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Photos of The Beatles taken by an amateur photographer fetch £30000

By dpreview staff on Mar 26, 2013 at 18:44 GMT

A rare set of photos taken by an amateur photographer of the Beatles' 1965 concert at the Shea Stadium, New York have been sold at an auction for £30000 (~ $47000). Photographer Marc Weinstein used a fake press pass to get a spot next to the stage. According to Weinsten, in a feature published by the BBC, the only other photographer present at the show ran out of film during the concert. Weinstein's 61 pictures fetched £30,680, compared with a pre-sale estimate of £15,000-£20,000.

The Beatles performing at New York's Shea Stadium in 1965. The show was the biggest ever
pop concert by any band up to that date.

In an article published at Examiner.com from 2009, Marc Weinstein recalled how he used the fake press pass to ease his way to the stage area for this legendary show with no resistance from the police. The BBC quotes him from that article, 'I just blended with everybody there. I just acted like I belonged. Anybody in authority, I would look the other way.' If only that sort of access were possible with today's big stars...

Marc Weinstein (third from left), photographing the Beatles at Shea Stadium. - Photo via the Examiner.com

Comments

Total comments: 64
Rick Knepper
By Rick Knepper (Apr 20, 2013)

Thank you Mr. Weinstein for capturing this bit of R&R history.

To the buyer posting as Beatles Photos, I for one would be interested in that link.

0 upvotes
Beatles photos
By Beatles photos (Mar 30, 2013)

I just came across the comments here and couldn't help but reply. I was lucky enough to win these photos at the auction. They have never been made available to Beatles fans and the story behind them intrigued me. I do have plans for them and will let post a link here if anyone is interested.

2 upvotes
Michael Rubin
By Michael Rubin (Mar 28, 2013)

Since he just sold the pictures, he's now a professional!

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Mar 28, 2013)

What's the difference between an amateur photographer and a professional? Either one is able to take great photos of an appealing subject but the amateur is resourceful enough to gain admittance to a restricted area. And the amateur brings enough film.

0 upvotes
marc822
By marc822 (Mar 28, 2013)

The "other" photographer, whose name I won't mention out of professional courtesy, was a Beatles' staff photog whom was a professional studio man and not a photo-journalist. Maybe a case of different game, different rules. It was a bit comical considering I gave him a roll of film hoping I'd connect to the Fab 4. Funny, I never did see his photos from that event. A dark room mishap?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
mais51
By mais51 (Mar 28, 2013)

Not just rare photos anything Beatles commands great prices because Beatles music transcends races, religions, cultures and ages. Nothing likes it before and nothing likes it after ever.

2 upvotes
zigi_S
By zigi_S (Mar 29, 2013)

Crap is crap in every culture.

0 upvotes
spencerberus
By spencerberus (Mar 27, 2013)

Not an amateur photographer anymore - s/he just got paid (hopefully).

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (Mar 27, 2013)

Well let's take a guess: The most popular 35mm SLR among professional photographers at that time was the Nikon F, FTN (Photomic - through the lens metering, using a Cds cell). They were quite expensive; over $300 abut $2,000 in today's money. Nikon had quite the assortment back then of telephoto lenses such as the 300 f 4.5. If you were just starting out maybe you had a Nikorex, Minolta SR7, Canonflex R2000 or even the Asahi Pentax Spotmatic ( but those didn't give you much street cred).
Photojournalists were also shooting with Leica M-3's and the occasional Rollie twin lens might show up as well. Flash was, as it is now, for the most part forbidden so you had to hope for good stage lighting, have a fast lens and start out with an ASA 400 film such as Tri-X. Many photographers would rate their Tri-X at 800 or 1,600 and "push process" their film in ID-11, Microfine or some witch's brew they would concoct themselves.

3 upvotes
Raincheck
By Raincheck (Mar 27, 2013)

Nice "Magical Probability Tour" there jaygee. I enjoyed that.

0 upvotes
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (Mar 27, 2013)

I'm glad you enjoyed the blast form the past. I just took names and numbers off of the shelf of artifacts above my desk here.

0 upvotes
marc822
By marc822 (Mar 28, 2013)

Enjoyed your post and remarkably accurate. Like old times! I'm the photographer, marc weinstein and thought you would get a kick out of the gear I used to do the photography. It was an Argus C-3 aka "The Brick" (Box Brownie of the 35mm) using Tri-X film and rated at 800 in D-76.

