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JL4.  A Rare “Double Fantasy” Album Cover Signed By John Lennon

On November 17, 1980, John Lennon released his first album in over 5 years, and he titled it “Double Fantasy”. Sadly, his family and the world were dealt a mighty blow when just 3 weeks later he was gone forever.

After the birth of his son Sean in 1975, John decided to put his music career on ‘hold’ in order to devote all of his time to raising Sean. In doing so he literally ‘fell off the map’ – and it was only after a treacherous and potentially disastrous sailing trip on a small sailboat travelling from Rhode Island to Bermuda in a really bad storm - that he was inspired to write music again.

While in Bermuda, John began writing a string of new songs, for the first time in a long time and upon his return to New York both he and Yoko were developing, and then recording the album that would become the last he would release in his lifetime. “Double Fantasy” contained 14 tracks; 7 were sung by John and 7 were sung by Yoko.

This “Double Fantasy” album cover has been autographed beautifully on the back by John in black felt tip pen, and he has inscribed “To Wendy with love John Lennon”. Additionally, he has drawn facial caricatures of himself and Yoko, who has also signed this cover, directly beneath the caricatures.

“Double Fantasy” album covers signed by John Lennon are incredibly rare, with less than 10 coming to market in the past 34 years. In the short amount of time he had to do so, these were signed by John for close friends as well as a few people who helped work with John and Yoko on the recording of the album ……and due to the circumstances, those albums became their prized possessions.

This rare signed “Double Fantasy” cover has been nicely framed using archival materials. Signed as nicely as it is and with facial caricatures drawn by John, it is certainly one of the best of the relatively few “Double Fantasy” albums known to exist…..$18,000

 
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SI25.  A Fully-Signed First Pressing of The Beatles' Debut Single "Love Me Do"
           From Their Dawson's Music Shop Appearance of October 6, 1962


Ever since 1957, The Beatles had been knocking around Liverpool, working to hone their skills as musicians and expand their repertoire beyond cover versions to their own original tunes. By 1962, they'd played countless church halls, dance halls and clubs, served two apprenticeships in Hamburg, cut a record as the backing band for Tony Sheridan (which brought them limited notoriety) and found a manager in the form of record retailer Brian Epstein. They had become wildly popular throughout their native Liverpool, but despite this and Epstein's valiant efforts, they had failed to achieve their dream of a record contract. An unsuccessful audition with Decca and numerous other record company rejections had all but dashed their hopes. Then in early May, Epstein secured an audition (or, more accurately, an "artist test") for them with EMI's smallest label Parlophone, having been referred to producer George Martin by Sid Coleman, head of EMI's record publishing company, Ardmore & Beechwood.

On June 6, 1962, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best first recorded, as part of their audition, the song that would at long last propel them out of Merseyside and onto the national music scene: "Love Me Do". By the time of their first official recording session, Pete had been drummed out of the group and replaced with Ringo Starr. And so it was on September 4, 1962, a contract secured, that The Beatles' (in their final lineup) entered the EMI Studios on Abbey Road and recorded "Love Me Do". (On September 11th, it was re-recorded with session man Andy White on drums after George Martin expressed dissatisfaction with Ringo's performance from a week earlier.)

When they started out, The Beatles dreamed of one day having their own record, and at the time they really couldn’t see much beyond that. Achieving their dream, "Love Me Do" hit the shops on October 5th and soon entered the British charts, peaking at number 17. The following day, October 6th, the band made the 15-mile trek to Widnes, Lancashire on the outskirts of Liverpool for a 4 p.m., half-hour-long record signing at Dawson's Music Shop. Each Beatle signed their debut single right on the red and silver label. This signing appearance would be the first of only three such occasions in their storied career, all of them taking place in England. That same evening, the group crossed the Mersey to the Wirral, performing for a Horticultural Society Dance at Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight. When you consider the fact that the Dawson's record signing only lasted 30 minutes, you begin to understand the extreme rarity of a signed copy of this record.

