Yes, Mike McCartney, the author of Early Liverpool, is Paul’s younger brother but don’t dismiss his limited-edition book as a case of Beatles nepotism. He’s an accomplished and observant photographer and besides, if not for this connection, there wouldn’t be such a fab visual record of a very young Paul and, of course, the aforementioned Beatles. Early Liverpool collects Mike McCartney’s 1950s and 60s photography of his home city and includes previously unpublished material such as an unseen colour photo of Paul, John Lennon and George Harrison from 1958.
Fascinated by photography as a teen, he starts out using the family’s Kodak Brownie box camera, showing imagination even then, and after his brother buys him a Rollei Magic camera, his artistry continues to come into focus (particularly poignant is one photo taken in a concentration camp). McCartney visits the iconic Cavern Club and other local clubs and not only gets up-close shots (and sometimes birds-eye views) of the Beatles and fellow Liverpudlian groups but also of music legends Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard.
Early Liverpool, a family photo album as much as historical documentation, is filled with ephemera like ticket stubs, letters and postcards and has amusing and insightful antidotes. Shown too is Mike McCartney’s artwork, also demonstrating early promise and interest in surrealism.
Mike McCartney’s Early Liverpool, Mike McCartney (Genesis)
Price: £295/£595 deluxe edition. Info: here
words RHONDA LEE REALI
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