Mania Days: Extract From A Book Review
31 Jul 2001
Andy Davis's review of MANIA DAYS
published in Record Collector magazine issue no. 264 (August 2001) has left us pleased as punch.
Copies of MANIA DAYS
, which features Curt Gunther's photographs of The Beatles on their first big tour of North America in the late summer of 1964, are available here
Enjoy the lengthy extract from Andy's review below...
'Unobtrusive in style in the manner of all great reportage, Gunther's images are at once at home with their subject while maintaining their professional distance. They do the job; they recount the as-it-happened unfolding of that unparalleled tour, and they get behind the scenes, into the limousine, onto the holiday ranch. They look out the same windows through which the Beatles looked. They see the motorcycle cops with guns in their holsters, they see the multi-racial swell of Beatlemaniacs, they see a completely new world order spreading out before them.
'Gunther's photographs capture this grandeur, this sense of importance. They record the majestic gestures alongside the mundane, again and again. They are both intimate and keenly observed, glimpsed through the eye of an older generation who'd been there, done that, but never seen anything quite like this.
'As expected from Genesis, the production values of Mania Days push the envelope marked "the winner is" beyond everyone else's standards. Heavyweight art paper is printed with blacks from which no light escapes, through to a brilliance that's whiter than white. Well, as superior a white as you'll see anywhere; in technical terms, Gunther's exposures, and Genesis's reproduction of them, are perfect.
'In an inspired stroke that further elevates this beautiful book, many of Gunther's images have been double-exposed and presented as sepia-toned Beatles montages. As with the endpapers, pictures that might otherwise have been overlooked merge to form dreamlike spreads that are every bit as open and impressionistic as the vignettes Derek Taylor used to write; snatches of life preserved as art.
'Limited to 2500 copies, MANIA DAYS
is a gift of a Beatles book. Its contents are as gilt-edged as its gold-leafed pages. Large-format, quarter-bound in leather and housed in a silk-screened slip-case, it's something to treat yourself to and to treasure.'