Unseen photographs of Beatles in US fetch £253,200 at auction
Teenager Mike Mitchell took photos of band in Baltimore and Washington DC in 1964
Paul McCartney and John Lennon in photo taken during the Beatles’ first US tour in 1964. Photograph: Mike Mitchell/Omega Auctions/PA
A teenage portfolio of more than 350 previously unseen photos of The Beatles’ early invasion of America has fetched £253,200 at auction on Merseyside.
The photographer Mike Mitchell’s images show the band arriving in 1964 for their first concerts in the States at Washington DC and Baltimore. Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, who was knighted this week, are also shown at pre-show press conferences and on stage.
A total lot of 413 negatives were sold with copyright for £253,200 by Omega Auctions and only 46 of these pictures had been seen before, at auction in 2011.
Mitchell, who was 18 at the time, had wanted to photograph the Fab Four after watching their famous television performance on the Ed Sullivan Show on 9 February 1964. He said: “I was very motivated to come up with stuff that was as unique as could possibly be.”
He took shots of the band as they arrived for their first US concert at the Washington Coliseum two days later, using natural light because he could not afford a flash. He was there again when they played the Baltimore Civic Center on 13 September, even getting on to the stage to secure a better view.
“I looked and noticed that nobody was up on the stage. I thought, I wonder what it would be like to be up on the stage and see what I could get up there,” he said.
The black Mercedes AMG that George Harrison bought in 1984 for £85,000 from a dealer in Wilmslow, Cheshire, also sold for £43,200.