Offered here is a stunning first pressing of The Beatles' breakout single, signed at Dawson's the day after the record's release, obtained by a local Liverpool fan named Bob Edwards. All four Beatles have signed their full names beautifully in ballpoint pen on the "Love Me Do" side (the “A side”). John Lennon has signed at the top of the label directly above the word "Parlophone", adding three X's (kisses) after his name. Paul McCartney has signed on the bottom of the label near (and partially through) the song title and songwriting credits, also adding three X's. George Harrison has signed the "sweet spot", splitting his first and last names directly above and below the center punch-out spindle hole. Ringo Starr has signed with two X's up the label's right-hand side, directly atop Parlophone's £ trademark. The silver label printing does not detract from the beauty of these classic early Beatles' signatures. The majority of the “Love Me Do” 45’s that were autographed by the band were done on the “B side” (containing the song “P.S. I Love You”), which is less desirable than to have the “A side” signed as this one is. The record – which shows signs of wear and play - has been framed to 11” x 18” by the previous owner, with an original green Parlophone 45 sleeve, and a short written description.

Here is your opportunity to own an incredible piece of early Beatles history: their first single, fully-signed by all four members at the very
point in time when they would start making the transition from a local Liverpool bar band to the most influential group in the history of popular music…..$30,000


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CP3.  An Excellent Beatles and Roy Orbison Tour Signed Concert Program

On Saturday, May 18, 1963, The Beatles embarked on their third nationwide tour of Britain, supporting American singer-songwriter and rock pioneer Roy Orbison. Though Orbison began the tour as headliner, audience demand quickly necessitated a change in billing and The Beatles assumed the top spot. By the time the tour ended on June 9, 1963, the band had played twenty dates with “The Big O”.

Here is a program from that very tour which has been autographed beautifully by The Beatles. Each member has signed on the left hand side page of their 'bio spread', near their respective head shot photo, with Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison signing in blue ballpoint pen. Ringo Starr has used a red ballpoint to sign and has also added "XX". These signatures are excellent representative examples and date precisely from the time of this tour, which was an exciting time period in many ways for The Beatles, as they were fast gaining momentum while touring throughout Great Britain.

Consider this: The Beatles went out on their first national tour with ’16-year-old-singing-sensation’ Helen Shapiro between the dates of February 2, 1963 and March 3, 1963. On this tour they were, believe it or not, the opening act for Shapiro. A mere 3 months later, they were again out on the road - this time with Roy Orbison, who was known worldwide for his powerful, impassioned voice. The Beatles were huge fans of his and admired him greatly, as he had several Top Ten hits on the charts in the U.K.

All things considered, this tour represents one of several tangible, critical turning points in 1963 as The Beatles navigated their course with destiny. By the end of the year, they would be the biggest thing in Great Britain. Mere weeks later, they would be the hottest act in America and, by mid-1964, the most popular band in the world.

This is an extraordinary signed program, in excellent overall condition, which has been nicely framed with an opening on the back for additional viewing of the front and back covers…..$20,000


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SI24.  A Swedish Press Release Autographed By The Beatles During Their October 1963 Visit To Sweden

On the afternoon of October 23, 1963, The Beatles arrived in Stockholm, Sweden after starting off the day with an early recording session for “I Wanna Be Your Man”, which was to be included on their upcoming second album release, entitled “With The Beatles”. This session was their last for the record, and in keeping up with their furious pace The Beatles were off on a tour the very same day they finished recording an album!

Shortly after their arrival at The Hotel Continental in Stockholm, it was there that The Beatles attended their first ever press conference for a foreign tour - as this was the band’s very first tour outside of the United Kingdom. The Beatles performed a series of concerts over a 5 day span in Sweden, returning to Great Britain on October 31st. “She Loves You”, which had been released one month before this trip, was sitting at the top of the British charts, and was in the top 10 and steadily climbing in the Swedish charts.

At the press conference, the journalists present were given a press release, which contained information about The Beatles and their accomplishments to date. Here is one of those which were handed out on that day, and this one has been autographed beautifully on the reverse by all in blue ballpoint pen, with Ringo Starr adding “The Beatles” at the top, above his signature. This is virtually a perfect set of Beatles autographs and it would have been hard for them to sign any better on that day, as each is an excellent and complete ‘textbook example’ from the period. The autographs were obtained by female Swedish music journalist Lisbet Notini, who was based in Stockholm. The page measures 8 ¼” x 11 ½”, and is in very good condition overall, with one fold across the center.

