Beatles Autographs

PC3.  A Beautifully Autographed Beatles Official Fan Club Promo Card

When it comes to picking the handful or so iconic images in existence of The Beatles, from any era, the Dezo Hoffman magical photo session that took place in London in July of 1963 produced what is perhaps THE iconic and most recognizable of all – the classic so called ‘seated collarless suit’ photograph. This is the image that most Americans saw just prior to The Beatles first visit to the United States in February 1964, and it was this brilliant image which adorned both sides of the “I Want To Hold Your Hand” 45 rpm picture sleeve which was already in the hands of millions of teenagers by the time The Beatles landed in New York.

In September 1963, The Beatles Official Fan Club in London received a sizable shipment of these promo cards, which were produced for the express purpose of having the secretaries of the Fan Club sign and mail out to help satisfy the ever increasing number of autograph requests which were coming into the building every day. While the vast majority of these cards were indeed secretarials, there WERE a few dozen which were actually signed by The Beatles, who had retained a small number of Fan Club cards to have with them and sign in person for a fan on occasion. Here is an exquisite example of one such.

All four have autographed the front of this card beautifully in blue ballpoint pen on or near their respective image. This card was signed by The Beatles on November 15, 1963 (a week to the day before “With The Beatles” was released), when the band performed in concert at Colston Hall in Bristol, while in the midst of their ‘Autumn Tour’ in the United Kingdom. This card comes with a Letter of Provenance from the original owner and obtainer of the autographs, recounting the interesting and atypical scenario of how this card came to be. The vehicle that the band was travelling back to London in after the concert had broken down right in front of the family home in St. George, Bristol, and as a show of thanks for helping to have the vehicle repaired, The Beatles autographed this card and gave it in gratitude.

This fabulous card, which measures 5 ½” x 4 ¼” is it is in its original state and the overall condition is excellent, having been very well kept over the years. These highly desirable Fan Club cards have become so scarce over the past decade, and this is without a doubt one of the best examples to appear anywhere in recent years……. $18,000


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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


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SI27.  An Autographed Performer’s Pass For “The Great POP Prom” - The Only Time The Beatles And The Rolling Stones Played At The
           Same Event!

On September 15, 1963, an event took place that happened only once in The Beatles illustrious career: they shared the same stage as The Rolling Stones, who were at the time “up-and-coming”, yet even so, they were only mere footsteps behind The Beatles – who had a slim ‘head start’, having embarked on their amazing journey only slightly before The Stones.

Here is a set of Beatles autographs found on the back of a 'Performer's Pass', measuring 3” x 2 ½”, used for “The Great POP Prom” - which took place on this historic day at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London. The Pop Prom took place once each year, and it was a fundraiser for the Printer’s Pension Corporation. On this occasion, The Master of Ceremonies was well known British DJ Alan Freeman.

All four have signed on the back of this pass beautifully in blue ballpoint pen, with John Lennon inscribing “To Jill love from” immediately before. Both John and Ringo have added “X’s” after their signatures. A small area of paper loss (a punch hole) under John’s signature is more than likely related to the function of the pass and was almost certainly done on the day of the show. This is a nice set of autographs with an interesting history, from the one and only time that the bill topping Beatles performed at the same event as their  only true peers in the classic rock genre, their rivals The Rolling Stones…..$9,000

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SI26.  An Artistes & Staff Pass From ‘The Royal Variety Performance’, Signed By The Beatles On That Historic Night

The steep trajectory that The Beatles amazing rise to fame took in the year 1963 showed no signs of going anywhere but upward at the same angle as the end of year approached. Having released their debut album “Please Please Me”, which shot to #1 and also the chart topping singles “From Me To You” and “She Loves You”, in early November the band were poised and ready to release the freshly recorded and future smash hit “With the Beatles” album.

