Friday, 31 May 2013

Yellow Submarine at Abbey Road Thanks to Red Bull Soapbox Racers!


A Beatles-inspired soapbox is taken for a test drive on Abbey Road
in north west London ahead of the Red Bull Soapbox race at
Alexandra Palace, London on 14 July
c. David Parry/PA

Red Bull racers – soapboxes including a Beatles-inspired yellow submarine, a police car and a black cab are taken for a test drive ahead of the Red Bull Soapbox race at Alexandra Palace, London on 14 July.

The vehicles, which each took three weeks to make, are made from BMX bicycle wheels and a steel axel steering mechanism.  They were customized using plywood, polystyrene and cardboard tubing, and are covered in coloured plastazote foam with details such as number plates and other branding created using vinyl.

After a nine year hiatus, the world’s wackiest road race returns as 70 human-powered soapboxes compete for glory as part of a festival of music and fun.  Judges Rob Marshall (Chief Designer at Red Bull Racing), Danny MacAskill (street trials pro-rider) and Gee Atherton (multi-award winning mountain biker) will be assessing entries on their speed, creativity and crowd-pleasing antics.

Entrants include a loaf of bread baked to soapbox size, Elvis’ blue suede shoe and a Royal baby carriage.  

Off the race track, there will be plenty of action to keep the crowds entertained including face painting, ‘people pit-stops’ and live music from DJs. 

Chief Designer at Red Bull Racing, Rob Marshall; street trials pro-rider, Danny MacAskill and multi-award winning mountain biker, Gee Atherton; will be the judges on the day.

The course opens to the public at 10.30am, racing commences at 12pm and the winner is crowned at 4pm.

Red Bull Soapbox Race 2013 is at Alexandra Palace on Sunday 14 July to book your £5 ticket please visit
c. David Parry/PA

About Red Bull Soapbox Race 2013

Red Bull Soapbox Race is an international event in which amateur drivers’ race homemade soapbox vehicles. Each hand-made machine is fuelled by nothing but sheer courage, the force of gravity and perhaps a little Red Bull. This unique, non-motorised racing event challenges both experienced racers and amateurs alike to design and build outrageous soapbox dream machines and compete against the clock in a downhill race.

Red Bull has held more than forty soapbox races around the world since the first one in Brussels in the year 2000 – from Australia to South Africa, Helsinki to St. Louis, Jamaica to Italy. Over the years, vehicles have ranged from realistic replicas to anything the imagination can conjure up. Previous designs have included a piano, a rodeo clown, a massive corn on the cob, a jail cell and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Crowd capacity of event: 20,000 people

Soapboxes are judged on:

The fastest vehicles to cross the line will be looked upon favourably. This is a race after all!

Personality is key, this is a fun event so finishing first doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll win

Racers will need to get the crowd on side, so a routine to show off their teams will help to pave the way to success

Review and Competition: How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin

How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin

Leslie Woodhead

Bloomsbury Publishing 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408840429

We are delighted to announce that we have a copy of this fabulous book to give away!

To be in with a chance of winning this book simply answer this question:

Leslie Woodhead made the film of the Beatles in the Cavern Club in 1962.  What song were they singing on the surviving film clip?

Email your answer to by 12 noon on Monday June 10, 2013.

Please include your FULL postal address in your email so that we can arrange to have the book posted to the winner.

The winner will be the first correct answer drawn at random after the closing date.  The webmaster's decision is final.  For full terms and conditions click here

Review by Dr Donna Jackson
Senior Lecturer in Modern History
University of Chester

If you've ever seen the film of the Beatles performing in the Cavern in 1962 -- the only footage of the Beatles in the Cavern -- then you should know the name of Leslie Woodhead.  As a young researcher for Granada television he filmed a clip of a local band playing in the Cavern Club in Liverpool for a forthcoming documentary.  The documentary, as originally planned, was never finished but Leslie's film of the Beatles in the Cavern singing "Some Other Guy" has gone down in Beatles history.  It also turned him into a life-long fan of The Beatles.

