Book: The Beatles in Perspective
Chapter: 12. Paul in the Picture: Anatomy of a Snapshot
In an age when the act of creation so often feels subsumed to that of curation, there is no ghost economy more lucrative than that dealing in Beatles ephemera. As their stock rises with each passing year, it feels ever more unlikely that one should encounter anything Beatle under an un-turned stone. The author’s chance encounter, then, with a pristine Box Brownie snap of a pre-fame Paul McCartney – Hőfner in-hand, Beatles’ bob, sporting proto-Fabssuit – in a small Scottish venue is what initiated the work of this chapter. What follows is a picaresque stroll around north-east Scotland during the short Beatles tour of January 1963. Ostensibly, a search for the provenance of a snapshot, the chapter becomes an impressionistic meditation upon the randomness of fame and the prosaic truths that so often prop up our sense of legend. By February of the following year, The Beatles had been on the Ed Sullivan Show and the rest was history.