Paul McCartney’s ‘Hey Jude’ lyrics sell for $910K
LOS ANGELES – Julien’s Auctions held its marquee Beatlemania auction event of the year, All Beatles, on Friday, April 10, the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s historic breakup. The top-selling item was Paul McCartney’s handwritten lyrics to the 1968 Beatles’ classic Hey Jude, used in studio for its recording at Trident Studios, London in July 1968 which sold for an astounding $910,000 well over its original estimate of $160,000. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
Over 250 Beatles items featuring some never-before-seen memorabilia, guitars and instruments, autographed items, rare vinyl, obscure licensed material and other rare and collectible artifacts were sold in an online live streaming setting.
Another top seller was a vintage Ludwig brand bass drumhead bearing the Beatles logo used at the Cow Palace Arena in San Francisco on Aug. 19, 1964 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 backup kit was returned and the skin bearing the Beatles logo was removed and later gifted to Coast Wholesale VIP client Ken Williams, owner of the San Francisco store Drum Land, where it was then displayed on the store wall for three decades.
Other top highlights with winning bids include 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 The Beatles song Hello, Goodbye ($83,200); and an original lacquer disc recording (aka acetate record) of the Beatles album Get Back believed to have been created by producer Glyn Johns ($32,000 well over its original starting estimate of $7,000).
The rare and original stage from the first Beatles performance at Lathom Hall in Liverpool, England on May 14, 1960 sold for $25,600; artwork done by Paul McCartney while he was attending the Liverpool Art Institute including a pencil and watercolor still life drawing featuring a pot with two onions on a large blue cloth ($28,000 14 times its estimate of $2,000) and a pencil drawing of four male faces ($19,200); an original double-sided art collage postcard bearing a pair of women’s legs, in 1977 created by John Lennon and mailed to curator and friend Sam Green from the Lennons’ vacation spot in Karuizawa, Japan ($12,800); a black and white photograph of the Beatles taken by Astrid Kirchherr in 1962, signed by each band member ($11,520); an original insert poster for the 1971 John Lennon album Imagine, signed and dated 1976 by Lennon along with a self-portrait doodle ($10,240, five times its original estimate of $2,000); John 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 ($93,750); a floor standing brass ashtray used by Ringo Starr who requested to have it at the band’s Abbey Road recordings in the 1960s ($32,500, over five times its original starting estimate of $6,000) and more.
The formerly announced public live event shifted to a live online auction with an auctioneer conducting the sale in streaming video in front of a global audience of registered bidders and fans live streaming the event from their homes, all while tracking bids coming in online and via phone using the latest technology to call the action.