After doing this event, I went on to Brooks Institute of Photography and did photo-journalism for several newspapers and worked the Hollywood beat in the early 1970's at night and color labs by day. Did many celebrities of the era including LBJ, RFK, Reagan, et al politicians of the day as well as Hollywood greats of the times including Sammy Davis Jr, Gregory Peck, Goldie Hawn, Rolling Stones '65 and '69. It was quite a career but never panned out profitable enough to earn a living.

BTW, '65 was the 2nd time I did the Beatles, the first was a year before in Baltimore, Md doing the exact same gig. ;-) Rolling Stones also twice. Any questions, write: marc822@yahoo.com

3 upvotes
StevenN
By StevenN (Mar 28, 2013)

Hi Marc,

Very nice work. Boy, how I wish I had had my camera with me when I went to see Jimi Hendrix perform at the Singer Bowl in Flushing Meadow Park in N.Y. The newspaper at which I worked as a copyboy was able to get me second-row seats! However, like you I used a phony press pass to get into Studio 54 iin the late '70s and took some pictures of Michael Jackson and Woody Allen, among others.

--StevenN

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Mar 28, 2013)

Nice Marc, right place, right group (well, by 1965 they were already legends), good job.

0 upvotes
Gordon Clyde Cummings
By Gordon Clyde Cummings (Apr 4, 2013)

Very interesting thanks for sharing the story Marc.

I was a high school year book photographer in 74. Almost forgot about Tri-X and D-76. I seldom pushed my rolls just shot at 400 and used a flash. I used a 1950's Exacta. Blast from the past. Things I will have to share with my grandchildren in a few years.

0 upvotes
SinCity4Me
By SinCity4Me (Apr 5, 2013)

And your point is what? That your knowledgable of the times.

0 upvotes
Karl Summers
By Karl Summers (Mar 27, 2013)

Whomever calls this band "overrated" obviously did not grow up in this era. They were HUGE. Hell, I didn't grow up in this era, but I recognize greatness, I see the impact they made on an entire generation(or two or three).

Cool pics, btw.

4 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Mar 28, 2013)

The Beatles were musicians. Much of what passes for music today is just show, especially in rock music, where a lot of flashy guitar runs are technically interesting, but not very musical. The Beatles had well-crafted melodies, harmonies, lyrics, rhythm, and production.

People admire the fastest pickers, like they admire fast cars, and think that those people are the best musicians. They'll say that so-and-so is the "best". But no, so-and-so is just a fast picker or whatever, not the best musician.

It's the same in writing. The person with the largest vocabulary, who uses lots of obscure words, and convoluted grammar, is not the best writer. Some people might feel they "have" to admire a writer like that, but they don't. Such a person is a technician, and fails at the most basic task of a writer--communication.

The Beatles communicated with their music. The goal was not to impress.

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Mar 28, 2013)

And I miss Alvin Lee, but does any of this have anything at all to do with photography?

0 upvotes
Wolffy
By Wolffy (Mar 27, 2013)

OK I need to know, What camera equipment did he use. and what film, I'm guessing TriX. looks to be some sort of SLR from the above picture

0 upvotes
marc822
By marc822 (Mar 28, 2013)

See my reply posted above to 'jaygeephoto' and posted in the wrong order....LOL

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 27, 2013)

Surprised the baseball scoreboard and the beer ad aren't covered. Though I guess in 1965 some people thought, okay a band wants to rent the stadium for a concert, let them, they won't fill it.

2 upvotes
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (Mar 27, 2013)

I think the signage gives it a certain charm of how new and unsophisticated we were at that time when it came to large concerts. Staging of that scale along with the speaker stacks with "room" equalizing were things of the future back then, Legend has it that the Beatles were at times just laughing at each other because they had no idea what they sounded like do to the terrible reverb and echoing there - not to mention that they couldn't hear their own monitors.

1 upvote
Father Anderson
By Father Anderson (Mar 26, 2013)

Some great shots...new Beatle material!! Yeah!!

Oh....and to the snarks, trolls and little children jealously complaining in these posts...nah-nah-na-nah-nah!

2 upvotes
obeythebeagle
By obeythebeagle (Mar 26, 2013)

That Lennon Harrison photo is spectacular fun. It speaks to the heart of every baby boomer. My condolences to the people on this thread who are saying snarky things about the Beatles and these photos. I guess you had to be there. The fact the photographer faked his press-pass makes it priceless.

7 upvotes
atlien991
By atlien991 (Mar 27, 2013)

Every baby boomer? Hehe. I'm always reminded of the single track thinking on the interwebs when it comes to culture. For the most part, the Beatles were a music group for white people. You enjoyed them. But think about the times realistically for a second even. 1965!