After capturing that moment of history, Leslie's career took him around the world, including several visits to countries that were behind the Iron Curtain.  With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, he became, he admits, "obsessed with the Soviet Beatles revolution".  And, in How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin: The Untold Story of a Noisy Revolution he explores the role that the Beatles might have played in the end of the Cold War, and how 'Beatlemania' was born, survived and indeed flourished "in spite of all the danger" for Beatles fans in the Soviet Union.

Leslie's book is a fascinating account that illustrates the pure magic and enduring appeal of the Beatles music.  Owning or listening to Beatles records during the Cold War was often illegal and could be highly dangerous but that didn't stop the fans in the Soviet Union.  Leslie describes the ingenious methods that were developed to share the forbidden music, which alone go to prove the depths of passion that the Soviet fans had for the Beatles.

Throughout the book Leslie introduces us to many of the Beatles' loyal Soviet fans and the interviews are touching, poignant, funny and inspiring.  You shouldn't need courage to be a fan of a band, but these people did and it's a privilege to get to 'know' them via this book.

From a historian's perspective, this book never quite fulfils its promise to explain the role of the Beatles in the end of the Cold War.  It's clear that cultural factors, including music, were important but, as Leslie acknowledges, it wasn't just The Beatles that were involved .  Therefore, although the Beatles may  have helped to rock the Kremlin, they weren't the only cultural influence that can be credited for the momentous changes. One can't help but wonder if a similar book could also be written about the influence of jazz in the 1950s, or about other rock and roll icons such as Elvis or the Rolling Stones.

Notwithstanding, the Beatles were clearly important and this book is a treasure for its insight into both the minds and the lives of music fans in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  There have been many books written by fans who have met the Beatles, but their stories seem insignificant compared to these people who were grateful for a bad bootleg or a grainy photo.  Their dedication, under almost impossible circumstances, speaks to the power of the music and that, when everything is said and done, is the true legacy of the Beatles.  As Alexander Gorodny told Leslie Woodhead during their meeting: "If such wonderful music is forbidden, we knew there had to be something wrong with our country."

This book will be on the list of recommended reading for my classes at the University of Chester, but it should also be on the recommended list for every Beatles fan.

For more information on Leslie Woodhead visit his website at

How The Beatles Rocked the Kremlin can be ordered from amazon via this link:

Publisher’s Description

A fascinating examination of the enduring popularity of the Beatles in the former Soviet Union by a writer who was there from the beginning, including never-seen-before photographs Imagine a world where Beatlemania was against the law-recordings scratched onto medical X-rays, merchant sailors bringing home contraband LPs, spotty broadcasts taped from western AM radio late in the night. This was no fantasy world populated by Blue Meanies but the USSR, where a vast nation of music fans risked repression to hear the defining band of the British Invasion.
The music of John, Paul, George, and Ringo played a part in waking up an entire generation of Soviet youth, opening their eyes to seventy years of bland official culture and rigid authoritarianism. Soviet leaders had suppressed most Western popular music since the days of jazz, but the Beatles and the bands they inspired-both in the West and in Russia-battered down the walls of state culture. Leslie Woodhead’s How The Beatles Rocked the Kremlin tells the unforgettable-and endearingly odd-story of Russians who discovered that all you need is Beatles. By stealth, by way of whispers, through the illicit late night broadcasts on Radio Luxembourg, the Soviet Beatles kids tuned in. “Bitles,” they whispered, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.”

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Students turn ‘paperback writers’ to tell history of site where Lennon met McCartney

The students inside St Peter’s Church hall.
From left, Stephen Furnival, Daniel Ali, John-Isaac Thompson,
Joe Hamer, John Donegan, Mark Gould, Emma Newham and Chloe Moores

It was the location of one of the most significant encounters in popular music history and now a group of students is making an appeal for information that will help to tell the full story of the place where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met. 
The team of eight History students from the University of Chester has been asked to research and produce a guide for St Peter’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool – one of the essential stop offs for fans on The Beatles’ tourist trail.
On July 6, 1957, the Quarrymen skiffle group – John’s band at the time – played at the garden fete of St Peter’s Church.
St Peter's Church, Woolton, Liverpool
It was while setting up their equipment to play, John’s neighbour and boyhood friend, Ivan Vaughan, introduced the band to one of his classmates from Liverpool Institute, the 15-year-old Paul.
This project forms part of the second year students’ experiential learning module which allows them to gain real life, hands on experience on a project or to conduct field work in their chosen area of study.
It was set up and is being led by the University’s Dr Donna Jackson, a lifelong fan of The Beatles who has written extensively about the band, and is also a member of St Peter’s Church.

