Brian is pictured here with a painting he has been keen to acquire for many years. He has finally been able to persuade the world-renowned artist William Kelley to part with it in a private sale.
The painting is of the Beatles at the very peek of their success, and Brian, having always been a massive Beatles fan, has wanted this painting from the first time he saw it at one of William Kelley’s first exhibitions in Sarasota, Florida, 20 years ago. This is also when and where William and Brian first met.In Brian’s autobiography “Rockers And Rollers” he talks about how the Beatles were not only musically the best band on the radio when he was a young man growing up in Newcastle, but they were also so symbolic of Britain at that time – like the Mini, the mini skirt, and beating the Germans in the 1966 world cup – so for Brian this painting means a lot more than just an exciting portrait of his musical heroes.
William Kelley has become a very collectable artist in the last decade – so Brian has been well rewarded for his early support and collecting of Kelley’s work (Brian has collected at least 12 works to date, including both oil paintings and water colors) but until now Kelley would never sell this one (William is a huge Beatles fan too apparently)Then this year, by some good fortune, all the planets lined up in Brian’s favor – it was William’s 70th birthday – it was 50 years since a Hard Days Night came out – and it just seemed to Mr Kelley that now was the right time to let it go – especially to a good friend like Brian Johnson.For more info on William Kelley please go toand
William Kelley has been painting for many years both portraits such as this and landscapes. When not in Florida he spends the rest of the year painting at his studio in Florence. Kelley’s larger pieces such as this are rumored to now sell for well in excess of $150,000.