Video Interview with Photographer Mike Mitchell
By DONNA BALANCIA
Rare, never-before-seen photographs of The Beatles’ first concerts in the United States were sold Saturday for $358,000 at a U.K. auction house.
Omega Auctions of Newton-Le-Willows announced the sale of the 413 copyrighted negatives at a Beatles auction. They were taken by photographer Mike Mitchell during The Beatles’ performances at the Washington Coliseum Feb. 11, 1964, two days after the Ed Sullivan Show appearance, and at Baltimore Civic Center on Sept. 13, 1964.
Mike Mitchell Sells Through Beatles Auction in the UK
At the Baltimore show, the then-18-year-old Mitchell even stepped on stage to take photos. Mitchell said he was “very motivated to come up with stuff that was as unique as could possibly be.”
Mitchell also got shots of The Beatles’ arriving at Union Station in Washington, D.C., and also during a pre-concert press conferences.
In Other Beatles Auction News
In 2011, Mitchell sold off other photos from the same events to Christie’s.
In other Beatles auction news: George Harrison’s 1984 black Mercedes-Benz, was sold to the highest bidder at just over $61,000. A signed hotel register from a night at “The Bull” in Peterborough, which all four musicians signed along with manager Brian Epstein, sold for $14,000.
Mitchell Recalls The 1964 Beatles and Photography
Mitchell said he was driving in suburban Washington, D.C. with his mother when on the radio came music of The Beatles. He knew he had to go see the band. Miraculously he got a press credential.
Mitchell said that if it were not for modern technology of the last 10 years, the photos — and in particular the “iconic” Beatles photo — might never have been seen.
Mitchell he didn’t have “flash gun,” and had to shoot the concerts working on ambient lighting. It always remained his style, he said.
“People say to me ‘I like the way you use light,'” Mitchell said. “And I have come to be able to say ‘I like the way light uses me,’ because I think that’s what’s going on.”
Video courtesy of Omega Auctions UK