Dr Jackson, who lectures in Modern History at the University, said: “This is a really exciting project for the students to be involved in. The Beatles are such a rich part of our cultural heritage and, as
St Peter’s is where John Lennon was first introduced to Paul McCartney, it is one of the ‘must see’ places for Beatles fans coming to Liverpool.
“St Peter’s is my church, and when I first went there I was privileged to meet a man named Dave Peters. Dave witnessed Ivan’s introduction of John to Paul and would spend hours with Beatles’ fans sharing his memories of that special day. 
St Peter's Church Hall, where John Lennon
was first introduced to Paul McCartney
“Dave sadly passed away in 2011, and many other people who were present that day, including John Lennon and Ivan Vaughan, are no longer with us. That makes it even more important to try to document this story as accurately as possible, and while some of the witnesses are still with us, for the generations of fans to come.
“I very often show visitors around St Peter’s and it’s such a privilege to be able to take them to the spot where musical history was made. I’m thrilled that my students are going to be part of this wonderful heritage project as is Kip Crooks, Rector of St Peter’s.”
She added: “Dave’s telling of this first encounter will form a significant part of this guide book, but it would be fantastic if there is anyone out there who remembers being there or has information connected to that fateful day back in July 1957.”
This is not the first time that the University’s History students have been involved in such a high profile project connected to the late John Lennon.
In 2010 and 2011, two separate groups took part in a research project to gather information to be used in the future to recreate the authenticity of the garden Lennon’s childhood home, Mendips in Liverpool, with the assistance of the National Trust, which looks after the property.
Upon learning of this news through the University’s website, Yoko Ono sent a personal message to the students, in which she wrote “…thank you, thank you, thank you, to members of the Family of Peace and love of beauty. Thank you for working on the garden at Mendips. John and I thank you. With love,Yoko.”

 Emma Newham; Dr Donna Jackson; John- Isaac Thompson;
Mark Gould; Stephen Furnival

If you have any information that you can share for the St Peter’s Church guide book project, please contact Dr Jackson at or call 01244 512160.
For more information on the University of Chester, visit the website at 

Monday, 20 May 2013

Special Offer and Review: "And In The End"

And in the End
Jermyn St Theatre, London
until June 1

Special Offer!

Members of the British Beatles Fan Club can see this fabulous play for the special price of only £10.00 per ticket

Simply quote "British Beatles Fan Club Offer" when telephoning the box office to book your tickets, or email Giles Cole at

Review by Donna Jackson

Telling John Lennon's life story is inevitably a daunting task.  So much has been written, so many myths have been told and re-told, so many people have shared their stories and memories, that to fit everything into a two-hour stage play is an impossibility.  Where Sandy Marshall succeeds with his script for And In The End is by taking the main events from John's life and using the five stages of grief to illustrate the main events of John's tumultuous and remarkable life.

Marshall's approach is to take the premise that your life flashes before your eyes in the moments between life and death.  After a stunning opening that left us all gasping (and although I can't say too much because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who has not, as yet, seen this play, the moment of John's murder was portrayed with dignity and respect), John begins to recall the key moments of his life as he also struggles to accept his imminent death.

The five stages of grief -- of accepting that death is approaching -- are brilliantly used to take the audience with John on his journey: Denial (I'm John Lennon; how can this be happening to me?); Anger (for example, his reaction to Julia's death); Bargaining (The Beatle Years); Depression (the Beatles break-up; the 'lost weekend'); and Acceptance (the release of Double Fantasy and, we hope, the peace that John finally found).  The journey is emotional, and not just because we all know how it will end.  It was a magical, traumatic and truly remarkable journey and the play serves as a great reminder of a truly remarkable man.  (And if anyone is worried, the story is told without mentioning THAT name, for which Sandy Marshall is to be both thanked and commended.)  John's story is always sad because of the way his life ended.  And In The End there are feelings of hope and peace and that's a good legacy both for John and for everyone associated with this play.

