A rare set of photographs taken at the Beatles‘ 1965 concert at Shea Stadium have just sold at auction for £30,680 (around $46,700).
The BBC reports that the pictures were snapped by an amateur photographer named Marc Weinstein, who used a fake press pass to get backstage at the Beatles’ biggest show. The historic New York concert drew more 55,000 fans, but there was only one other photographer present – and he ran out of film.
In a 2009 interview, Weinstein described how he bluffed his way backstage:
“(I) had my press pass that was a phony press pass I made up,” he said. “When I walked in there and I walked up to the first police officer I saw and . . . I said (puts on English accent), ‘Excuse me, sir, I’m with the Beatles entourage and I got separated from the group. Can you help me to the stage, please?’ And he looked at me and he said, ‘Sure, follow me.’ And I was stunned. (Laughs.) He ate the whole thing. He started, ‘Hey, guys, move out of the way. This guy is with the group. I’m taking him out there.’ And I just followed him.”
The set of 61 black-and-white photos were put up for sale by Omega Auctions on Friday, the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles’ first album, Please Please Me. They fetched far more than the pre-sale estimate of £15,000-£20,000. According to the auctioneer, the photographs were purchased by “a South American gentleman currently living in Washington [who] is a huge collector of Beatles memorabilia.”