“Millions of eyes were suddenly upon us, creating a picture I will never forget.” —Paul McCartney
Taken with a 35mm camera by Paul McCartney, these largely unseen photographs capture the explosive period, from the end of 1963 through early 1964, in which The Beatles became an international sensation and changed the course of music history. Featuring 275 images from the six cities—Liverpool, London, Paris, New York, Washington, D.C., and Miami—of these legendary months, 1964: Eyes of the Storm also includes:
• A personal foreword in which McCartney recalls the pandemonium of British concert halls, followed by the hysteria that greeted the band on its first American visit
• Candid recollections preceding each city portfolio that form an autobiographical account of the period McCartney remembers as the “Eyes of the Storm,” plus a coda with subsequent events in 1964
• “Beatleland,” an essay by Harvard historian and New Yorker essayist Jill Lepore, describing how The Beatles became the first truly global mass culture phenomenon
Handsomely designed, 1964: Eyes of the Storm creates an intensely dramatic record of The Beatles’ first transatlantic trip, documenting the radical shift in youth culture that crystallized in 1964.
“You could hold your camera up to the world, in 1964. But what madness would you capture, what beauty, what joy, what fury?” —Jill Lepore
About the Author
Born in Liverpool in 1942, Paul McCartney was raised in the city and educated at the Liverpool Institute. Since writing his first song at fourteen, McCartney has dreamed and dared to be different. He lives in England.
Jill Lepore is the David Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. She’s also the host of the podcasts The Last Archive and Elon Musk. A two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, her many books include the international bestseller These Truths; If Then, longlisted for the National Book Award; and the audiobook Who Killed Truth?
1964: Eyes of the Storm... deserves to be received with the same gravity you’d pay any primary source for any great historical event.... The adulation and protection and scrutiny coming from the subjects of these photos are being seen by the person who is the object of it.... No matter how friendly he found the faces looking at him, this is the work of an idol in the making determined to stay a subject instead of becoming an object.... There’s an effortless familiarity to the shots of the boys reading the newspaper in their Plaza suite or looking up in the midst of a conversation halfway across the Atlantic, no guardedness when their eyes meet their mate’s camera.... For all of the generosity with which McCartney talks about America, for all the awe the group felt at being here and being accepted here, the photos show all the ways in which the Beatles, even before they arrived, had already outpaced the country.... [A] wonderful book, with its photos of a superpower as a sleepy giant, a country where most of the people couldn’t see the future beyond a continuation of the sameness in which they already lived.
— Charles Taylor - Esquire
Beguiling…Thoughtful recollections…. There is something for every Beatles aficionado in the 275 glorious images in these pages... Open this book, and for a few magic moments, you’ll be right there, too.
— Charles Kaiser - Washington Post
A truly elegant collection of photographs... McCartney's photographs brilliantly capture the onset of Beatlemania both within and beyond the shores of the Beatles' homeland.... 1964: Eyes of the Storm affords music lovers with vivid images of John, Paul, George and Ringo as they embark upon an unknown world where everything is still possible.
— Kenneth Womack - Salon
Who wouldn’t want a peek at Paul McCartney’s personal pics of The Beatles?.... There are pictures of aching intimacy... and, inevitably, photos that will make you feel a pang for the band’s fishbowl existence.
— Kim Willis - USA Today
A small treasure... I find myself describing photographs, which is easy to do, in a way, but not really satisfying, for me or for the reader, when the photographs are there, and the years, and the gone time, the glorious time, the time to come, the memories, are right there in Paul’s book.
— Michael Lindsay-Hogg - AirMail
This book is probably the closest we will ever come to an autobiography of Sir Paul McCartney . . . One of the greatest things about any recollections of this period in Beatle history is that Sir Paul manages to look backward, but does it without looking through the prism of time passed or rose-colored glasses. He has an uncanny ability to relate to his past without any false modesty or pretense, so you get the full picture along with the real picture.
— Ivor Levene - Goldmine
In 1964: Eyes of the Storm, Paul McCartney—long the subject of photographers—gets on the other side of the camera, capturing the Beatles as only an insider could—and with a warmth, gentle humor, and guilelessness that perhaps only Beatle Paul could.
— Shelf Awareness
For readers who love the magical sixties and the legendary Beatles, 1964: Eyes of the Storm is for you . . . Well worth the read for both young and old.
— New York Journal of Books
A luminous photographic record of the dawn of Beatlemania.... representing the discovery of 1,000 photos [McCartney] had taken in 1964. 'I’m not trying to claim to be a master,' he writes, 'only an enthusiastic photographer who happened to be in the right place at the right time.' Humility aside, Sir Paul proves a fine documentarian of the chaotic scene around him. Some of the countless highlights include a color image of George Harrison, finally at rest in Miami after the hectic tour that introduced them to America via the Ed Sullivan Show, against the backdrop of an anonymous (and headless) swimsuit-clad woman and looking far too young to be holding the cigarette and drink in hand; 'a rare picture of John in his glasses,' as McCartney writes, with Lennon looking more like a college quiz kid than a rock star, a weary-looking Ringo next to him; photos of fans of many ethnicities (as is now well known, the Beatles would not play a segregated room) and ages awaiting the arrival of the band, whose spirit-lifting tour occurred soon after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, leading McCartney to comment in a charged aside, 'To this day, I am very happy that Britain doesn’t have the gun culture that exists in the U.S....' The book includes a timeline and notes about each photo. Sir Paul knows his way around just about every artistic medium, and these photographs are a must for Beatles fans.
— Kirkus Reviews, starred review
The book showcases photos from McCartney’s insider perspective, but it also looks out at what was happening around him at the time and offers personal reflections. Bookending explanatory notes by historian Jill Lepore and Rosie Broadley of London’s National Portrait Gallery provide a deeper understanding of the culture and era. The content and the context render the results extraordinary . . . This beautiful art book serves as a most welcome companion to Beatles scholarship and 1960s culture in general.
— Gregory Stall, Library Journal, starred review