0 upvotes
Raincheck
By Raincheck (Mar 27, 2013)

Sure, civil rights were coming into the right place as humans progressed, but I can tell you that relationships among cultures and races have never been so bad as they are today. Further, between my birth in 1955 and around 1980, no one that I've asked can think of ONE instance of children getting a gun and killing each other. That is 25 years. Today, we expect the next one day after tomorrow.

It never ceases to amaze me how people 50 or 100 years further evolved, look back and judge the past with present eyes.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 28, 2013)

Raincheck:

Are you sure that say black people and white people just got along nicely in say Mississippi in 1960?

Also why bring up mass murders with guns, are those mostly race based in your world view.

Then you do realize that black people got lynched, sometimes more than one at a time?

Is the present perfect? No. But quit with the rose tinted glasses.

If you had said that the Beatles were playing not very challenging music for mostly white audiences in 1965 then you'd have a point. Wouldn't be a new point though.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Raincheck
By Raincheck (Mar 28, 2013)

I can tell by your need to embellish and hyperbolize my comments in the typical fashion, that I must have got you thinking.

Can't ask for more than that!

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 28, 2013)

Rain-

You're the one who says that "the races" got along better in the old days. That's not hyperbolization of your comment.

You also more than link mass gun killings (in the USA) in the present with something racial, again not hyperbolization of your comment.

0 upvotes
atlien991
By atlien991 (Mar 28, 2013)

I don't see what random gun violence has to do with anything. My point, assiduously avoided in the responses, was that the beatles were an affirmative action (for white people) music group. They didn't have to be so great compared to other music because they had an 'advantage'. I would say it's water under the bridge but the same thing goes on today. I won't go too far into this though as I've seen the politics of dpreview commenters on other occasion and it wasn't very pleasant.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 28, 2013)

atlien--

Right, and particularly in 1965 the Beatles were an unthreatening boy band that could be marketed to white teens. Yin to the Stones' Yang. People like Dylan were already doing far more challenging stuff, but he wouldn't fill Shea Stadium, unless he were the hypothetical music act for an MLK speech, oh wait.

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Mar 28, 2013)

I can't believe you guys say the Beatles' MUSIC was unchallenging.

Do you mean lyrics?

Because musically they were far ahead of any other rock band, in terms of innovation, melody, harmony, instrumentation, arrangements, etc. etc. ad infinitum. That is, of course, unless innovation only counts for you if the lyrics are anti-social, or the performer is of a certain race.

It's unbelievable how unconscious some people are of the times. Were any of you commenting even alive then? We are not islands. We live in a certain culture and time, and reflect the values of that culture and time. For example, nowadays, you can either choose to accept that a large part of your transport (planes, cars, buses, whatever) is based on fossil fuels, or you can walk everywhere you go. Is that your point?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 28, 2013)

bobbarber--

In 1965 the Beatles music was not particularly challenging. 3 or 4 years later the story changes, but you missed the repeated 1965.

In 1965 the Beatles were a pop boy band with good marketing.

In 1965 the Beatles were no where near what the Rolling Stones were doing musically, a band that easily out plays the Beatles. The lyrics of the Beatles never came close to Dylan, but yes the Beatles improved in the later 1960s.

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Mar 28, 2013)

HowAboutRaw

Can't agree with you there. I don't know how much musical training you have, but the human voice is considered the "greatest instrument" by many composers and arrangers. The Stones never even came close to what the Beatles did vocally, which was the heart of their music (melody and harmony) except that Mick Jagger's style was interesting. But was Mick Jagger's style great musically? Please. And good musical arrangements don't have to be complex, or played fast. Listen to Chopin's 4th prelude. That is 3 chord, amazing music. The Beatles, in my opinion, had talent that at their best was along those lines. Sure, there were some misses.

And I had 35+ years ago, a copy of Sticky Fingers with the zipper and any other number of Stones albums, which I wore out. Cream too, etc. But those groups weren't in the Beatles class musically. Socially? Another question.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 29, 2013)

bob-

I listen to a lot of live opera. And nothing the Beatles ever did comes close to that vocally. However, the Stones' "Gimme Shelter" does.

Anyhow, I never said that the Beatles didn't do interesting things with music, just that those years were in the future in 1965.

I suggest that you relisten to the opening notes of "Paint It Black" (probably Brian Jones on a sitar), if you want to apprehend what the Beatles were not copying from real well in the later 1960s, "Paint It Black" was first done in 1962.

"And another girl to take my pain away..."