The supporting cast in "And In the End" are excellent and Martin Bendel, Helen Phillips and Spencer Cowan  received a well-deserved resounding ovation at the end of the play.  But the loudest cheers were reserved for Valentine Pelka who commanded the stage for two hours in a portrayal of John that was masterful.  There was no caricature or over-the-top scouse accent.  Instead, from Pelka, we were treated to an honest, heartful and passionate performance that showed the 'human' side to someone who has become a legend.

Valentine Pelka

John's story is familiar to all of us, but the way that this play is staged and presented offers a different view and perspective, and that alone makes it worthwhile to treat yourself to a ticket.  When you add the performances of all four actors, and especially Valentine Pelka, then a visit to And In The End really is a treat.

And In The End is on at the Jermyn St Theatre, London until June 1.

Book your tickets now by telephoning the box office on 020 7287 2875 and don't forget to quote "British Beatles Fan Club" to take advantage of this special offer on tickets for our members!

For more information on this great play visit the website at

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Yoko Ono Launches the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus in Liverpool

On May 8, Yoko Ono visited Liverpool to launch the European John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, and then appeared on stage in the evening at the celebration party in the Cavern.

c. The Beatles Shop

We would like to thank Gary Barwise and The Beatles Shop for allowing us to use their photos of that very special day!

c. Gary Barwise

c. Gary Barwise

"The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a state-of-the-art audio and HD video recording and production facility. Plans for Lennon Bus Europe have been evolving since the first U.S. Lennon Bus hit the road in 1998 with a mission to provide young people with access to state of the art production studios. Staffed by a crew of three producer/engineers, the Bus is dedicated to providing the young people of Europe with free hands-on opportunities to produce original music, video, photo, game app and broadcast projects reflective of their ideas, values, and creativity.

c. The Beatles Shop  

Powered by Apple Computers and iOS devices, Lennon Bus Europe makes stops at local schools, colleges, concerts, festivals and professional trade shows; providing free tours and workshops in which young people produce original songs, audio recordings, broadcast quality music videos and livestream events.

All projects created on board are available for viewing on, YouTube, and Facebook."

For more information on the John Lennon Education Tour Bus visit the website at:

c. The Beatles Shop

Yoko also made a brief appearance on stage in the Cavern Club's Live Lounge as part of the launch celebrations

c. The Beatles Shop

NB: All images are used here with the kind permission of the copyright holders.  Please DO NOT download or otherwise reproduce these images without the express permission of the copyright holders and the British Beatles Fan Club

Tribute to Abbey Road from Newcastle Road

A great tribute to all the visitors to Abbey Road from Newcastle Road:

Ready for a little side trip to Abbey Road? Take the Northern Line to St. John’s Wood and walk down Grove End Road until you come to the intersection where you’ll see a certain recording studio across the street on your right. You never know who you might bump into!

Friday, 17 May 2013


The Beatles Fan Club secretary Freida Kelly and Joe Flannery
reminisce at the launch of Joe Flannery's book
Standing in the Wings – The Beatles, Brian Epstein and Me
at Liverpool's Beatles Story

Meanwhile fans will descend on Liverpool’s Beatles Story for an exclusive ‘meet and greet’ book signing on Saturday 18th May between 11am-4pm

Friends and family of The Fab Four came out en masse on Tuesday night for the official launch of Joe Flannery’s remarkable new book, Standing in the Wings – The Beatles, Brian Epstein and Me.

Pivotal figures from Liverpool’s musical past and present joined Joe at the award-winning Beatles Story attraction to celebrate the new book which charts the meteoric rise of The Beatles from their very earliest days in Liverpool.
Joe’s role as Brain Epstein’s business partner is well known amongst fans but he has – until now - kept silent about his vital role in The Beatle’s career. 

Standing in the Wings – The Beatles, Brian Epstein and Me lifts the lid on those heady early days as Joe and Epstein navigated the Swinging Sixties to bring The Beatles to a global audience.

