A Garage Sale Find of Rare Beatles Photos Took a Collector on a Magical Mystery Tour

Beatles fan and photograph collector Dave Seabury thought he was familiar with all the photos taken of the Fab Four, but a contact sheet of images he found a garage sale in the 1980s was a mystery. It was only years later that he figured out the pictures were taken at the final Beatles concert on August 29, 1966, at Candlestick Park. But who was the photographer? In 2015, Seabury began earnestly investigating, but found nothing. He decided to print the 70 images and exhibit them for the 50th anniversary of the concert.   

When the final images were printed, everyone who saw them agreed that the photographs were indeed as special as Seabury believed them to be. Unlike the usual hero shots that tend to be the stock-in-trade of rock photography, the pictures enlarged from Seabury’s contact sheet were oddly intimate, especially considering they were taken during a 37-minute set in a San Francisco baseball park before more than 25,000 screaming fans. These were not the four cocky lads from Liverpool who had made such a splash on “The Ed Sullivan Show;” instead, the pictures showed four pensive men, who had only recently decided among themselves that this would be their last live concert together. It was almost as if the mystery photographer knew their secret, too.

Still, despite the quality and artfulness of the images, would Seabury and his cohorts really be permitted to present an exhibition of photographs if they didn’t even know the name of the photographer? That question became increasingly urgent to Dave Seabury as the August 29 deadline loomed.

The exhibition came and went, and it set in motion circumstances that led to the eventual identification of the photographer. That's when the story really gets weird, involving Bob Dylan, Richard Avedon, and the Zodiac Killer, and the reason the contact sheet ended up in a garage sale in the first place. Read the whole story at Collectors Weekly.

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