*** ATTENTION BIDDERS: THE CHARITY AUCTION WILL CONTINUE INDEFINITELY UNTIL THE RESERVE PRICE HAS BEEN MET ***
My father’s photographs of the Beatles 1966 concert at Shea stadium have been a family secret for nearly 55-years, until now.
As a child I was mesmerized by the huge framed photograph of Paul McCartney and John Lennon sharing a microphone hanging in my father’s apartment. As he blasted Beatles music out of his stereo system, I thought it was so cool that my Dad stood just a few feet in front of the band and taken that picture. For more than two decades my father believed he’d lost his print, and long since lost the negatives. But after his passing I discovered an envelope buried in a box filled with his archives simply labeled “Beatles” along with the settings he used to print from the negative. If he were alive today to see the entire collection of his work on that day had been found, he’d be very proud to use them to further our work as journalists.
A few thoughts about them:
- My Dad broke away from the barriers at stage left that were holding back the press. He had to “get the shot” and being penned up was not going to restrain his instincts.
- Because he was so close to the stage and alone, there are shots where Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are staring right at him.
- There is a shot from behind the band, it gives you the sense of the concert from their perspective – what they saw. I’ve never seen a Beatles photo like it.
- There’s a shot of John Lennon with a spotlight over his head, pointed directly into the camera. The “halo effect” was intentional. My father learned his craft from W. Eugene Smith (described as “perhaps the single most important American photographer in the development of the editorial photo essay.”) while studying at the New York Institute of Photography.
- My Dad captured a moment of magic between the Beatles in one picture. You can see John Lennon has a big grin because he and Paul McCartney are clearly getting a laugh out of something Ringo Starr is doing.
- (33) Beatles Photographic Prints 11 x 14 ready for framing
- (65) Original Negatives by the photographer:
- Kodak Tri-X Pan 400 35mm black and white film with 33 Beatles images & 32 of Beatles fans
- (2) Photographic negative protective sleaves labeled by the photographer: “BEATLES AT SHEA”
- (10 Envelope labeled by the photographer “Beatles” with his notes detailing print sizes and exposure settings for printing
- (2) Contact sheets: 28 Beatle photos & 5 Beatles photos with 27 of fans
- Full legal copyright for all future use of all of the Beatles images
The Bob Collister Fund for Visual Journalism – 100% of the money raised with a charity auction of my father’s Beatles photographs will go toward providing educational workshops, training and freelance work for photo and video journalists through the nonprofit Investigative Network.
NOTES FROM MARK LEWISOHN
Mark Lewisohn, English author of Tune In, the first volume in a trilogy setting down the Beatles’ complete history, is thrilled by Brian Collister’s discovery of his father’s negatives.
“Capturing as he did the deep intensity of interest in the Beatles, Bob Collister was far from being the only photographer present that night, but his need to ‘get the shot’ enticed him further and deeper in. Going up close to the stage and especially venturing behind it was a savvy move–he was able to capture the Beatles’ own viewpoint, performing not only to a wall of screams but towering Shea Stadium grandstands adorned with banners of love and devotion.
“This second Beatles appearance at Shea was their last New York concert, because it turned out to be their final tour. The band re-emerged transformed nine months later with the Sgt. Pepper album, casting scenes such as this decisively into their past.”
Says Lewisohn, “The unearthing of these original negatives is momentous. I would certainly consider including one or two of these dramatic photos in the second volume of my history The Beatles: All These Years.”