8 February 2023

Paul McCartney: Eyes of the Storm Exhibition @ NPG

And the Beatles juggernaut rolls on. As a fan I am here for it, but a small cynical part of me wonders if McCartney has a big masterplan to make sure they are kept relevant (like it's needed)!!! 

Last year I enjoyed Paul McCartney - The Lyrics at the British Library. To commemorate the release of The Lyrics, a two volume heavyweight tome of Beatles and solo lyrics (his equivalent of a memoir) the Library showcased previously unseen PM material in a free Entrance Hall display. This featured highlights from the 154 songs included in The Lyrics as well as photographs. The British Library is a great place for Beatles fans to visit as there are handwritten lyrics on permanent display in their Treasures gallery (John wrote the lyrics for A Hard Day' Night on a children's birthday card). You can also marvel at hand-written Here Comes The Sun and Yesterday). 

Self portrait (c) Paul McCartney 

I don't really need many excuses to travel to London for exhibitions, so when I was making a list of what to see in 2023 I was happy to be notified about Eyes of the Storm at the National Portrait Gallery. Documenting the pivotal period between December 1963 to February 1964 (when the Beatles got big in America), visitors can go back in time via 1,000 photos taken by Paul on 35mm film during this time. The images were taken in six cities - Liverpool, London, Paris, New York, Washington D.C. and Miami during the chaos and excitement of "Beatlemania" and the band's meteoric rise from the Cavern Club to an audience of 73 million viewers on the Ed Sullivan show in the US. Luckily for Beatles/PM fans, these never before seen images were discovered in his archive in 2020 and many new portraits of John, George and Ringo. 

The book accompanying the exhibition - 1964: Eyes of the Storm features 275 photos images depicting McCartney's personal experience in the eye of the storm of that period. The book is divided into six city portfolios (and a Coda on the latter months of 1964). 

Eyes of the Storm runs from 28th June 2023 to 1st October 2023 at the National Portrait Gallery. Tickets are £22.00/£24.50 and free for members and patrons. If you are under 30 you can grab a bargain £5 ticket. Roll on the summer for yet another Beatles fix! 

To find out more about the exhibition and to book click here

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