The Beatles may have been four of the most photographed individuals in the 20th Century and new images emerge almost regularly. A new crop of 413 negatives, including copyright, of The Beatles’ first U.S. concerts were sold at England’s Omega Auctions on Saturday for $358,000.
“This is an incredible archive, entire archive to be sold with copyright, this is a unique opportunity for collectors and investors alike” said auctioneer Paul Fairweather. Forty-six of these images were sold at a special auction by Christie’s in New York in 2011, the rest have never been seen. The photographs were shot by Mike Mitchell, who was 18 at the time. He caught the band’s their arrival at Union Station, a pre-show press conference and performances at the Washington Coliseum and the Baltimore Civic Centre.
The Beatles’ show at the Washington Coliseum on February 11, 1964 was their first American concert. It happened two days after their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. The band played in the round at the center of the crowd. The stage was revolved every few songs, and John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison had to reposition their amps. Ringo Starr had to move his entire drum set through the evening. The audience loved it.
The Beatles played “Roll Over Beethoven;” “From Me to You;” “I Saw Her Standing There;” “This Boy;” “All My Loving;” “I Wanna Be Your Man;” “Please Please Me;” “Till There Was You;” “She Loves You;” “I Want to Hold Your Hand;” “Twist and Shout;” and “Long Tall Sally.” The opening acts were The Caravelles, Tommy Roe, and the Chiffons. After the concert, the Beatles went to a party at the British Embassy, which they left in disgust after a diplomat tried to cut off a lock of Ringo’s hair. The Beatles later returned to New York to play two half-hour sets at Carnegie Hall.
The Beatles’ two Sunday shows at the Civic Center on September 13, 1964, were they only time the band played Baltimore. They played to a total of 28,000 fans at a maximum ticket price of $3.75. The opening acts were The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, and Jackie DeShannon.
George Harrison’s black Mercedes 500 SEL AMG, which was featured in the official video for the Beatles reunion song “Real Love,” was also sold at Omega Auctions, for $61,000. A signed hotel register from a night at The Bull in Peterborough, which all four musicians and their manager Brian Epstein signed also sold.
Photographer Mitchell stored the negatives in a box in his basement for nearly 50 years.