Vincent Vigil is a Beatles collector from San Diego whose stunning photographic collection of the Fab Four is about to be featured in the upcoming hardbound book chronicling the movie “Help!”, “Eight Arms to Hold You: the Forgotten Archives.” (Archivum Publishing/Rex Features.) The hardbound book, due out in July 2015,will present a collection of “forgotten archives” of photographs from the filming of “Help.” Each photograph is being restored and remastered by renowned artist, Paul Skellett. The text, with commentary and insights about the movie and its music are being provided by Beatles author, Simon Wells (“The Beatles: 365 Days.”) The film is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
We spoke to Vince about the photos that will appear in the book: “My collection amazingly ended up having 30 vintage, on-set transparencies, taken on the set of The Beatles second film, ‘Help!’. These transparencies are now the core of the collection. Working with the team at Archivum Publishing has been both professional and satisfying!”
The title of the book is named for the first working title of the film, which was changed to “Help!” at the last minute. “Eight Arms to Hold You” is nearly sold out of its first “Fan Edition” of 965 copies and there are ten days left in the pledge time period. According to their website, this First Edition Hardback is signed and numbered and will be in an art slipcase. It will be LP size and includes over 250 pages, featuring fully restored color and black and white photographs. At 99% sold out, with ten days left, now is the time to consider getting your order in. The price is about £75 or ($111.)
John Lennon Examiner asked Vince who the other photographers for the book would be. He said “It all started with the archive of the UK news agency, Rex Features. As far as other photographic contributors, I know that some of the archive of director Dick Lester will be utilized, which is exciting.”
Vince has also just entered into an agreement with the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland to archive his photos. How does this work, and how will people get to see the collection? He responded, “Modern prints are sent to the Museum, and they are then kept in a temperature-controlled environment. If you visit the library located at the Hall and ask to see the prints, they are then pulled from storage, and then presented to the viewer. Also…the images can be used for future exhibitions; and my name will be forever listed in their database.”
Who is this Vince Vigil when he’s at home?
Vince discovered The Beatles in 1967 and fell in love with the group when he heard “I Am The Walrus.” This was when the “Magical Mystery Tour” album came out, and it was the first album he ever bought. In 1988, he attended his first exhibition in California, featuring the work of Linda McCartney. There he bought his first two prints, both signed by Linda. You could say from then on, he was completely hooked, and started focusing on buying photographs.
His collection (see vpvphotographs.com ) now consists of both vintage and modern prints, snapshots, lithographs, postcards and posters. The images include photographs by Astrid Kircherr, Albert Marrion, Jurgen Vollmer, Dezo Hoffman, Bob Freeman, Robert Whitaker, Don McCullin and Mike McCartney. He says, “I look at my collection as a historical puzzle that is constantly expanding.” Some of Vigil’s rare images have been added to the permanent collection of The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool, England.
In 2013 he told Mitch Axelrod during an interview with the Fab4Free4All, that as a new fan in 1967, he started looking at the credits on the photographs. He was particularly taken with Linda McCartney’s photos, (then Linda Eastman) and it grew from there. Did he have photographs of the Beatles framed all over his walls, Mitch asked? The answer would surprise you. “No,” he said. He keeps them “boxed up, in order to protect them from light.”
Vince also would like our readers to know that Beatles Magazine did an extensive piece on his background in March 2015, which can be found here. (Note: scroll to the date March 15,2015 to find it.)
Thanks to Vince Vigil for giving John Lennon Examiner permission to share your photographs, and for your comments. Congratulations on your success!