The VIP launch party was attended by Councillor Lord Mayor Sharon Sullivan, Frieda Kelly (Beatles Fan Club), Merseybeat Popstar Beryl Marsden, Beatles and McCartney biographer Philip Norman, Roag Best (brother of original drummer Pete best), Colin Hanton (from The Quarrymen) and DJ Pete Price.

Beryl Marsden with Cavern Club resident band, The Shakers

Having launched the book Joe will then make a personal appearance at The Beatles Story (in the Beatles themed Starbucks cafĂ©) between 11am – 4pm on Saturday 18th May speaking to fans and signing his book for them.

Standing in the Wings – The Beatles, Brian Epstein and Me will be exclusively available at The Beatles Story for one month before going on general release.

There will be a very limited number of signed copies of Joe Flannery’s book ‘Standing in the Wings – The Beatles, Brian Epstein and Me’ available at The Beatles Story’s Fab4 store after the signing session. Visit on 18th May for more details.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Take Flight Again in 2013…With Wings over America

Re-release of Paul McCartney & Wings’ groundbreaking 
1976 live album Wings over America 
containing bonus material out May 28th on 
Hear Music/Concord Music Group

DVD release of the live concert film ‘Rockshow’ 
documenting the band’s epic Wings over the World tour across America (June 11th)
c. MPL Communications Ltd

This Spring will see another chapter unfold in the life of Wings, the band formed by Paul McCartney after the break-up of The Beatles – and one of the most successful bands the UK has ever produced.

c. 1976 MPL Communications Ltd/Photographer Robert Ellis
Wings over America

First, the historic live album, which documented the band’s triumphant 1976 tour across North America, will be reissued in a range of formats. Fans and hardcore devotees alike will be especially thrilled with the stunning four-book, four-disc (3CD, 1DVD) Deluxe Edition Box Set.  The box set's superior audio and video include the two-disc Wings over America album remastered at Abbey Road, a bonus audio disc recorded live at San Francisco’s Cow Palace, a bonus DVD containing the rarely seen 75-minute television special Wings over the World and the photo gallery montage entitled ‘Photographer’s Pass’.  

Moreover, the Deluxe Edition Box Set contains four exquisitely rendered art books packaged with an incredible array of exclusive memorabilia, souvenirs, mementos, keepsakes and never-before-seen photos and art work from this historic tour.  The spectacular 110-page commemorative tour book beautifully recounts the behind-the-scenes drama through dozens of live performances and backstage photos along with new interviews and liner notes from eminent music journalist David Fricke. 

The Wings over America leatherette-bound ‘Tour Itinerary’ contains extravagant memorabilia including printed 8X10 glossy band photos, a backstage guest pass, facsimiles of the invitation to the infamous end-of-tour party at the Harold Lloyd Estate in Beverly Hills along with Wings over America concert tickets, original album art work, tour posters, set lists, lyrics, press materials and much more.  ‘Look’, the box set’s warm and intimate book of Linda McCartney photography features Paul and the band in their everyday life as they made their way across the country in the spring of ’76.  Lastly, the set contains ‘The Ocean View’ an extraordinary hardbound compendium of drawings and sketches by artist Humphrey Ocean that captures the band on tour in relaxed and revealing ways.  A striking artistic achievement in and of itself, the audacious Wings over America Deluxe Edition Box Set is a must have for any McCartney enthusiast.

Rockshow DVD Release

c. 1976 MPL Communications Ltd/
Photographer Robert Ellis
And for the first time a DVD will be released by Eagle Rock of the live concert film Rockshow which was shot in 1975 and 1976 when Paul McCartney & Wings undertook the epic Wings over the World tour--the largest-scale tour they would ever undertake as a band.  Packed with all the classic Wings hits - plus some of Paul's solo and Beatles classics - the film is released on both DVD and Blu-ray formats. Although filmed on this tour at the enormous Kingdome in Seattle, Rockshow, originally an edited version of the concert, was not premiered until November 1980 in New York and April 1981 in London.  It was originally released on Betamax (later on laserdisc) but it’s only now that the complete full-length concert is being made available fully restored from the original 35mm film and with restored & remastered sound, including a 5.1 mix for the first time.

