group of official photographers and on professional photo shoots.

These limited edition photographs are a unique insight into the true personalities of John, Paul, George and Ringo. They are genuine, never-before-seen images, uncovered after over 45 years; each one a true piece of music history. The images will now be distributed for sale as limited edition prints. Each of the 37 individual images in The Beatles Hidden Gallery collection will be produced in a very limited edition run of just 49. Once an image has reached a production total of 49, there will be no future opportunities to purchase any further editions. This guarantee of edition size also includes the promise that no further reproductions will be made in other dimensions. Each individual image will be produced to approximate A0 or A1 dimensions, dictated by composition and the photographer’s recommendation. There will be no further release of alternative sizes. Each limited edition photograph will be produced, signed and numbered by the photographer.

See the photos and order here

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