On Wednesday 6th November 1963,The Beatles visited our county town of Northampton for the second time that year. A neighbor, who was twenty-one at the time, took his then girlfriend to the ABC Cinema on Abington Square and joined the queue to get in. This was just two days following their famous Royal Variety Show at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. (The BBC studio's where I ended up working as a broadcast journalist are just across the road from the theatre!).
Someone had mentioned that the ‘boys’ were being kept safe at Campbell Square Police Station, just a couple of hundred yards up the road. His girlfriend, with some others, headed off in that direction. A while later she returned with two sets of signatures, both scribbled on the second and second last pages of a paperback book, and a signed photo, copies of which often come up for sale at auction, although I've never seen the original. A police officer had passed her pen and book into the back of an Austin 'black maria' police van. Incidentally, neitherMal Evans nor Neil Aspinall were at this gig. The photo came as a gift from The Beatles. (Note: see also a 1969 'black maria' on Abbey Road!)
Both book sets and the photograph were dedicated ‘To Susan’ by Paul McCartney and fully signed by The Beatles. She tore one of the pages from the book and gave it to him.
I was too young to attend the concert at that time, and my neighbor wasn't that keen on The Beatles (a big Cliff and the Shadows fan), so, the following morning, he gave the sheet of paper to me: I remember being in the front garden. I have kept these autographs safe ever since that morning of 7th November 1963. (I was eight years old). The page is off yellow in colour and it is clear that it has been ripped from a book of some kind. Further yellowing has happened with age, but this is only to be expected from an item that is nearly fifty years old. All four signatures are bright and full with Paul and Ringo adding three kisses after their signatures, and Paul adding the word ‘love’.
In 2005 this little 'scrap of paper' was valued at $11,000 - $13,000 byBeatle Collectors.Today (2016) it would not be sold for less than $20,000 (approx. £12,350). See examples and price guide. See also Frank Caiazzo and Tracks. An excellent set of comparison signatures from the same period, using only one pen, was sold at Christies. Page 415 '1001 Antiques Worth A Fortune' by Tony Curtis 1991. After 20 years as a 'seasoned' and sceptical broadcast journalist, and following further research and graphology testing, I have concluded that these signatures are unquestionably those of all four Beatles. Not autopen, copies, fakes, secretariats, or those by Mal Evans and Neil Aspinall. Finally, by way of further comparison, here is a set of signatures for sale with Tracks with a dedication written by George Harrison. There are only slight variations having been signed almost one year apart.
On the left are the various links to my other Beatles related signatures. As Alf Bicknell says it's 'just a trip down memory lane' for one Beatle fan over many years. They've all been like old friends really.
I want to say a big 'thank you' to Yoko and Sean and my two other friends in New York, Linda and Jeff, who live just round the corner from Yoko on Central Park West. (Great view from the balcony Jeff!).
Stuart Fergusson Victor Sutcliffe
(23rd June 1940 Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland – 10th April 1962 Hamburg, Germany)
This is a single sheet of paper with two original handwritten poems in the hand of former Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe. One is called LOOK FOREWARD, the other A LONELY ROOM, was an obvious work in progress by Stuart. This rare item came from the " Stuart Sutcliffe Archive " that was sold by Stuart's sister Pauline via Bonhams Auction House of London on 29th July 2003. It was taken from Stuart's Prescot Grammar School poetry book and is dated February1958.(Above is a copy of the book cover and the Bonhams catalogue for that day). Pauline spoke with the BBC in the same week. See also BBC details of a previous auction in 2001. John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe were Art School best friends and Stuart joined the Beatles as the original bassist for 18months between 1960 -1961 and is often referred to as the Fifth Beatle. Sadly Stuart died of a brain Haemorrhage at the tender age of 21.
The auction, at Bonhams in Knightsbridge, also included Sutcliffe's birth certificate, documents from his school days, poetry and song lyrics, photographs, and personal effects, cards, and letters. Bonhams estimates the auction will bring in between $64,000 and $83,000, but the Independent pegs the value at more than $1.6 million.
Pete Best, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Stuart Sutcliffe