Beatles 1964 US Tour in Photographs Available for Sale
In 1964, Beatles press officer Derek Taylor convinced Beatles manager Brian Epstein that the Beatles should have a professional photographer accompany them on their first US tour in 1964 - Curt Gunther got the gig. Gunther met the Beatles while photographing them in Europe. The Beatles did not travel with a corps of reporters or press photographers but as George Harrison recounted: “It was only because of his persistence and his sterling reputation that photojournalist Curt Gunther was ultimately allowed on board…"
As such, he traveled and lived with the band throughout the tour, witnessing and documenting all aspects of what is now regarded as nothing less than a global counter-cultural phenomenon. He was brought into the Beatles family, invited to play poker with them - even though he got a reputation for 'beating the Beatles' as Gunther's son remembers his father telling him.
Gunther captured The Beatles on film as they were experiencing and enjoying their anointment as international celebrities. He witnessed and recorded the frenzy of airports, limos and performance venues, as well as quiet, intimate moments, relaxing backstage and in hotel rooms.
The Beatles’s former press agent Derek Taylor remembered, "Every day Curt Gunther, drawing deeply on a mentholated cigarette (Salem), his wise and cunning old eyes boring into mine, would say, ‘Derek, we gotta have some special pictures, something original.’ When the band visited a Missouri ranch, Gunther found an old wood and iron door that he considered the perfect backdrop. ‘There she is’, he said of the setup. ‘That’s the picture I want to make. Then I die happy.’”
Gunther's son, Steve, a photographer himself, was given his father's negatives before his passing in 1991. Steve has meticulously cleaned and drum scanned each image to make them available for sale as fine art prints, see the collection here.