This is not a Beatles exhibit.

Yes, there are photographs of Paul and John hammering out "I Saw Her Standing There," of a shirtless Paul getting ready for a gig, of a grade-school-age George donning a Tony Curtis-style DA hair cut. Well yes, the black-and-white "photies" (as they say in Liverpool) of the Fab Four are the "photies" that patrons are snapping up in a Washington, D.C., art gallery.But Mike McCartney begs you to understand: "This is a Liverpool exhibition, not a Beatles exhibition. Can I make that absolutely clear?"

It was 26 years ago today, or thereabouts, that Michael McCartney, the youngest of the two McCartney boys, took on a new name: "Paul's brother." For awhile he even changed his last name, to McGear.

At 44, this father of five, still a Liverpool resident, has spent the years in various creative pursuits: he has written and illustrated children's books, made a couple of records as part of a comedy group called "Scaffold," wrote an autobiography called "The Macs."

And for the past five years he has been showing his early photography in an exhibit, titled (with an accompanying book) "Mike Mac's White and Blacks: An Intimate Portrait of Liverpool in the '60s."

While he says he would like to be recognized as a photographer rather than a mop top brother, he realizes his McName draws the crowds.

Being known as "Paul's brother" isn't any more fab now than it was decades ago, but "you accept it. You accept who you are, you accept who he is and who they are in terms of the Fab Four and you learn to live with it."

(C) The Baltimore Sun

Distributed by the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service