A break-up may seem an unusual occasion to celebrate but a US auction held on the 50th anniversary of The Beatles going their separate ways gave vendors and collectors plenty to cheer.
Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Tom Derbyshire
California saleroom Julien’s held its All Beatles auction on April 10 online, offering more than 250 Fab Four items. On April 10, 1970, a Paul McCartney ‘self-interview’ ahead of the release of his debut solo album had been taken by the media to be an announcement that the band was no more.
The stand-out item sold for nine times over its estimate.
McCartney’s Hey Jude handwritten lyrics had been guided at $160,000 but made a whopping $910,000 including premium. They were used for the recording of the song at Trident Studios, London, in July 1968.
‘Jude’ was originally Lennon’s son Julian – the song was written by McCartney to comfort him when his parents divorced. It was the first release on the band’s own Apple Records label.
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Another top-seller at Julien’s was a vintage Ludwig brand bass drumhead bearing The Beatles logo used at the Cow Palace Arena in San Francisco on August 19, 1964, which sold for $200,000, four times over its original estimate of $50,000.
It was the opening concert of The Beatles’ first North American tour. Following the concert, the back-up kit was returned and the skin bearing The Beatles logo was removed and later gifted to Ken Williams, owner of the San Francisco store Drum Land, where it was then displayed on the store wall for three decades.
An original shooting script page with drawings, notes, and ideas handwritten by John Lennon, George Harrison and Mal Evans regarding the filming of the music video (directed by Paul McCartney and shot in November 1967) for Hello, Goodbye made $83,200.
An original lacquer disc recording (aka acetate record) of the album Get Back, believed to have been created by producer Glyn Johns, took $32,000 – its original starting estimate had been $7000.
Another big seller, at $93,750, was Lennon and Yoko Ono’s BAGISM drawing, featured in the couple’s 1969 Bed in Peace documentary as part of their demonstration against the Vietnam War.
Such is the demand for Beatles memorabilia that the range of items on offer is remarkably extensive. At Julien’s a brass ashtray used by Ringo Starr, who requested to have it at the band’s Abbey Road recordings in the 1960s, sold for $32,500, over five times its original starting estimate of $6000.
Meanwhile, the original stage from the first Beatles performance at Lathom Hall in Liverpool on May 14, 1960, made $25,600.
All prices given are premium-inclusive.
Due to the coronavirus alent, the Julien’s event was staged as a live online-only sale, with bids coming in online and via the phone.