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Mon Sep 22 00:10:48 SAST 2014

Beatles' yesterday on sale

Reuters | 12 June, 2011 00:130 Comments
The Beatles. File photo.
Image by: HO / REUTERS

They have been gathering dust in a basement for more than 40 years, but the US housing crisis has forced photographer Mike Mitchell to auction pictures which capture the moment the Beatles became a worldwide phenomenon.

Mitchell was 18 when he attended the Fab Four's first US concert at the Washington Coliseum in 1964, just two days after the group's breakthrough TV appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

The pictures are being exhibited in London to publicise the New York auction on July 20.

"Things were much different back then," he said. "There was no big security presence, the press wasn't corralled and I was free to sort of embrace my own ambition."

Several of the pictures are taken from unusual vantage points with, for example, one image focusing solely on Paul McCartney's feet on a stage littered with sweets thrown by screaming fans.

Mitchell, now in his mid-60s, said that by the '70s he knew he had been privileged to be a part of rock and roll history.

Caught short by the recent US housing crisis, he decided to sell the pictures - which have a combined estimated worth of around $100000.

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