The Beatles may have broken up 50 years ago but that doesn't keep them from being one of the most relevant bands in rock n' roll history. One fan proved that on Friday by paying $910,000 for a handwritten copy of the song 'Hey Jude’ which was used in the studio when the band first recorded it back in 1968.
The song was recorded at London’s Trident Studios and was then gifted to the session’s studio engineer. The lyrics were handwritten by Paul McCartney and had an estimated pre-auction value of $160,000. They were bid up considerably.
The auction was hosted by the Hard Rock Café and was held online only due to the pandemic. There were several other Beatles items being auctioned off at the auction all of which highlighted Julien’s Auctions’ Beatles Themed Lot which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the band’s breakup.
Other items available at the auction included a drum head from a 1964 performance that took place at the Cow Palace in San Francisco ($200,000), John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s painting Bagism ($93,750), a script for the Hello Goodbye video which featured handwritten notes made by George Harrison and John Lennon ($83,000) and Ringo Starr’s Abbey Road ashtray ($32,000).
Another notable item to sell was the wooden planks from the original stage of England’s Latham Hall where the Beatles first gig took place on May 14th, 1960. Back then the Beatles were billed as The Silver Beats. The pre-auction value for the planks was estimated to go for $10,000 - $20,000 but they also exceeded expectations auctioning at $25,000.
The gig was supposedly the setting for the night of a famous fight which occurred between The Beatles’ and their then bass player Stu Sutcliffe. The musicians never got along and Sutcliffe ended up leaving the band to pursue a career in art. He ended up dying of a brain hemorrhage shortly after.
The stage was quite an unusual item to sell at an auction. Julien’s Auctions representative Martin Nolan had this to say, “This stage of the Fab Four’s first performance is not only one of the most extraordinary artifacts ever to come to market from Beatles history, but all of music history. We’re thrilled to offer this remarkable and unique piece that set the stage for the auspicious start of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of all time as well as these other incredible and significant items that celebrate the magic of Beatlemania.”
The Beatles were an important part of the history of rock n’ roll and the history of the world. The fact that these items sold at such extraordinary prices proves that their legacy continues. Congratulations to the lucky bidder.