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BOOK REVIEW: PAUL McCARTNEY – 1964 EYES OF THE STORM

| 4 March 2024 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: PAUL McCARTNEY – 1964 EYES OF THE STORM
Penguin
June 2023
Hardback, $140
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
95%

“Somewhere in the back of my mind, I always knew I had taken some pictures in the 1960s,” McCartney opens in the Foreword to this illuminating fly on the wall-type coffee table book, and what pictures they are.

Rediscovered in his extensive archive, an old 35mm camera and roll after roll of film was a treasure chest of over a thousand photos from late 1963 through mid/late 1964, of which 275 were selected to make up this beautiful record of the distant past, many captioned and introduced chronologically by McCartney himself.

We’ve all seen a squillion pics and first hand accounts of the chaos and mayhem that was Beatlemania, the hysterical girls and feverish crowds – but whose eyes to best see it from all sides than one of the Fab Four themselves.

Shot from Macca’s unique position in the centre of the maelstrom – the titular ‘eye of the storm’ itself – these are not always great photos, some are blurry, rushed, roughly composed, but they shine a light on not only the chaos but also the mundane of The Beatles’ initial rush of fame and glory.

Candid pics of John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and McCartney himself abound, as do shots of fans, police, press, girlfriends, muso friends and members of the band’s entourage and team, and it’s through this glaring juxtaposition that we get possibly the most honest and accurate glimpse into their day-to-day at this most pivotal time of their careers and lives.

The Beatles’ success, and the wave of social change that followed in their wake (and that of The Rolling Stones and both bands’ countless imitators), meant that these pictures are also a record of a world in a state of flux, a rapidly changing society that would never be the same again.

Category: Book Reviews

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