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Mar 30, 2013)

HowAboutRAw

There isn't a single Stones song that I haven't listened to between a dozen and several hundred times.

They're a great band.

They were however, far, far behind the Beatles musically. Their melodies were nowhere near as strong, their harmonies were nonexistent, their guitar-playing and instrumentation was repetitive, and on and on. Still, they were a great band. I would put their peak musically somewhere between Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street. There are many songs on those two albums that have better melodies and instrumentation than Paint It Black.

Melody is the base of music, at least western music. Rock was no exception. There is no getting around the fact that the Stones were not as talented musically as the Beatles. But they spoke to a lot of people, like Bob Dylan did, and Woody Guthrie, etc., because of their message. And the music was pretty good, too. But quite a bit short of great, or timeless.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 30, 2013)

B-

You should still probably relisten to the opening of "Paint It Black" to find much of the source of later 1960s Beatles music--it takes a good stereo, not an mp3 on an ipod.

And still my original post was about the Beatles pre 1966, you know when this Shea Stadium concert happened.

I'm plenty familiar with "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile", but individually those songs don't hold up against stuff the Stones did in the 1960s, even though the recording is much better. "Miss You" from "Some Girls" comes close to what the Stones were doing in 1960s. And still it's not somewhere the Beatles ever really got to. Perhaps "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" approaches the better Stones stuff, ironic.

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Mar 30, 2013)

HowAboutRaw

A hundred years from now, people will still be humming Beatles tunes, playing them on the piano, etc. You could take one of the worst early Beatles songs ever, something like "You can't do that", and the bridge is more melodic and harmonic than anything the Stones ever did. That's not even to speak of songs like "Yesterday" and "Hey Jude" and so on. A number of songs on "Let it Be", by general acclaim the worst album the Beatles ever made, have better melodies and harmonies than anything the Stones ever did.

The Stones music is the opposite of timeless. Nobody will be humming songs like "Satisfaction" or "Sympathy for the Devil" a hundred years from now. The songs just aren't that good. A few social studies majors might know the words. Now, if the Stones are your heroes, for whatever reason, maybe they were tough to the pretty Beatles or whatever, maybe I'm stepping on your toes. They were and are a cultural phenomenon. But the music is not Beatles-class.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Apr 3, 2013)

bobbarber:

One can hum the Beatles, now or later, simply because the most of their work is nonthreatening unchallenging nice enough stuff, but sorry people will still cover "Satisfaction" in the years to come. True the Stones aren't in the same class as the Beatles, the Stones are a bigger deal. So are The Who, Dylan, and Hendrix, and it's not as if I actively dislike The Beatles, they're just kinda easy listening music, lacking much passion.

Generally when one has to use the term bridge when talking about music it's a snooze.

And quoting myself from above since you skipped my point about how familiar I am with live vocals: "I listen to a lot of live opera. And nothing the Beatles ever did comes close to that vocally. However, the Stones' "Gimme Shelter" does."

It's also real hard to hum Bach Cello, but no one says that's not a big deal.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
brudy
By brudy (Mar 26, 2013)

You guys seriously underestimate the rabidness of Beatles fans that still continues today. Go read some of the audiophile forums - it's beyond what you can imagine.

1 upvote
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (Mar 26, 2013)

Yeah, yeah,yeah. These guys don't get it. There are such things in this world as classics - Beethoven, James Brown, The Beatles - immortal music for all the ages. Who are these naysayers frackin' 14 year old's, nowhere men, fools on the hill? Grab a Nikon FTN and some Tri-X (also classics) - sorry if you kids don't get that either.

3 upvotes
wlachan
By wlachan (Mar 26, 2013)

Way overrated band.

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Mar 26, 2013)

Thanks for your input.

5 upvotes
Ollie 2
By Ollie 2 (Mar 26, 2013)

Ahh, words of wisdom from the wise. In my experience, "overrated" is a term that is generally applied to great things by people who feel underrated.

10 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Mar 26, 2013)

Well, you got a reaction. But seriously, are you all right?

2 upvotes
CaseyComo
By CaseyComo (Mar 27, 2013)

i'm sure your band is better.

1 upvote
mr_landscape
By mr_landscape (Mar 27, 2013)

100% agreed

0 upvotes
atlien991
By atlien991 (Mar 27, 2013)

It's not so much that they are overrated but that their heyday was during Jim Crow America. Many musical talents they would have competed with were automatically considered bad or worse yet, irrelevant, simply due to skin color. The Beatles essentially were a white affirmative action band.

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Mar 28, 2013)

Yes, overrated, tell that to my 10yo daughter that's just learning some of their songs on the piano ...

