8-days-a-week poster artist to hold 1st ever exhibition

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They became world famous as four lads who shook the world. But on the cusp of becoming a global music phenomenon in the 1960s, one man put the Beatles on the map.

In the days before the internet and social media, thousands of Beatles fans flocked to dance halls across Britain, thanks to Tony Booth, known as the eight-days-a-week poster artist.

He was responsible for hand-painting posters advertising gigs by the Beatles and other performers, such as singer Cilla Black.

It was non-stop work for Booth with so many concerts and gigs taking place in the early 1960s.

Now almost 60 years later, Booth, now 83, is holding his first ever exhibition, featuring his iconic poster art.

His exhibition is taking place later this month during International Beatles Week at View Two Gallery in Mathew Street, just meters away from the Cavern Club, birthplace of the Beatles era, which remains as one of Liverpool's top tourist attractions.

Booth is faithfully reproducing by hand 40 of his favourite posters, using the same roll of paper he used in the 1960s.

He was originally hired to produce sales posters for a family furniture company, until one of the family members, Brian Epstein, became the manager of the Beatles.

Thousands of the posters he painted were thrown into rubbish baskets as soon as concerts had taken place. Little did people know they were discarding pieces of valuable history.

One of only a handful of surviving original posters was sold at a London auction house last year to an American collector for almost 36,000 U.S.dollars.

Booth told Xinhua: "This was the days before the internet and social media and my posters were the main way of telling fans of upcoming gigs by the Beatles and other stars of the 1960s Mersey Beat era."

"I produced thousands of them, each earning me a few shillings. But it was steady regular work. I never imagined in a million years they would one day be so valuable. I wished I'd kept some myself, but they were simply thrown in the waste paper basket," said Booth who was trained as a poster artist after leaving school at the age of 15.

"I got to know Brian Epstein and The Beatles very well. It was a fascinating time to be around in 1960's Liverpool with so much going on, and everywhere you looked there were my posters advertising the gigs," said Booth,"Even though I was part of what was happening in Liverpool when Mersey Beat was born, I never knew how big it would become."

Booth now spends every day at his studio near Liverpool producing hand-painted replica posters for fans and collectors across the world, using the same materials and paper that he used over 50 years ago.

He has already been commissioned by the Cavern Club to produce posters for their 60th anniversary in January next year.

He will be designing the anniversary poster in the same size and in the same style as the original poster he hand-painted for The Grand Opening of the club on Jan. 16, 1957.

His free entry show starts at View Two Gallery on Aug. 24 and will continue into September.

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