Wednesday, 10 March 2021



Rarely seen photos of The Beatles performing at St Louis concert during their final US tour in 1966 go up for auction for £3,500 after being kept in basement for 50 years
Photographer Tom Morton captured The Beatles' St Louis concert in August 1966 at height of BeatlemaniaThe performance was blighted by heavy rain and makeshift stage - and convinced the band not to tour againRarely-seen photo prints from the gig showing Fab Four and screaming fans are on sale for estimated £3,500
Rarely-seen photos of The Beatles performing at a rain soaked gig where they finally decided to give up touring have emerged for sale.

The archive of 49 black and white photographs, printed from original negatives that spent five decades stored in a basement, show the Fab Four performing during a fateful US concert in 1966.

The gig at Busch Stadium, St Louis, occurred at the height of Beatlemania and many of the pictures show hordes of screaming fans desperate to get a glimpse of the Liverpudlians.

There are dozens of close-up images showing John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr performing to the huge crowd and of them backstage.

The concert took place under heavy rain, with organisers forced to construct a makeshift roof to try and protect the band's music equipment.

It was such a miserable experience for The Beatles that co-lead singer McCartney revealed they secretly vowed to give up touring.
They held their last ever concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on August 29, eight days after the St Louis performance.

Paul McCartney later said of the concert: 'It rained quite heavily, and they put bits of corrugated iron over the stage, so it felt like the worst little gig we’d ever played at even before we’d started as a band.

'After the gig I remember us getting in a big, empty steel-lined wagon, like a removal van. There was no furniture in there – nothing. We were sliding around trying to hold on to something, and at that moment everyone said, “Oh, this bloody touring lark – I’ve had it up to here, man”.
'George and John were the ones most against touring; they got particularly fed up. So we agreed to say nothing, but never to tour again.'

Their 11-song setlist for the gig included hits such as Day Tripper, I Wanna Be Your Man, and Paperback Writer.

The rarely-seen prints have been produced from the original negatives that were re-discovered four years ago by photographer Tom Morton. They had been kept perfectly preserved for over 50 years in his basement.

Mr Morton, who was given intimate access for the concert, hand-signed each print which measure 17ins by 22ins.
He sold them to a Beatles fan who is now selling them as one lot with Omega Auctions of Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside. They have a pre-sale estate of £3,500.

A spokesman for Omega Auctions said: 'These photos are being sold by a major Beatles collector in the US who worked with the photographer Tom Morton on selling some of his extensive collection of images of rock and pop stars of the 1960s, many of which were unpublished and remained in storage in his basement.


'They are all recently printed so are in pristine condition.

'These are fantastic images of the band onstage and backstage and there is still a huge appetite for classic images of the Beatles.'

Mr Morton was a freelance photographer and spent much of the 1960s capturing some of the biggest bands in the world when they visited his home town.

Acts he snapped included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Monkees, and The Who.

Many of his photographs were never published until he printed them from the negatives in his basement.

The 49 prints will be sold on March 23.

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