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Mar 26, 2013)

When did The Beatles disbanded ? 43 years ago ! Thus why should we feel the need to talk so much about this group 43 years later, while several "scoops" are flooding the press ? Have a look at that article of The Japan Times, published the same day than this topic (cf: http://tinyurl.com/cnfjmp3 ). Seriously ? The very day there was an ubiquitous topic about Yoko Ono and the way she uses every single remaining of her died husband for any cause she wants ? (cf: http://tinyurl.com/d2s8csc )

I don't believe in coincidences...

0 upvotes
Seagull TLR
By Seagull TLR (Mar 26, 2013)

<I don't believe in coincidences...> You mean it is another conspiracy?

Their partnership was not legally dissolved until 1975.

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Mar 27, 2013)

Hey WilliamJ!

I don't believe in coincidence either.

The first three numbers of pi are 3.14.

The area code that serves St. Louis is 314.

2 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Mar 28, 2013)

To Seagull TLR: "Their partnership was not legally dissolved until 1975."
--> So what? Didn't you ever learn one has not to talk to tell nothing ?

"You mean it is another conspiracy? "
--> Firstly is "conspiracy" an insanity, nowadays ? Thinking this way IS insane as the full humanking history is a long list of conspiracies, some discovered and written down in textbooks, some unknown but nevertheless real and effectives. Have a little culture, boy !
Secondly, I don't talk about "conspiracy" (the big word !) but of media plan, of MARKETING. Oh, my ! Your world is collapsing as "marketing" is an allowed concept (even if it's all about trading "conspiracy", but that's too paranoid to think that more than 2 actions could ever be synchronized, that' never been seen before).

To bobbarber: so what? Do you intended to be fun ? Epic fail, mate, epic fail ! And the two ones who voted for your message should be ashamed for laughing to your joke. But, hey, we have the followers that we deserve ?

0 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Mar 28, 2013)

Well, we are still reading Shakepeare and listening to Bach, some things last longer than others. The Lady Gagas and Justin Biebers will likely be forgotten a couple of years from now. Some others will stay a little longer, but very few are news for that long, there's a reason for that.

0 upvotes
DotCom Editor
By DotCom Editor (Mar 26, 2013)

It may take until forever, but I continue to wait faithfully for a reunion concert of all four Beatles. Someday, I will have a front-row seat to this spectacle, albeit in rock 'n' roll heaven. Imagine -- all the people -- seeing John play that gorgeous JetGlo black Rickenbacker 325.

2 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Mar 27, 2013)

They have a reunion every few year in Nice. Too bad they don't sing at the union but poke fun at Lennon for being "dead".

1 upvote
Rick Knepper
By Rick Knepper (Apr 20, 2013)

I don't have John Lennon's Rickenbacker but my copy of the classic guitar hangs on my wall next to a poster of John Lennon playing his. In my pic to the left, you can see the poster on the wall behind me and my guitar peeking out just under my ear.

I'm not crazy about the neck on these guitars. I like my Gibsons better for general playing.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Paulo Ferreira
By Paulo Ferreira (Mar 26, 2013)

$47,000/61=$770 per picture! Cheap! Either the Beatles are not what they were or the photos are not what they should.

0 upvotes
TJGKG
By TJGKG (Mar 26, 2013)

Why pay anything for these photos? They aren't rare or behind the scenes. They are of a concert at Shea Stadium that pretty much any Beatle fan has. There is nothing special about them. They aren't even autographed or anything. So why waste money?

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Mar 26, 2013)

Right ! No reason, no GOOD reason at least... Money laundering then ?

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Mar 26, 2013)

Unique historical photos are often inexpensive. The fact that you see them as cheap implies your opinion of their value. While I don't buy photos like this I am glad someone benefited from the sale.

1 upvote
fredphotog
By fredphotog (2 months ago)

Have you not heard the phrase 'stuff is worth only what someone else thinks (pays) its' worth?'
The fact is you don't see many pics from these early concerts.

'IF only we would have known' shines here.

Heck I cannot tell you how many fake passes I made early on, got some great stuff, and was hired as a legit photog a year or two later, but today fake passes are an actual CRIME - you go to jail.

It got to be boring for me, I walked up to an ALONE Paul Newman once, sat all my cameras and bags down, and we sat and talked racing for 30 minutes - I never took a single pic of him during this. He really appreciated that and let me in to do things later, but nobody else.

0 upvotes
montoni
By montoni (Mar 26, 2013)

nice

1 upvote
Total comments: 64