The Beatles: Watch earliest colour footage of Fab Four after unseen film emerges for first time
By Jessica Best
30 January 2015
The three-minte film shows John, Paul, George and Ringo back stage at Blackpool's ABC Theatre in 1963
The earliest known colour footage of the Beatles has surfaced for the very first time.
The three-and-a-half minute film that has never been seen before shows John, Paul, George and Ringo clowning around back stage at the ABC Theatre in Blackpool it August 1963.
The footage, that has no sound, was shot on an 8mm film by Chas McDevitt of the Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group, which was one of the support acts for the Beatles that night.
Some of the film shows the band performing live and was recorded in the wings of the stage by Chas.
The footage has now been made available for sale with copyright at auction alongside more than 100 intimate photos of the Beatles that have also never been seen before.
The black and white snaps were taken by Eve Bowen during the band's tour of America in 1965 - at the height of Beatlemania.
The photographer followed the band as they travelled by train from Washington to New York where they appeared and performed on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Her photos show one of superstar John Lennon having to wait behind the buffet trolley as it wheels its way down the narrow train aisle while passengers sit either side looking on.
A sign on the trolley advertising cheese and pickle sandwiches and a can of Coca Cola for 60 cents gives a taste of the snacks the group might have enjoyed on the journey.
There is a snap of George Harrison relaxing while listening to a pair of white earphones, not too dissimilar to the standard Apple ones used today.
Celeb spot: John Lennon waits patiently as he makes his way through a train carriage in 1965
Another shot shows the hoards of screaming fans which greeted the Beatles as well as a snaps of them performing on the Ed Sullivan Show but taken by Bowen from the audience.
The images, that are also being sold with full copyright, are all previously unseen and unreleased.
The 109 original negatives are valued at £12,000 while the colour footage is estimated at £9,000.
Both lots were acquired by Mark Hayward, a well-known Beatles collector, who is now selling them at Ewbank's Auctioneers of Woking, Surrey.
Alistair McCrea, of Ewbank's, said: "The film footage is the earliest known colour footage of the Beatles. There might be some earlier film still stuffed in someone's drawer but we don't know of any earlier colour footage than this.
On stage: An unseen photograph from The Beatles 1965 tour of America
"If you think about it, this was 1963 and not that many people had access to colour cameras at that time.
"The film shows the Beatles messing about back stage, chatting and laughing and reading fan letters. There is some footage of them on stage that was shot from the wings.
"Unfortunately it is silent and is a little bit eerie in a way.
"The same owner who has consigned the negatives has recently had half-a-dozen 6ins by 4ins print made to show the market what they are like.
"They are unusual because they are quite informal and intimate."
The colour 8mm footage also comes with a DVD version of it and a letter of provenance from Chas McDevitt, who is still alive.
The sale takes place on February 5.