‘Rockshow’ Film Trailer: 

For Wings Across America Paul brought with him one the most sophisticated and dazzling rock shows of the mid-Seventies (a time when nobody worried about extravagance or expense) and the band would eventually perform to more than 600,000 people at 31 shows in the US and Canada, ending with three mind-bending nights at The Forum in Los Angeles. It’s no exaggeration to say that the demand that greeted Paul McCartney & Wings (Linda McCartney, Joe English, Denny Laine and Jimmy McCulloch) in the spring of 1976 as they embarked on what would become their one and only North American tour was overwhelming.  Having released four consecutive chart busting albums including Red Rose Speedway, Band on the Run, Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound – not to mention 1973’s Academy Award-winning James Bond theme “Live and Let Die” – Paul’s solo career was in full flight… and having not performed in the States for 10 years either solo or with The Beatles, excitement had reached fever pitch.

Now Paul gives fans the chance to be able to immerse themselves in a concert that is destined to live forever.

For a Wings Over America Sneak Peak via YouTube: 

The remastered album’s release is dedicated to late members Linda McCartney and Jimmy McCulloch.


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Review: The Quarrymen Celebrate the Opening of "And In The End"

Review by Donna Jackson

John Duff Lowe (on piano), Len Garry and Rod Davis
To celebrate the opening of And In The End in the West End on May 7, the Quarrymen performed a special concert at the St James Theatre on Monday night.  Sadly, Colin Hanton was unable to play as he's recovering from an operation, and the BBFC would like to wish Colin a very speedy recovery!

However, Rod Davis, Len Garry and John Duff Lowe, with the support of two members of the Trembling Wilburys on drums and bass, kept the crowd enthralled as they shared their memories of the early years of the band as well as the great music that they had played all those years ago.

Len seems to be enjoying Rod's reminiscences
as much as the rest of us!
The room where the performance took place was quite small, but that only served to add to the intimate and friendly atmosphere, and the band seemed to enjoy themselves as much as the audience.

Len Garry and John Duff Lowe having fun on stage

Rod Davis 

As they often do, the Quarrymen invited members of the audience to join them for the skiffle songs.  They probably hadn't expected 'John Lennon' to be able to join them on washboard, but Valentine Pelka, who plays the part of John in And In The End couldn't resist the opportunity and was clearly delighted that he'd played alongside the members of John's first band.

Also joining in was Brian Barry (on washboard) and the writer, producer and director of And In The End, Sandy Marshall (on tea-chest bass).

Rod Davis is serving as a consultant for And In the End, and encouraged everyone to go to see it.  Well, if a Quarryman says it's worth it, then that's good enough for us!  To buy tickets, and for more information on the play, the cast and the crew visit the website at

Rod Davis, Quarryman, and Consultant for And In the End
It's always a pleasure and a privilege to watch the Quarrymen perform.  When Len Garry sings "In My Life", and dedicates it to John, it's so much more poignant than when anyone else sings it because Len is singing about his school-mate and it's personal.  And perhaps that's the real magic of this group -- that for a couple of hours, they can make you feel as if you're part of the 'family' too and part of the truly magical story of John Lennon, the Quarrymen and The Beatles.

Thanks, fellas, for another very special and unforgettable night!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Starrlite Beatles return to The Billingshurst Centre!

After their sold out show, last year The Starrlite Beatles have been asked back to perform to lovely people of Billingshurst for one night only!

Let The Starrlite Beatles take you back to the world of John, Paul, George and Ringo and you are guaranteed a fantastic time!

Saturday May 4
Doors - 18:45; Show - 19:30

Advance tickets £10 -

The Billingshurst Centre
Roman Way
West Sussex
RH14 9EW 

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Fabulous Exhibition of Linda's Photographs in Vienna

Linda McCartney, London
© 1968 Paul McCartney /
Photographer: Eric Clapton
Linda McCartney
6 June to 6 October 2013

KUNST HAUS WIEN will be holding a retrospective devoted to the oeuvre of Linda McCartney, one of the most interesting photographers of the 20th century. The exhibition, which is the first comprehensive retrospective of McCartney’s works worldwide, presents a selection of her iconic photographs of sixties rock and roll, her family life and nature. It is being produced by KUNST HAUS WIEN in cooperation with Linda Enterprises Ltd.

