Rare pictures of The Beatles reveal band relaxing on holiday before they became global superstars
By Kara O'Neill
Dec 02, 2014
The candid snaps show the band mere months before Beatlemania swept over the world making this one of the last times they could enjoy anonymity
These mega-rare photos of The Beatles relaxing on holiday just before they became worldwide superstars have been put up for sale.
Three of the 'Fab Four' band members are seen in the candid shots as they take a break by the sea in Tenerife.
The images, showing George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, were taken by German photographer Astrid Kirchherr - whose fiancée and 'fifth Beatle' Stuart Sutcliffe had died a year before.
Candid: The group are seen relaxing by the beach
In April 1963, the band's manager, Brian Epstein, instructed the group to take a holiday to Spain after a tough year of recording and touring.
They were also recovering from the shock death of their bassist, Stuart, after he suffered a brain hemorrhage in 1962.
John Lennon is notably missing from the snaps, which show the three members looking youthful as they pose by the beachside.
The shots show the band before 'Beatlemania' had hit, although they had enjoyed some success with Love Me Do six months earlier.
Just one month later their second number one song From Me To You was set to be released and their lives would never be the same again.
Missing: John Lennon is absent from the snaps
Astrid Kirchherr only produced 15 photographs of the band on holiday, and the images are now up for public auction for the first time at Heritage Auctions in Dallas.
Eric Bradley, from Heritage, said: "These pictures are simply photos of good, close friends. It is clear that they are quite relaxed in each other's company.
"They capture the Beatles just before the onset of Beatlemania. They are still able to be unguarded in public, something they weren't able to do ever again, anywhere in the world, just a few months later."
"Once the fame occurred, the Beatles were not allowed to be private citizens ever again," Mr Bradley added. "There photos are a lovely time capsule of a quiet moment just before the most intense explosion of fame the world has ever witnessed."
Mr Bradley said: "It is not an understatement to say that Astrid Kirchherr is still the photographer most readily associated with the Beatles - not just because of the powerful images of the group.
"Sutcliffe, influenced by Kirchherr, was the first Beatle to adopt the 'moptop' haircut."
The 11 prints, that measure 11.5ins by 8ins are being sold by a private collector and are expected to sell for £6,000 when they go up for auction on Friday.
Poignant colour photos of three of the four Beatles on a holiday in Tenerife
The shots were taken by German photographer Astrid Kirchherr
The snaps show the group relaxing by the beach, days before Beatlemania would take over the whole world
The prints are being sold by a collector and are expected to fetch £6,000 at auction
The Beatles rare pictures: Fab Four on holiday in Tenerife before they became world famous
By Steve Myall, Lesley Bellew
Pictures by Astrid Kirchherr
May 12, 2013
Fantastic snaps of the mop-tops relaxing by the pool in 1963 taken on friend's camera
Here comes the sun: Ringo, George and Paul
It was 50 years ago today... and three of the Fab Four were chilling by the pool in Tenerife.
Only weeks later Beatlemania was in full swing and Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were well on their way to becoming famous worldwide.
But in May 1963 no one on the Spanish island gave the Beatles a second glance...and when they offered to play a few tunes there they were turned down.
George and Paul in pal's Austin Healey Sprite
Ringo asked the manager of San Telmo Lido, “Can we play some of our music in your bar?” but the manager said “No” and they ended up lazing by the pool and getting sunburnt instead.
“It was funny when they were refused to play in the bar,” said Klaus Voormann, a German pal the band stayed with after becoming friends in Hamburg. “All they played on holiday was a record player.”
The three Beatles spent 12 days on the island while John Lennon and manager Brian Epstein went to Torremolinos.
These rare photos, taken on Klaus’s friend Astrid Kirchherr’s camera, are on display at the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles exhibition in Puerto de la Cruz.
George and Ringo with Astrid
Paul, then 20, George, 20, and Ringo, 22, stayed with Klaus at La Montaneta in Puerto de la Cruz. Returning to the island for the 50th anniversary, he spoke about the trip and the Beatles gigs he went to at the Kaiserkeller Club in Hamburg.
Klaus, 75, said: “I will never forget walking into the club and hearing their sound. I had not heard anything like it before. I went back every night and eventually plucked up courage to talk to them. We have been friends ever since.
“They were scruffy boys from Liverpool when I met them. My father had built a villa in the mountain and I was with him for seven months. Paul wrote me a letter and asked if they could visit. It was as simple as that.”
The lads weren’t used to the sun so Ringo wore a matador hat to shade his face and put a plaster on his burnt nose. Paul protected his with card.
The lads on the beach
As well as lounging in the sun and swimming in the lido they walked to the black volcanic sand beach, sat by the seawall and smoked cigarettes and drove around the island in Klaus’s father’s Austin Healey Sprite.
The band had already had a number one hit in the UK with their single From Me To You but their fame hadn’t spread abroad and locals looked baffled when the lads asked if they’d heard of the Beatles.
Soon after the holiday their first album Please Please Me went to number one in the UK charts – and stayed there for the rest of the year.
It was the start of Beatlemania and for the lads from Liverpool life was never the same.
Klaus later moved to London and lived with George and Ringo in their flat while working as a commercial artist. He designed the Beatles’ Revolver album cover and played bass in the band Manfred Mann.
Astrid, 75, whose pictures captured three lads on the brink of stardom, is retired and living in Hamburg. As for George, Ringo and Paul... well, we all know what happened to them.