Beatles Return to Carnegie Hall

By Jill Colvin on October 18, 2011 6:00pm 

The Beatles playing two 35-minute concerts at Carnegie Hall on Feb. 12, 1964, during their first trip to New York.
The Beatles playing two 35-minute concerts at Carnegie Hall on Feb. 12, 1964, during their first trip to New York.
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Paul Berriff

MIDTOWN — The Beatles have returned to Carnegie Hall.

More than 40 years after making their one and only appearance at the famed music hall, the Fab Four are back — this time in a photo exhibit featuring candid, rare images of the group taken by famed cinematographer Paul Berriff on their first American tour.

The Beatles: Hidden Gallery includes more than 30 newly-discovered images of the group, taken early in their career, between 1963 and 1964, just before "Beatle-Mania" swept the nation.

The images include shots taken in England as well as the group’s first tour in the U.S., which included two 35-minute performances at Carnegie Hall on Feb. 12, 1964, as well as their legendary performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, organizers said.

Berriff was just 16 years old in 1963 when he approached the managers of theatres in Yorkshire, England and convinced them to give him backstage passes to shows, where he was able to meet bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and convince them to let him shoot.

"Sometimes they would pose for me, but most of the time I would just take the pictures in their unguarded moments — they looked more natural," said Berriff said in an exhibit statement.

The images were among more than 850 negatives, including 40 featuring the Beatles, that Berriff came across in a small box while cleaning out his attic in 2009.

The images were displayed for the first time last year.

The exhibit is now open in Zankel Hall’s lobby for ticket-holders ahead of performance and during intermissions through Dec. 17.

The venue is holding free public viewings of the collection Saturdays, on Nov. 26 and Dec. 3, 10 and 17. Tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office at 154 W. 57th St. each Saturday beginning at 10:00 a.m.

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