Additionally, this autographed Swedish Press Release comes with four original unpublished 10” x 8” photographs taken of The Beatles and a few journalists who were present at a small, intimate gathering at the Hotel Continental restaurant after the press conference. Autograph obtainer Lisbet Notini is pictured in each these photos – she is the blonde sitting to John Lennon’s left.

The front of this extremely rare (even unsigned) Swedish press release contains a full page of Swedish writing, which when translated reads:


THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF THE BEATLES

"It is something to celebrate" The Beatles have had many reasons to exclaim since that day exactly one year ago when their manager Brian Epstein told that their first single sold 5,000 copies just days after the release. It was the beginning of a career that is unparalleled in the pop world.

Love Me Do was the name of the disc, and soon turned it up in the UK Top Twenty list. A well informed pop journalist claims it was the first time an instrumental group reached the charts already with their debut album. Love Me Do was not long-lasting in the Top Twenty, but when the next single Please Please Me emerged, it was so much more emphatically. In seven days it went from seventeenth to fifth place, a week later it was in the top. The avalanche had started rolling.

The first LP Please Please Me was recorded in a single day was shortly after this year's best-selling album in England. The huge interest in the LP followed up with an EP, Twist and Shout. Results: First place again in the Top Twenty and a silver disc, incidentally the first-ever awarded to an EP. Single No. 3 From Me To You stayed in the top of the list from mid-April to early June and was rewarded with new silver disc. Demand for concerts of the Beatles was increasing, and the gang that includes Gerry and the Pacemakers from their hometown of Liverpool toured around England. Radio - and Television offers came in, and The Beatles appeared in all the major show-programs.

It was not long before they had their own program on the BBC, "Pop Go The Beatles", which was intended as a short series, but due to its immense popularity become a permanent program. It was not long before they had their own program on the BBC, "Pop Go The Beatles", which was intended as a short series, but due to its immense popularity became a permanent program. While the LP Please Please Me passed the 250,000 mark, the other day their first gold plate was awarded to The Beatles for the recent success of She Loves You, which right now is marching into our Swedish lists.

Now it's time for a Sweden-tour for the Beatles, and the program looks like this: Wednesday, October 23: Arrival in Stockholm.

Thursday 24 radio interview with Klas Burling, broadcast November 11
Friday 25 two concerts in Karlstad
Saturday 26 concert in the Royal Hall in Stockholm
Sunday 27 two concerts at Cirkus in Goteborg
Monday 28 concert in the sports hall in Borås
Tuesday 29 concert in Eskilstuna
Wednesday 30 TV Record Drop In at Grona Lund, airing November 3

The Beatles visit to Sweden will be a feast for all their Swedish fans and for lovers of pop at all, there can be no doubt. Few can well be said to represent the genre better, both as fine artists and composers, and as the incarnation of the great dream of the career in show business.

THE BEATLES DISCOGRAPHY:
Singles: Please Please Me / Love Me Do Odeon SD 5937
From Me To You / P. S. I Love You Odeon SD 5944
Twist and Shout / Boys Odeon SD 5946
She Love You / I'll Get You Parlophone R 5055

EP: Twist and Shout / There's A Place / Do You Want To Know A
Secret / A Taste Of Honey Parlophone GEP 8882

LP: "Please Please Me" Parlophone PMC 1202 (PCS 3042)

With friendly greeting Skandinávská GRAMMOPHON PO Box 27053
27 Stockholm 15.10.1963

(Promoter of Beatles-turn "TELSTAR. Information: Hasse Wallman,
Tel: 6361 66)

A Beatles signed press release from any time period is exceedingly rare, and this Swedish press release is a tangible and desirable piece of their touring history, signed by the band on their very first venture to multiple destinations in another country, with their historic first U.S. visit coming barely 100 days after this press release was autographed by The Beatles.....$15,000

 
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JL2.  A Scarce Signed “A Spaniard In The Works” Book Autographed By The Author, John Lennon


While John Lennon signed many copies of his first book “In His Own Write”, including dozens in a single day at the Foyle’s Literary Luncheon (held in April of 1964) honoring the author and the success of his new book – relatively few copies of his second book “A Spaniard In The Works” have surfaced to date. There were no public signing sessions for this book, and it is many, many times rarer than its predecessor.

