Last month, 30 rare photographs of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones went up for sale on eBay. The shots came from the private collection of Bob Bonis, the tour manager for both bands from 1964 to 1966. Over the next two years, the Bonis Archive will be making more available to the public. Here, check out some of the best shots – relaxed, unposed behind-the-scenes photos of the rock icons working, playing and lounging by the pool.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney tune their guitars prior to one of two shows at Detroit's Olympia Stadium in August of 1966. The concerts drew in a combined 30,800 fans.
Between back-to-back shows at Portland's Memorial Coliseum in August of 1965, John Lennon entertained himself by dressing as Lawrence of Arabia. In attendance were Mike Love and Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys, who visited from California and met the Beatles backstage.
Mick Jagger uses downtime to catch up on the June 1965 issue of Playboy. The singer would later be profiled in the magazine's November 1969 issue and stay in the Chicago Playboy Mansion during the Stones' 1972 U.S. tour, having received a personal invitation from Hugh Hefner.
When the Stones grew disheartened by a pair of disappointing shows to small audiences in Texas, manager Andrew Loog Oldham cheered them up with a visit to Chess Studios – the home of the label they had long cherished. Jagger and Richards had bonded over Chess recordings when they were young lads in the early Fifties.
Keith Richards relaxes at a luncheon hosted by West German newspaper Bild Zeitung as an apology for a mistake that made the band threaten to cancel the rest of their tour. The paper had reported that Chrissie Shrimpton was Bill Wyman's girlfriend when she was actually dating Mick Jagger.
The Beatles followed up their legendary performance at the Hollywood Bowl with a mini California vacation – but it almost didn't happen. Hoping to avoid fan hysteria, Burbank's Lockheed Airport wouldn't let their plane land and the Ambassador Hotel cancelled their reservation. Actor Reginald Owen stepped in and offered up his Bel Air mansion for $1,000.
Before heading to a show in Clearwater, Florida, the Stones took a quick break at Savannah, Georgia's Manger Towne & Country Motor Lodge. There, Jagger snuck a peak at Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home. The band met the folk singer a year earlier, in June of 1964, at the Stones' show at Carnegie Hall.
George Harrison uses a harmonica to help Lennon tune his Epiphone Casino guitar. The Casino was Lennon's favorite model, and he played it on LPs like the White Album and Let It Be, as well as on their 1966 world tour. In his estate, it's known as "The Revolution Guitar."
Harrison, also a fan of the Epiphone Casino, tunes on a craft service table before the band performs at Philadelphia's JFK Stadium.
On May 7th, 1965, the same day that this photo was taken, Jagger and Richards wrote "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." The night prior, the iconic guitar riff had come to Richards in a dream, and he sleepily recorded its notes on the cassette recorder he took with him on the road. In the morning, the guitarist awoke to find a tape with the famous riff (which he originally intended to replace with horns) and a half mumbled title, followed by about 40 minutes of snoring.
On August 21st, 1966, the Beatles played two cities on the same day, making up a rain-out at Crosely Field in Cincinnati before flying to St. Louis for an evening show at Busch Memorial Stadium.
The Stones didn't have much downtime, but here Jagger enjoys as much of it as he can. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he would later describe this period of his life as "very champagne feeling."
Jagger and Richards have known each other since the fall of 1950, growing up a street apart in Dartford, Kent, England. Here, they lounge in a Los Angeles motel room during their third U.S. tour.