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Photos of Beatles' 1st US concert to be auctioned

May 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Photos from the Beatles' first concert in America are set to be auctioned off at Christie's in New York.

Photographer Mike Mitchell captured the Fab Four in action as they gave their first U.S. concert in Washington, D.C.

Forty-seven years later, Mitchell has made 50 prints from his negatives of the event on Feb. 11, 1964 at Washington Coliseum and of the band's Sept. 13, 1964 performance at the Baltimore Civic Center. The prints will go up for auction July 20, and the total pre-sale estimate is $100,000.

Each picture will be sold separately.

Mitchell stored the negatives all these years in a box in the basement of his home. For the prints in the auction, he used digital technology to do "much better 'darkroom' work that could ever have been done in a traditional darkroom."

The batch of prints, showing the Beatles in their early signature mop hairdo and suit and tie outfits, also will have a nearly invisible "secret moniker" that will not be used for any other of his images, Mitchell said.

Mitchell also said he had not thought much about the photos until now because he has been focused on developing a body of photographic work about light that took him on a different aesthetic journey. And until recently, he said, the images "couldn't be restored to the extent that they have."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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