If you thought you’ve seen all of the photos of the Beatles and Stones over the years, check out some of these early pics. There are some unguarded as well as posed moments showing the guys in the early stages of their careers. Could they have ever looked that young? Trivia note: From the article, apparently at their concert in Portland the Beatles wore the jackets they wore at Shea stadium. However, to our knowledge Lennon did not wear the cap mentioned at Shea stadium.
“A shirtless Mick Jagger, relaxing poolside in Savannah, Ga., in 1965, intently studies the back cover of Bob Dylan’s then-new “Bringing It All Back Home” album, still in the shrink wrap.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr gaze with delight as George Harrison tosses a yellow balloon into the air as the Beatles cavort in 1964 on the patio of a private Bel-Air mansion.
Various photos capture the Stones recording at the fabled Chess Records studio in Chicago in June 1964, shortly after their first U.S. concert stop in San Bernardino; Jagger doing his best James Brown dance moves during the band’s performance in Santa Monica for “The T.A.M.I. Show,” and the Beatles’ 1965 tour stop in Bloomington, Minn., the only show for which press photographers were not allowed in because of security issues.
In one shot from the Beatles’ 1965 performance of “I’m Down” in Portland, Ore., Lennon, wearing the signature Shea Stadium jacket and fisherman’s cap, jabs an electric piano keyboard with his right elbow, like his hero Jerry Lee Lewis, as other members of the Fab Four look on.
The images are from the Bob Bonis Archive, a collection Bonis started amassing during his stint as the Rolling Stones tour manager on their first visit to the U.S. in 1964, which in turn led the Beatles to hire him for their forays to the States.
Bonis kept the images private for his entire life. After his death in 1992, they sat in a family basement until about five years ago, when son Alex Bonis decided to let them see the light of day.
“They are amazing photos,” said Wayne Johnson, co-owner of Rockaway Records in Los Angeles, which specializes in Beatles collectibles and memorabilia. “They are really cool shots that most people have never seen, and they should do well with the right marketing and publicity.”
The Bob Bonis Archive plans to roll out the photos at the rate of 10 per month over the next two years. They’ll be sold through eBay’s art and collectibles store, which through the online auction and sales site’s Giving Works charity arm will earmark 10% of proceeds from the first batch of 30 images to benefit the Grammy Foundation and the Grammy Museum.
The photos will be offered as limited-edition numbered chromogenic prints that each will carry a certificate of authenticity from the Grammy Museum. They are being created in editions of 250 for 11-by-14-inch prints priced starting at $175, plus 75 16-by-20-inch prints starting at $385 and 50 more 20-by-24 inch prints to be sold starting at $625.
“We wanted to open the field for people to have the opportunity to own rare, limited-edition art,” said Kurt Benjamin, a hedge-fund investor who is managing partner of the Bonis photo archive. “We wanted to create an environment that made it cost effective.”
“You have to see how unguarded and intimate they are,” he said. “They’re very, very unique and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.
Each quarter, Benjamin said the archive will stage a special event pegged to the release of the next round of 30 images, to be parsed out 10 per month. They’ll be sold first come, first served at fixed prices rather than being auctioned to the highest bidders.”