DALLAS – Three Reslo microphones, along with their stands, that were used by The Beatles – along with a host of important early British rock n’ roll acts – at the famed
Cavern Club in Liverpool will form the centerpiece of an exceptional grouping of Beatles and Beatles-related memorabilia in Heritage Auctions’ Dec. 6-8 Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction. The microphones are estimated at $5,000+ each and will be offered individually.
“If only these microphones could play back for us the music they helped create in those early days,” said Garry Shrum, Music Consignment Director at Heritage Auctions. “Talk about a piece of material culture that bore witness to greatness. The Beatles became The Beatles while singing into these mics.”
The Beatles gave more live performances at the Cavern Club than at any other venue – 292 to be exact. It was at the underground club on Mathew Street that the group perfected their stage presence over hundreds of hours spent on stage. The group often used the club as a rehearsal space as well, working through many of their early compositions. Nearly every photo of the Beatles at the Cavern shows the group with Reslo microphones on stage.
In addition to the Beatles, many of the other Merseyside groups from the era used the Cavern Club’s microphones: Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Searchers, The Big Three, Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas and many more. The microphones were in the possession of Mal Jefferson, a sound engineer and bassist for the Mastersounds (the group that assumed the Beatles’ Cavern residency in 1963). They have been in Jefferson’s possession from the 1960s until earlier this year, when they were sold to the present owner.
Another key piece of early Beatles history being offered comes from Kingsize Taylor himself in the form of the Phillips tape recorder he used to make the recording which was ultimately released as The Beatles LIVE! At the Star-Club, Hamburg 1962 (estimate: $6,000+). The album is a Beatle fan favorite, as it captured the group’s famous high-energy early stage show, and was the first live Beatles album ever released. Included is a vintage reel copy of the edited Star-Club tape which Taylor subsequently presented to Brian Epstein, and the Grundig recorder on which he made the transfer.
In keeping with the Cavern Club theme, the auction offers a very interesting and early John Lennon-related piece in the form of a 1963 telegram from John apologizing to Bob Wooler (estimate: $3,000+). Wooler was the house emcee at the Cavern Club and friend to the group, who held the distinction of introducing more Beatles shows than any other individual. Evidently Wooler made a joke about Lennon at Paul McCartney’s 21st birthday party.
“Lennon had had a few drinks and was in no mood for Wooler’s cleverness,” said Shrum. “In a rage, he leapt at Wooler, giving him a black eye and bruised ribs. It’s quite possible this telegram was instigated by Brian Epstein, who would have wanted the incident to be quickly forgotten.”
Dated June 20, 1963, two days after the incident – and addressed to “Mr. Bob Wooler” at his Liverpool address, it reads: “REALLY SORRY BOB TERRIBLY WORRIED TO REALISE WHAT I HAD DONE STOP WHAT MORE CAN I SAY = JOHN LENNON.”
Further highlights include, but are not limited to:
Astrid Kirchherr rare “Teneriffa ’63” Limited Edition photo portfolio: a superb grouping of intimate photos by Kirchherr showing Paul, George and Ringo relaxing on a few rare days of vacation in the midst of their breakneck touring and recording schedule of 1963. This is a look at the boys in the band just as they became the most famous musicians on the planet. Estimate: $10,000+.
Beatles Autographed Postcard With Jimmie Nichol Signature, 1964: John, Paul, George, and…Jimmie? On the day before the start of the Beatles’ 1964 tour of Europe and the Far East, Ringo suddenly came down with tonsillitis and was admitted to a London hospital. With little time to spare, Brian Epstein enlisted George Martin to help find a replacement: a talented young drummer named Jimmie Nichol, who played with the band for 11 days, enough time for Ringo to recuperate. Estimate: $12,000+.
Beatles autographed Beatles For Sale albums: Two separate copies of the LP, which
together contain a full set of signatures of all four of the Beatles and allows for enjoyment of both sides of the album artwork. One of the best displays of Beatle signatures Heritage experts have seen. Also presented is side one of the LP, all three elements matted within a black composite frame measuring approximately 34″ x 34″. COA from Frank Caiazzo, dating both signature pieces to early 1965. Estimate: $7,000+.
John and Cynthia Lennon rare vintage photograph by Robert Whitaker, 1965: This incredibly rare large format photograph titled “Narcissus” is the only known vintage print of this image in this size, according to Whitaker’s studio. It includes a photocopied note from Whitaker attesting to the print being made at the time of the negative, 1965. Estimate: $6,000+.
Beatles and Brian Epstein autographs to producer Walter Shenson, 1964, with an extremely rare script for an unmade Beatles film, circa 1967: Upon the group’s retirement from touring in 1966, and with their growing desire to be known as more than pop moptops, the Beatles began to entertain ideas for a more serious, artistic effort as their next film endeavor. The British writer/actor Owen Holder was commissioned to develop a story and the extremely rare script that is included in this lot is the result of his efforts. Titled only as The Beatles’ Script, the storyline has John, Paul, George and Ringo all playing the same character, named Stanley. Previously owned by their film producer, Walter Shenson, this is the only copy of the script known to exist. Estimate: $15,000+.
Beatles – George Harrison Original Handwritten Lyrics for “Isn’t It A Pity”: This song, one of Harrison’s most beloved, was released on his landmark All Things Must Pass album and as a double “A” side with “My Sweet Lord,” both in 1970. It was originally written by him in the mid-1960s and. according to various historians and insiders, it was turned down for inclusion in Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Let It Be. Estimate: $10,000+.
Beatles Sale of NEMS to Triumph Investment Trust Ltd. Stock Transfer Certificates, 1969: Six original certificates transferring the NEMS shares of each Beatle – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) – as well as Queenie Epstein and Clive Epstein, for the acquisition by Triumph. Each certificate is signed by the named shareholder. An incredible set of documents which offer a peek into the behind-the-scenes business struggles faced by the Beatles during their final years together. Estimate: $30,000+.
Beatles – Paul McCartney-signed letter to a former Apple employee on Apple stationery: Dating to early 1970, a tense period when the Beatles were disintegrating, this note offers a former Apple employee both consolation and an invitation to unload any bad feelings directly to Paul. John, George, and Ringo had all recently appointed Allen Klein as their manager, leaving Paul somewhat isolated, and it’s likely that those feelings, somewhat cryptically expressed here, are a part of his outreach: “Dear Nigel, In case you are ever worried about anything at Apple – something which you don’t feel able to sort out yourself, or maybe something you can’t get answered – please feel free to write me a letter at 7 Cavendish Avenue telling me about the problem. There’s no need to be formal about it – just say it. The main thing is to keep the lines of communication open. Incidentally, things are going well; so thanks. Yours sincerely, Love, Paul.” Estimate: $3,000+.
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