Beatlemania officially exploded 50 years ago this month, as the Fab Four arrived in New York and delivered their historic first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. In honor of this massive cultural moment, LIFE is releasing a hardcover book, Paul: 50 Years After the British Invasion, on March 11th. The collection features recollections from Sir Paul McCartney on his life and career, along with never-before-seen photos taken by Harry Benson, who accompanied the Beatles on their first American tour. To celebrate the release, check out some exclusive photos from the book.
First up is an intimate glimpse of McCartney and John Lennon playing Liverpool's Casbah Coffee Club during their formative days as the Quarrymen. Fun fact: The fan in the floral dress making googly eyes at McCartney is Cynthia Powell, who would go on to marry Lennon in 1962.