Sir Paul McCartney will discuss a treasure trove of 1000 lost Beatles photographs discovered in his archives three years ago in a livestreamed interview to be held later this month.

The previously unseen photographs were taken by him and date mostly from 1963 and 1964, a pivotal period for The Beatles which saw them lead the so-called British Invasion of America, undertake their first world tour and make the film A Hard Day’s Night.

“Anyone who rediscovers a personal relic or family treasure is instantly flooded with memories and emotions, which then trigger associations buried in the haze of time,” Sir Paul said of the cache of images. “This was exactly my experience in seeing these photos, all taken over an intense three-month period of travel, culminating in February 1964. It was a wonderful sensation to be plunged right back.

“Here was my own record of our first huge trip, a photographic journal of The Beatles in six cities, beginning in Liverpool and London, followed by Paris (where John and I had been ordinary hitchhikers three years before), and then what we regarded as the big time, our first visit as a group to America.”

Now 275 of the images have been gathered into a book, 1964: Eyes Of The Storm, to be published on June 13. In it Sir Paul tells of how he was still learning to use his camera in 1963 but that he had had a long and abiding interest in modern art piqued by buying a book on the subject with a book token won in a national essay competition.

“By the time I was taking photos I was on the road with The Beatles and had developed a pretty good understanding of composition, framing and patterns in art which I was subconsciously applying,” he writes. “Being on the road meant I also had a host of new subjects to try to capture in the quickly evolving medium of photography.”

Elsewhere he recalls what he calls the “pandemonium” of the period and says: “Millions of eyes were suddenly upon us, creating a picture I will never forget for the rest of my life.” Indeed one of the images is a close-up of a pair of grinning photographers snapping him as he snaps them, taken in New York’s Central Park in 1964.

Alongside artful and experimental self-portraits shot in mirrors, the pictures show the band fleeing crowds of fans in New York – scenes that would be replicated in 1964 film A Hard Day’s Night – and offer candid portraits of his bandmates.

There are examples of street photography, backstage shots such as one of Ringo Starr setting up his drumkit on the Ed Sullivan Show, curios like the band posing with the clay moulds created of their heads by sculptor David Wynne, and snaps of some of the many people they met on their travels. Among them are Ronnie Spector, Johnny Hallyday, French actress Sophie Hardy and, holding his own camera, Scottish celebrity photographer Harry Benson.

The photographs were taken in London, Paris, Miami, New York, Washington DC and, of course, Liverpool, and mostly shot on black and white 35mm film.

The Herald: John and George, Paris 1964 John and George, Paris 1964 (Image: © Paul McCartney)

The Herald: Photographers in Central Park. New York, 1964Photographers in Central Park. New York, 1964 (Image: © Paul McCartney)

The newly discovered images will also feature in an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from June 28, mounted to celebrate the gallery’s re-opening after three years and the largest refit in its history. The livestreamed In Conversation event will be hosted by the gallery at 2pm on June 29.

Sir Paul has written the picture captions too, descriptions such as: “Taken out of the back of our car on West Fifty-Eighth, crossing the Avenue of the Americas” and “George looking young, handsome and relaxed. Living the life.”

The images attest to Sir Paul’s long fascination with photography and film. In Barry Miles’s exhaustive 1997 biography of the iconic musician, based on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over five years, he relates how in Stockholm in July 1964 he slicked back his hair and used a false moustache and fake spectacles from the set of A Hard Day’s Night to fool George Harrison and Beatles manager Brian Epstein into thinking he was a press photographer.

Epstein was in the bath with his door open when McCartney entered. Harrison came to the door “quite grumpy … I’d never seen him like that before.” With his camera round his neck and flashing a see-through plastic card he had been given by a music publisher, Sir Paul spoke in a made-up language and asked for a photograph. Neither man recognised him, though Harrison was “getting quite nasty” until the ruse was revealed. “I went into my real accent. And he goes: ‘*******hell’.” Epstein, meanwhile, was “freaked.”

Sir Paul’s first wife, Linda McCartney, was a noted photographer too and became the first woman to shoot a Rolling Stone cover when her portrait of Eric Clapton was used in 1968. The couple’s eldest child, Mary McCartney, is also a photographer, and in 2015 was chosen to photographer the late Queen Elizabeth.  

The Herald: Ringo Starr, LondonRingo Starr, London (Image: © Paul McCartney)