Linda McCartney, who was born Linda Eastman in 1941 in New York, had a passion for photography. Her fascination with music led her to immerse herself in the musical scenes of New York, California and London, documenting the “swinging sixties” with her portraits of stars such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, The Who and Simon & Garfunkel. The palpable atmosphere of closeness and informality in her fresh, candid photographs makes her approach to portraiture unique.

Aretha Franklin, Los Angeles © 1968 Paul McCartney / Photographer: Linda McCartney

A chance opportunity to photograph The Rolling Stones at a press conference in June 1966 to promote the album “Aftermath” on a yacht on the Hudson River in New York was a breakthrough for the young photographer. In 1968, when her portrait of Eric Clapton was featured on the cover of “Rolling Stone”, she became the first woman to have this honour.

Brian Jones and Mick Jagger, New York
© 1966 Paul McCartney /
Photographer: Linda McCartney
Linda photographed The Beatles at the launch of their album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band“in 1967. Paul and Linda fell in love, and got married two years later.

Paul and Martha, London
© 1968 Paul McCartney /
Photographer: Linda McCartney

Heather, Stella and Paul
© 1975 Paul McCartney /
Photographer: Linda McCartney
Linda’s photographic world expanded to encompass her family life raising four children with Paul, as well as the final years of The Beatles, Wings tours, and more peaceful times in the country in Sussex and Scotland.

Linda McCartney’s everyday scenes, which reflect the warmth of her devotion to her family, reveal her alertness to the poetry of the moment as well as to humorous or surreal situations, and stand on an equal footing in her oeuvre with her famous portraits. These works, too, demonstrate her distinctive personal style: a casual elegance combined with an instinctive feeling for capturing the subject at just the right instant.

The Beatles, Abbey Road, London
© 1969 Paul McCartney /
Photographer: Linda McCartney
In her later life, Linda McCartney returned to the early interests that had influenced her development as a photographer. Her love of the fine arts had been sparked by her encounters with numerous prominent artists and led her to study art history at university.

Her particular enthusiasm for the medium of photography, its history and its processes inspired her to experiment with techniques from the early days of photography. A considerable number of portraits date back to this period, for instance of Willem de Kooning, Gilbert and George, Jim Jarmusch and Allen Ginsberg, some of which will be included in the exhibition. Photographs of animals, plants, landscapes and still lifes – partly done as platinum prints, sun prints and polaroids – as well as a documentary section with contact sheets, videos and other material round off this retrospective of the lifework of a passionate photographer.

Stallion and Standing Stone, Scotland
© 1996 Paul McCartney /
Photographer: Linda McCartney
Paul McCartney: “From the early days, I have very much admired her photography, and being able to experience it personally only added to my feelings of admiration. […] She was the easiest of photographers to be photographed by, and the relaxation of her subjects that she achieved is clearly visible in her work. I was always impressed by her impeccable timing. When you least expected it, the shutter would click and she had the shot. Her art took on new dimensions when she settled down to raise her family. […] On a personal level, she was fun-loving, intensely loyal and very protective of her family; her laconic sense of humour shone through in everything she did.” (From “Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs”, TASCHEN 2011)

Paul McCartney, Jamaica
© 1971 Paul McCartney /
Photographer: Linda McCartney
Works by Linda McCartney have been shown by institutions such as the International Center of Photography in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Portrait Gallery in London. The exhibition at KUNST HAUS WIEN is the first comprehensive retrospective of this photographer worldwide.

John Lennon, London
© 1969 Paul McCartney /
Photographer: Linda McCartney

The exhibition is being produced by KUNST HAUS WIEN in cooperation with Linda Enterprises Ltd. The curatorial work is being done by members of the McCartney family and Andreas Hirsch, curator of KUNST HAUS WIEN, in collaboration with Claudia Schmid of Linda Enterprises Ltd.

For more information on this fabulous exhibition, visit the website at

NB: All photographs are used here with the kind permission of Kunst Haus Wien and can ONLY be used for this article.  Please DO NOT download or reproduce without the express permission of Kunst Haus Wien or the copyright holder