Here is a scarce Jonathan Cape published U.K. First Edition copy of this book which has been autographed beautifully on the frontispiece by John Lennon in black fountain pen. While there are no details as to exactly when it was signed, the signature dates from very shortly after the June 1965 release date. The book is in excellent overall condition, in square tight condition with sharp corners with a small bit of light foxing found on a few of the pages. This book would be a great addition to a collection that already contains an autographed “In His Own Write” book……$6,000


12/17/14

  
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SI23. "A Hard Day's Night" UK LP Flat Fully-Signed By All Four Beatles On Day Of Release, July 10, 1964

On July 6, 1964, the Beatles attended the Royal World Premiere of their first feature film, A Hard Day's Night, at the London Pavilion in Piccadilly Circus. Four days later, on the afternoon of July 10th, they boarded a flight at London's Heathrow Airport for their triumphant return home to Liverpool for the Northern Premiere of the film. They arrived in late afternoon at Speke Airport to the screams of 3,000 fans. A brief press conference was held, followed by a police-escorted drive to the city centre along a route lined with an estimated 200,000 people, roughly a fourth of the entire population of Liverpool.  The motorcade arrived at the Town Hall at a little before 7pm, where 20,000 fans gathered in the streets outside. Here, they were given a civic reception hosted by The Lord Mayor, Alderman Louis Caplan, and attended by 714 city officials, friends and family members.  During the celebration, the group stepped out onto the balcony of the Hall and waved to the throngs milling in the street below.  At 9pm, they left in an Austin Princess limousine for the Odeon Cinema, where the Liverpool charity premiere showing of A Hard Day's Night took place.  At 1:30am, after the premiere, a limousine ride back to Speke Airport and another round of civic ceremonies, they took a return flight to London.

July 10th is noted not only for the Beatles' Liverpool homecoming for the ‘Northern Premiere’, but also it is the release date of their third studio album, sharing the same name as the movie - A Hard Day's Night, the first side of which contained seven songs from the film's soundtrack. If ever there was a high spot in those early days of global success, this was it. As the four most recognized faces on the planet, the boys were brimming with confidence over their recording career and the accolades they'd received for the film.  On that very morning of the album’s release, before leaving Heathrow Airport for Liverpool, they signed for their attending flight stewardesses cardboard front cover ‘flats’ of the new album. These flats (which measure 12” x 12”) were actually the factory pressed cardboard printed front covers of the A Hard Day’s Night LP, before being fully constructed into album covers…..after which a thick, heavy laminate was applied to the front cover.

The accompanying photo shows Paul McCartney preparing to board the British Eagle airlines flight for Liverpool.  The two stewardesses shown to the right of Paul are each clutching their newly-autographed A Hard Day’s Night covers. The attendant on the right far is holding the very one that is being offered here.  An enlargement of the cover seen in the photo is provided for closer inspection of the location of the signatures and the positioning of the individual letters, making for proof-positive photo identification!

Because the British albums had thick glossy laminated front covers, the Beatles found it difficult, if not impossible, to sign the fronts because the ballpoint pens of the day would not take to the glossy surface.  The vast majority of fully-signed British LPs (any title, unless it was a ‘gatefold album’) were signed on the un-laminated back cover, often on top of the liner notes — and those few that they attempted to sign on the front have signatures that are generally incomplete, due to pen skips. This flat, however, was signed on the un-laminated front cover graphics – with 20 headshots of The Beatles - making it a far more desirable and rare presentation piece.

As of this writing, there are no known A Hard Day's Night Parlophone UK LP covers signed by all four Beatles on the front, and less than ten known examples fully-signed on the back.  On this classic cover (featuring four rows of five head shots, set up as though they were frames from a movie), each Beatle has signed beautifully in black ballpoint pen on the row where his respective image appears.

Consider, too, the supreme rarity of having photographic provenance for any signed Beatles piece. Instances where visual proof of authenticity is available in the form of photographic evidence simply never happens, making the photo verification for this signed LP flat all the more astonishing. You can't ask for better provenance for a Beatles signed piece than having that piece appear in a photo with one or more of the Beatles!

