I am not the biggest fan of photographic books. I prefer the story than the image. It is probably an inability to read the images but that is how it is.

1964: Eyes Of The Storm is different. I really get this one. Paul McCartney’s few months of snapping in 1964 somehow captures not only a band on the cusp of legend BUT also a culture at the fulcrum of change. 

There’s an innocence about these photos. McCartney and his three mates have only a little idea of what they have started and where this musical journey is going to take them. Haircuts, caps, bikinis and even sunglasses are hints of a fashion revolution that with its Beatles’ soundtrack will literally change the world.

Though there have been endless photographic books about The Beatles, none have been so inside. Yes, other photographers got access but not 24/7 access and that means McCartney has caught a band and their entourage as their fame soars. 

The casual shots, those no other photographer might have like shots of John and his first wife Cynthia, George Martin’s girlfriend Judy Lockhart-Smith. The band and Jane Asher, Cilla Black and other contemporary bands often caught off guard. This is a camera lens looking out when everyone else were attempting to look in.

Best of all are The Beatles shots of the fans keen to get a photograph of them. There is a shot, my very favourite and maybe as a photographer the very best, on page 253 where one girl, who has just caught on who it is in front of her, expresses in her wide eyes and awestruck face what the entirety of Beatlemania was in just one human reaction. 

Not all the shots are photographically brilliant but those that aren’t are saying something about the story. Some shots on the other hand have the deft touch of a professional photographer, some portraits, some of young English boys exploring America, buildings, the police and swimming pools! Many are very excellent. If this guy hadn’t made it in music he might have done ok as a photographer!

Which makes one wonder how a man who would marry a photographer five years later could forget about the history and artistic quality of these photos. How it has remained hidden away for almost 60 years might be hard to explain until you flick through the book and get a very graphic feel of the mad, fast moving world Paul McCartney and his three mates were living at the time.

For the fans - essential! 


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