A pair of Beatles photography exhibitions will offer some candid peeks at the Fab Four on both sides of the pond. Currently on view in Liverpool are 1968 photos of John, Paul, George and Ringo milling about a London chapel, and in December the Smithsonian will display a collection of shots from the band’s first American tour.
Photographer Tom Murray was called in to be the second photographer during the London shoot. “When I see the photos in the gallery, I realized I was very lucky: I had a golden opportunity,” Murray says. “I opened the door and said, ‘Oh shit, it’s the Beatles.'”
Murray’s shots are on display at the Matthew Street Gallery in the band’s hometown and feature twenty-three negatives from three rolls of film (valued at over $2 million). The shots (including this one of a water-spitting Paul McCartney) can be seen at tommurrayphotos.com. “Paul kept looking over at me, wondering why I was apart from the others,” Murray says. “He had a drink of water, and I turned around and he sprayed it all over my Nikon. Thank God my camera was waterproof.”
The planned Smithsonian exhibit, “The Beatles! Backstage and Behind the Scenes,” will capture the younger, mop-topped Beatles in 1964. Among the seventy-one unpublished images taken by Life and CBS television photographer Bill Epperidge are shots of the band’s first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The exhibit will run at the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries building in Washington, D.C., from December 2003 through June 2004.