Love Me Do
Love Me Do! Incredible black and white pictures show the agony and ecstasy of adoring Beatles fans at band’s first gig in America
PUBLISHED: 01:31 EST, 21 October 2012 | UPDATED: 01:32 EST, 21 October 2012
Their cries were said to have been deafening to the band with their tears having run from the eyes of the first to witness the Beatles play in America.
Appearing in newly released photos of the Beatles’ first concert in the U.S. are these adoring young women whose cries, tears and screams took their passion to a never before seen new level.
Turning the cameras from the Washington D.C. Coliseum’s small island stage and back on to their crowd are the googly eyed women showcasing the all-out hysterics of Beatlemania.
Taken by a rookie 18-year-old photographer in February of 1964, the iconic images show the band at the start of their American invasion, just two days after appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show in New York.
Ten days earlier the band had gone to number one for the first time stateside with ‘I want to hold your hand’ – the first of 59 weeks they would spend at the top over the next six and a half years.
Mike Mitchell was there, shooting photos from just feet away and even jumping onto the stage for the group’s pre-concert press call.
Among the highlights is a backlit shot of the band that he took while standing directly behind them.
Auctioned off in July of 2011, that photo made $68,500. Its pre-sale estimate was $2,000 to $3,000.
An image of an animated Ringo Starr on the drums sold for $8,125. It was estimated to bring $3,000 to $5,000.
Auction house Christie’s said the shot depicts a rare moment where Starr was both drummer and lead singer on a song written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, but made famous by The Rolling Stones, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’.
Cathy Elkies, Christie’s director of iconic collections, said she expected the bids to exceed the pre-sale estimates.
‘Beatles fans are fierce. To uncover this trove of images that’s never been published will really excite people,’ she said.
Also included in the sale were photos of the band’s September 13 1964, performance at the Baltimore Civic Center.
Mr Mitchell said he was given unrestricted access to the band’s concert in Washington DC.
‘It was a long time ago. Things weren’t that way then,’ said the 65-year-old, who now works as an art photographer in Washington.
‘It was as low-tech as the concert itself. The concert was in a sports venue and the sound system was the sound system of a sports venue.’
Equally astonishing is how few other photographs from that first concert exist.
Simeon Lipman, Christie’s pop culture consultant, said it’s not clear why there weren’t many other photos of the concert.
He said Mr Mitchell’s black and white photographs were remarkable for their ‘animated” and ‘intimate’ depiction of the Fab Four.
Mr Mitchell stored the negatives for years in a box in his basement and used digital technology to scan and restore the prints for the auction.
‘They benefit from a historical perspective,’ he said.