The exhibit features 36 images, some of which are never-before-seen pictures of the Beatles in concert.
St. Paul, Minn. (Vocus) April 20, 2010
It’s as if you were there: Aug. 21, 1965, and the only Minnesota appearance by the Beatles, the biggest rock band of all time. Seventeen-year-old Bill Carlson was there. Trying to hone his craft, Carlson was eager to grab an unclaimed press pass and shoot the Beatles’ arrival at the airport, the press conference and the concert that followed. Carlson took more than 140 photographs that day, capturing the personality of the Beatles and their fans in spontaneous, casual, black-and-white images. Now, 45 years later, history lovers, music lovers and everyday Minnesotans can relive the day for themselves in the new exhibit “The Beatles! A One-Night Stand in the Heartland,” at the Minnesota History Center, July 17 – Sept. 12, 2010.
The exhibit features 36 images, some of which are never-before-seen pictures of the Beatles in concert. Through the images, exhibit goers will be able to make intimate connections with the Beatles, a band that changed music and popular culture forever. The photographs also tell the story of Carlson, a young photographer just starting out in his career, who attended the press conference where he talked with George Harrison about his new Rickenbacker guitar. But Carlson wasn’t the only teenager following the Beatles. At the concert, there were more than 25,000 screaming, shouting, cheering and swooning fans. Carlson’s photographs capture close-up moments of fans touched by the Beatles and their music as well as mob scenes with girls waiting to greet the band as they got off the plane and during the press conference.
In addition to the images, the exhibit features an artifact case with items from Carlson’s photography career, including one of his early cameras. A computer station will play video footage of the Beatles press conference and users can pull up a web page where they can enter their own memories of the Beatles visit to Minnesota and read entries by other fans.
In 2008, the Society started collecting online memories of fans who attended, or wanted to attend, the concert in 1965. Visitors to the exhibit can read these memories, including “Catherine’s” lament that she couldn’t go to the concert because the $5.50 ticket price cost too much. “Gail” tells of attending the concert at age 11 and forming a Beatles air-guitar band with three girlfriends (the group got so good they won a talent contest). “Mike” describes going to the concert at age 15 with his brother Bill and cousin Greg, and sitting in the third deck behind home plate on “a beautiful August evening.” The Beatles: Share Your Story can also be viewed online at http://www.mnhs.org/beatles .
Exhibit Public Reception
The History Center’s free summer concert series, 9 Nights of Music, features the music of the Beatles July 20 from 5 to 9 p.m. It’s an extended evening of classic rock tunes, performed by local cover-band RetroFit. The night serves as the exhibit reception and includes complimentary access to the Beatles exhibit gallery, a book signing with author and photographer Bill Carlson and a screening of the Beatles movie “A Hard Day’s Night” in the 3M Auditorium. Other activities include a photo op with a life sized Sgt. Pepper’s Album Cover, The Beatles Rock Band music video game and a Beatles inspired costume contest.
Bring a lawn chair, and pack a picnic or purchase food from the Café Minnesota Terrace Grill. Come early and take advantage of free admission to the museum galleries and stores from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. For more information visit http://www.mnhs.org/9nights .
About Bill Carlson
This exhibit is based on the book, “The Beatles! A One-Night Stand in the Heartland,” by Bill Carlson. The book features commentary from those who were there, including Larry Kane, an Emmy-award-winning writer, who was the only broadcast journalist to travel to every stop on the Beatles’ 1964 and 1965 tours, including Minneapolis.
Bill Carlson is an accomplished photographer, cinematographer and scuba diver, combining his love for photography and diving to explore and film the underwater cave systems of Mexico and Florida. He has captured images in over 75 countries around the world and has been the director of photography on numerous commercials, films, and documentaries, most recently, “Pride of Lions,” a feature length film about the humanitarian and political crisis in Sierra Leone.
Admission to “The Beatles! A One-Night Stand in the Heartland” is included with regular museum admission of $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and college students, $5 for children ages 6 to 17 and free for children age 5 and under and Minnesota Historical Society members.
The History Center Museum is open Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (free admission from 5 to 8 p.m.), Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. For museum information call 651-259-3000 or visit http://www.mnhs.org/historycenter .
The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849 to preserve and share Minnesota history. The Society tells the stories of history through museum exhibits developed by the Society, traveling exhibits from other museums and organizations, extensive libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing.
This news release and hi-res images are available online at http://events.mnhs.org/media/news/release.cfm?ID=1928 .