Adding to the rarity of this piece is the fact that 90% of authentic Beatles autograph sets were signed in 1963 when the band members were still reasonably accessible to their fans.  Items signed once they had achieved global fame are relatively few in number because they were generally sequestered, inaccessible and unapproachable.

In excellent overall condition, the piece has been expensively framed to museum archival standards. Here is a chance to own the instantly recognizable front cover of a classic and important Beatles album, signed on the day of release and at a time when The Beatles were on top of the world, celebrating their first film  —  successful, young, exuberant, creatively prolific and with so much more to achieve…..$65,000

TO SEE NEWSREEL FOOTAGE FROM THAT DAY CLICK HERE TO VIEW.


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SI9.  An Autograph Set Obtained During “Magical Mystery Tour” Filming, Signed On The Day The “I Am The Walrus” Video Was Shot.

On Monday, September 11, 1967, two weeks of filming commenced on The Beatles' new self-conceived movie project, "Magical Mystery Tour". Boarding a Bedford VAL Panorama coach bus in central London, The Beatles and a motley crew of passengers (which consisted of their friends and office staff, a camera crew and a handful of actors and actresses of various shapes and sizes, including a “Rubber Man”) headed west, cruising the British countryside through Hampshire, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset counties. Along the way, the coach passed through such villages and towns as Widecombe-in-the-Moor (Dartmoor), Bodmin, Newquay, Watergate Bay, Porth and Taunton, stopping at many of these locales.

The final week of primary filming (September 19-24) was done at the West Malling RAF Air Station near Maidstone, Kent. Here, most of the interior sequences were filmed (including "Aunt Jessie's Dream" and the climactic "Your Mother Should Know" staircase scene), along with exterior shoots for the "I Am The Walrus", Marathon Race and Tug-of-War sequences.

This two-week period provided scores of fans along the route with access to the group - the most anyone had seen since the waning days of 1963, just prior to their worldwide fame. Even more incredible was the improvisational nature of much of the script, which resulted in some of these fans being utilized as impromptu extras in selected sequences.

Because of The Beatles' approachability, many of the scant few authentic autograph sets from that amazing year 1967 – a year that found The Beatles at the height of their creative powers - were signed during the filming of "Magical Mystery Tour". Offered here is one such set, signed at the West Malling Air Station on three pieces of paper. All four Beatles have signed on small spiral notepad paper in vibrant blue ballpoint pen. One page has been signed jointly by Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Another has been signed by John Lennon and a third has been signed by Ringo Starr. All three pieces measure 3-1/2" x 2-1/4" (9 x 5.75 cm).

These signatures were obtained by a service wife who was living in West Malling at the time, autographed on pages taken from her shopping pad. On the reverse side of the John Lennon signed page, writing in her hand notes things she must remember to pick up. This set is accompanied by a color snapshot of her two sons with Paul McCartney at the time of the signing. John Lennon was also standing close by when the shot was taken, as you can see his right arm, recognizable due to the distinctive brown pinstripe suit he wore for several scenes in the movie. The boys were used as extras in the film and can be seen in the Marathon Race and Tug-of-War segments, which were shot on Saturday, September 23, 1967. It is on this same day that The Beatles filmed what many consider to be the apex of the “Magical Mystery Tour” film, their music video for John’s masterpiece “I Am The Walrus”. This autograph set was signed within very close proximity to the actual space where this amazing video was shot, on the very same day!

Autograph sets from this late in The Beatles’ career are quite desirable because they had all but stopped signing for fans after their breakthrough in America three and a half years earlier. In recent years, Beatles autograph sets from the year 1967 have literally dried up and seldom appear anywhere for sale. While this set has been autographed on three separate sheets, they were obtained at the same time, using the same pen, on the same lined notepaper. The set could appropriately be framed with either of 2 photos contained within the “Magical Mystery Tour” LP booklet (included with this set). The larger of the two images (12” x 24”) features The Beatles in full stride during the “I Am The Walrus” shoot.

If you are a fan of “I Am The Walrus”, the “Magical Mystery Tour” film, or if the spectacular and colorful 1967 is your favorite ‘Beatle year’ - then this is the set for you…..$12,500


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