On November 4, 1963 The Beatles performed at the ‘Royal Variety Performance’ at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London, and it was to become one of their most important concert appearances. The ‘The Royal Variety Performance’ (also called ‘The Royal Command Performance) had roots going all the way back to 1912.  It was a gala evening held annually and by the 1960’s, it was popular variety show consisting of family entertainment which included singing, dancing, comedy and other forms of enjoyment for the viewing public, as the show was broadcast on television by the British ITV TV network. The acts were all there at the request of the Royal Family.

All four have autographed the back of this artistes and staff pass very nicely in black ballpoint pen, with Paul McCartney adding “Beatles” above his signature. This pass, which measures 4 ½” x 3 ½”, was given at the door to Philip Rose from the weekly half hour television show “Pinky and Perky” (who were actually marionette pigs). The show appeared on BBC television and Philip Rose was a manipulator of one of the puppets, and also a wise man to have his pass autographed by The Beatles that evening.

In attendance were both The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret and this is the very performance that saw John Lennon say just before The Beatles’ final song “Twist and Shout”, “For our last number, I would like to ask your help. Will the people in the cheaper seats, clap your hands? And for the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewelry…..”.

For The Beatles to play The Royal Variety show in 1963 was something that even they could not have imagined as the year began, when they were barely known in Great Britain outside of their native Liverpool. Through hard work, extensive touring, and of course their amazing music – the band’s popularity spread like wildfire, bringing them to the place where they were far the biggest thing in England by the time November 4th rolled around.

While The Beatles did sign a few items on this momentous evening, the number of autograph set that have materialized to date is very low: a few programs, a couple of artistes passes and the odd autograph book page.

The Royal Variety Performance occurred less than 100 days before The Beatles’ historic first U.S. visit, and while it was indeed a great achievement for them – it was also the last of their ascending big steps before their tremendous television appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. Here is an opportunity to own a piece of this historic evening that occurred at the Prince Of Wales Theatre on November 4, 1963…..$20,000

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SA8.  A “With The Beatles” Album Fully Signed By The Band in Mid-1964, While On Their First World Tour

On November 22, 1963, the same day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, The Beatles released their second studio album on Parlophone. Titled "With The Beatles", the LP featured eight original Beatles compositions (seven from Lennon-McCartney and one from Harrison) and six covers, including three Motown numbers. On the day of its release, it went straight to the #1 position on the album chart, knocking their first LP "Please Please Me" out of the top spot. The requisite Christmas gift for British teenagers in 1963, it remained the best-selling album for 21 weeks and charted for 40 weeks. The LP cover featured Robert Freeman's stark black and white image of the band appearing in half shadows. Taken on August 22, 1963 at the Palace Court Hotel in Bournemouth while on their summer tour of England, the photo was a dramatic departure from those normally seen on pop LP covers and a sign that this was a band that stood uniquely apart from all others.

The following June, four months after their life altering first trip to America, the group embarked on what was named  ‘The World Tour’, which included stops in Denmark, The Netherlands, China, New Zealand and Australia. The first half of this tour saw temporary replacement drummer Jimmie Nicol filling in for Ringo, who had to stay back in England after being hit with a bout of tonsillitis. Following Ringo’s return after recuperating in a London hospital, The Beatles were in New Zealand from June 22nd through 27th of 1964 and while there, they played concerts in Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch. This New Zealand Parlophone Records issue “With The Beatles” LP cover has been autographed beautifully on the back cover by all in blue ballpoint pen, and these signatures date from mid-1964, precisely when The Beatles were in New Zealand on The World Tour.

Because of the high-gloss front covers of their British LPs, autographs were usually relegated to the back cover where the ink would more easily take to the paper. This LP is no exception. All four signatures are excellent examples and each is sharp and clear, not obscured in any way. The cover is impressive in person and it is in great overall condition, having been nicely-kept over the years.

Fully-signed "With The Beatles" LPs are quite scarce relative to the much higher number of autographed "Please Please Me" LPs, which is the most commonly signed album. Even rarer are LPs signed in 1964, the first year of their global fame and a time when access to the band was virtually impossible. Here is a chance to own a beautiful copy of a classic Beatles album, signed in mid-1964 at the height of Beatlemania…..$50,000

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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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