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Photos of Beatles St Louis concert in 1966 go up for auction for £3,500

Rarely-seen photos of The Beatles performing at a rain soaked gig where they finally decided to give up touring have emerged for sale.

The archive of 49 black and white photographs, printed from original negatives that spent five decades stored in a basement, show the Fab Four performing during a fateful US concert in 1966.

The gig at Busch Stadium, St Louis, occurred at the height of Beatlemania and many of the pictures show hordes of screaming fans desperate to get a glimpse of the Liverpudlians.

There are dozens of close-up images showing John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr performing to the huge crowd and of them backstage.

The concert took place under heavy rain, with organisers forced to construct a makeshift roof to try and protect the band’s music equipment.

It was such a miserable experience for The Beatles that co-lead singer McCartney revealed they secretly vowed to give up touring.

A rarely-seen photograph set of The Beatles performing at a rain soaked gig in St Louis where they finally decided to give up touring have emerged for sale for an estimated £3,500. Pictured: Paul McCartney and John Lennon at the microphone

The archive of 49 black and white photographs, printed from original negatives that spent five decades stored in a basement, show the Fab Four performing during a fateful concert at Busch Stadium in St Louis, Missouri, in 1966. From left: McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon

The archive of 49 black and white photographs, printed from original negatives that spent five decades stored in a basement, show the Fab Four performing during a fateful concert at Busch Stadium in St Louis, Missouri, in 1966. From left: McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon

Some of the prints, taken from original negatives kept by photographer Tom Morton, show hordes of fans screaming and dancing as the band play one of their last ever concerts

Some of the prints, taken from original negatives kept by photographer Tom Morton, show hordes of fans screaming and dancing as the band play one of their last ever concerts

The concert took place under heavy rain, with organisers forced to construct a makeshift roof to try and protect the band's music equipment

The concert took place under heavy rain, with organisers forced to construct a makeshift roof to try and protect the band’s music equipment

The photos were taken as the heigh of Beatlemania, the female-led fan culture that surrounded the band between 1963 and 1966

The photos were taken as the heigh of Beatlemania, the female-led fan culture that surrounded the band between 1963 and 1966 

The rarely-seen prints have been produced from the original negatives that were re-discovered four years ago by photographer Tom Morton. They had been kept perfectly preserved for over 50 years in his basement

The rarely-seen prints have been produced from the original negatives that were re-discovered four years ago by photographer Tom Morton. They had been kept perfectly preserved for over 50 years in his basement

They held their last ever concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on August 29, eight days after the St Louis performance.

Paul McCartney later said of the concert: ‘It rained quite heavily, and they put bits of corrugated iron over the stage, so it felt like the worst little gig we’d ever played at even before we’d started as a band.

‘After the gig I remember us getting in a big, empty steel-lined wagon, like a removal van. There was no furniture in there – nothing. We were sliding around trying to hold on to something, and at that moment everyone said, “Oh, this bloody touring lark – I’ve had it up to here, man”.

‘George and John were the ones most against touring; they got particularly fed up. So we agreed to say nothing, but never to tour again.’

Their 11-song setlist for the gig included hits such as Day Tripper, I Wanna Be Your Man, and Paperback Writer. 

The rarely-seen prints have been produced from the original negatives that were re-discovered four years ago by photographer Tom Morton. They had been kept perfectly preserved for over 50 years in his basement.

Mr Morton, who was given intimate access for the concert, hand-signed each print which measure 17ins by 22ins.

Co-lead singer and bassist Paul McCartney

Co-lead singer and bassist Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney later said of the concert: ‘It rained quite heavily, and they put bits of corrugated iron over the stage, so it felt like the worst little gig we’d ever played at even before we’d started as a band’

'George (Harrison) and John (Lennon, right) were the ones most against touring; they got particularly fed up. So we agreed to say nothing, but never to tour again,' McCartney added

‘George (Harrison) and John (Lennon, right) were the ones most against touring; they got particularly fed up. So we agreed to say nothing, but never to tour again,’ McCartney added

The rarely see set of 49 black and white photos also shows the band arriving backstage at the gate surrounded by press

The rarely see set of 49 black and white photos also shows the band arriving backstage at the gate surrounded by press

The band's 11-song setlist for the gig included hits such as Day Tripper, I Wanna Be Your Man, and Paperback Writer as well as covers by Little Richard and Chuck Berry

The band’s 11-song setlist for the gig included hits such as Day Tripper, I Wanna Be Your Man, and Paperback Writer as well as covers by Little Richard and Chuck Berry

Guitarist George Harrison

Co-lead singer John Lennon

George Harrison (left) and John Lennon (right) were said to be the most keen to quit touring following a run of bad experiences on the US tour

Morton sold the photographs to a Beatles fan who is now selling them as one lot with Omega Auctions of Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside. They have a pre-sale estate of £3,500.

Morton sold the photographs to a Beatles fan who is now selling them as one lot with Omega Auctions of Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside. They have a pre-sale estate of £3,500.

Morton, who was given intimate access for the concert, hand-signed each print which measure 17ins by 22ins

Morton, who was given intimate access for the concert, hand-signed each print which measure 17ins by 22ins

Mr Morton was a freelance photographer and spent much of the 1960s capturing some of the biggest bands in the world when they visited his home town. Acts he snapped included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Monkees, and The Who

Mr Morton was a freelance photographer and spent much of the 1960s capturing some of the biggest bands in the world when they visited his home town. Acts he snapped included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Monkees, and The Who

He sold them to a Beatles fan who is now selling them as one lot with Omega Auctions of Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside. They have a pre-sale estate of £3,500.

A spokesman for Omega Auctions said: ‘These photos are being sold by a major Beatles collector in the US who worked with the photographer Tom Morton on selling some of his extensive collection of images of rock and pop stars of the 1960s, many of which were unpublished and remained in storage in his basement.

‘They are all recently printed so are in pristine condition.

‘These are fantastic images of the band onstage and backstage and there is still a huge appetite for classic images of the Beatles.’

Mr Morton was a freelance photographer and spent much of the 1960s capturing some of the biggest bands in the world when they visited his home town.

Acts he snapped included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Monkees, and The Who.

Many of his photographs were never published until he printed them from the negatives in his basement.

The 49 prints will be sold on March 23.


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