Unseen Beatles photos with copyright for sale
There are lots of interesting items in the Omega Auctions upcoming Beatles auction on March 28, including signed records and other items, like personal postcards and rare records. But we are turning your attention to lot number 159, which a treasure trove of photos, including many of The Beatles, all taken by Alan “Boots” Holmes of Sounds Incorporated / Inc in 1964 and 1965. Holmes passed away on 8 January 2022.
Sounds Incorporated formed in early 1961, in Dartford, Kent, and gained a reputation in nearby South London for the fullness of their saxophone-led instrumental sound. In August 1961, after Gene Vincent’s band, The Blue Caps, had been denied permission to work in the UK, Sounds Incorporated won the opportunity to back Vincent on his British tour and on recordings in London. This led to further opportunities to back other visiting American artists, including Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Brenda Lee and Sam Cooke.
While performing in Hamburg in Germany, they met and befriended the Beatles and in 1963 signed to Brian Epstein’s management company, NEMS.
In December 1964, NME reported that Sounds Incorporated would appear at the Hammersmith Odeon at the “Another Beatles Christmas Show”. The group later toured the world as the Beatles’ opening act, including the August 1965 concert at New York City’s Shea Stadium. In the television special about The Beatles at Shea Stadium, Sounds Incorporated performs “Fingertips”.
In 1967, three members of Sounds Inc (which they were now called) was the sax section on John Lennon’s “Good Morning, Good Morning” on the Sgt. Pepper album.
The lot comprises 12 rolls of film, approximately 49 x 2×2″ colour transparencies and approximately 38 original prints (mostly 13 x 8.5cm) from the negatives. The photos are from the Beatles final 1965 US tour (stadiums, fans, on stage shots, including Shea Stadium), shots of the Ed Sullivan Show filming and of the press conferences. Also, there are photos from the filming of “Shindig!” in London, where both The Beatles and Sounds Incorporated were performing in October 1964.
Some photos of Ringo Starr together with Sounds Incorporated in Hamburg from 1962 are excluded from the copyrights, as these photos are not accompanied by the negatives, so they can’t be sure that Holmes is the photographer of those. One of these is a photo of Sounds Incorporated with Ringo holding 16 year old Billy Preston, who was backing Little Richard at the time, December 1962.
Sounds Inc broke up in 1971. Their records are spread across several labels. Starting with a single on Parlophone in 1961, their next record label was Decca where they released three singles in 1962-3 before moving on to Columbia Records in 1964-65 for six singles, an EP and an album. 1966 saw another album release, then on EMI’s fledgling Studio 2 label. In 1967 they released their final single on the Polydor label.