Paul McCartney claims The Beatles ‘lifted’ America after JFK assassination 

Virgin Radio

30 Jun 2023, 11:12

Credit: Getty

Sir Paul McCartney has recalled the moment The Beatles first set foot in the US, and how it helped to ‘lift’ Americans following the tragic death of President John F. Kennedy. 

The Wings singer made the admission during an interview with actor Stanley Tucci at his new photo exhibition, Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes Of The Storm, at the National Portrait Gallery. 

Sir Paul and his Beatles bandmates, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison, all took cameras with them during the US trip at the height of their Beatlemania days, and over 250 photographs will be on display. 

The Beatles took their first trip Stateside in February 1964, just months after President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. 

Speaking about how the historic events shaped their visit to the US, Sir Paul explained to Stanley (via PA News): “That was one of the big things for us ... we felt it like the whole world had felt it.

"We had really felt it, but then, it was a few months after that we went to America. We, without meaning to, lifted people."

On the reason the band took plenty of photos of the now infamous trip overseas, the Let It Be hitmaker added: “The four of us got cameras and just started to enjoy taking pictures of what was going on around us.

"The nice thing was, I realised they were all quite intimate because the press photographers couldn't get here."

The National Portrait Gallery, where the photo exhibition is based, was officially reopened in June by patron of the gallery, the Princess of Wales, following a three-year transformation.

Sir Paul’s trip down US memory lane comes after he blamed Bruce Springsteen for “ruining” live performances.

He made the remarks while on Conan O’Brien’s Need A Friend podcast, and insisted fans have now come to expect three to four-hour long gigs.

Sir Paul made the tongue-in-cheek comment in reference to Springsteen's shows regularly lasting for four hours, compared to the snappy sets of yesteryear.

He said: “These days, pretty much there's the main act and there might be a warm-up act.

“Then [the 1960s], it was a lot of people on the bill because nobody did long, now people will do three or four hours. I blame Bruce Springsteen – I've told him so, I said 'it's your fault man.”

Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes Of The Storm will run at The National Portrait Gallery until 1st October.