Acclaimed photographer Mike McCartney has announced a new book of his photography, illustrations and commentary that form his “definitive statement” of his and brother Paul’s home town.
Mike McCartney’s Early Liverpool will be available in Collector and Deluxe editions, as a signed, limited edition volume, from Genesis Publications and can be pre-ordered now. The book collects his finest photography, including many previously unseen images and drawings. It goes from his very first photograph, taken with the family’s Kodak Brownie box camera, to experiments with his Rollei Magic camera, via which he discovered a love of surrealism.
A history of Merseybeat
The pictures also provide an evocative history of Liverpool’s Merseybeat scene, captured at all the city’s famous venues such as the Casbah Club, the Jacaranda Club, Hope Hall, the Tower Ballroom and of course the Cavern. “I got into surrealism through cinematography,” says McCartney. “Suddenly, as a young man, still at school, I saw these extraordinary mind-blowing visuals, defying normality.”
The author became known to a generation as Mike McGear, one of the three members of Liverpool pop trio the Scaffold. In the book’s manuscript, he describes growing up in a post-war city and the cultural sensation that it hosted. His love of satire, poetry, and music, are on full display, as are pictures of The Beatles, the Fourmost, the Roadrunners, and Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.
The above image, captured in March 1958 by Mike McCartney and previously unseen, features Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison (facing away) in McCartney’s Auntie Gin’s front room. It’s thought to be one of the earliest ever color pictures of The Beatles.
Mike’s images also document Liverpool’s poets and artists, such as Adrian Henri, Sam Walsh, and Maurice Cockrill, RA, and the incredible array of visiting stars that played in the city, such as Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Long John Baldry. “I find lost photos and drawings all the time. This will be my definitive statement of a magic era,” says McCartney.
350 deluxe editions
Mike McCartney’s Early Liverpool is limited to only 2,000 copies worldwide, each signed by the author. The first 350 copies, fully bound in cloth with an original inset stencil, are numbered Deluxe editions and include three signed 8″x10″ prints (200mm x 254mm). That edition is housed in a cloth-bound solander case with original artwork by McCartney in gold foil blocking.
Collector Copies are numbered 351 to 2,000, signed by the author and include a stamped 8”x10” (200mm x 254mm) print. The front is a Kodachrome colour photograph with John Lennon, Paul, and George Harrison playing as the Quarrymen at a McCartney family celebration in 1958. Dennis Littler, a family friend, appears on the right. On the reverse, Mike is pictured with Littler more than 50 years later, in 2012. The print is numbered, stamped, and is suitable for framing.
The Collector cover is quarter bound in black cloth with an original stencil by McCartney that was created for a poster advertising an early Beatles gig at the Casbah, rendered in gold foil blocking. Copies are housed in an archival slipcase screen-printed with a montage of photographs and original artwork.
Mike McCartney’s Early Liverpool can be pre-ordered here.