A rare doubled-sided record described as “a Holy Grail item” for collectors of Beatles vinyl memorabilia is set to be auctioned March 22 at Omega Auctions in Warrington, and expected to fetch £10,000 ($14,000+). BBC News reports that the 1962 10-inch record of “Till There Was You” and “Hello Little Girl” lay forgotten in the home of fellow Liverpool musician Les Maguire for decades. The record is considered extremely valuable, and Maguire said it could be seen as the record “that sparked The Beatles’ success.”
Omega Auctions describes the record as “the unique ten-inch 78RPM acetate record featuring ‘Hello Little Girl’ on one side and ‘Till There Was You’ on the other was cut at the HMV record store on Oxford St London before being presented by the group’s manager Brian Epstein to George Martin (EMI) in his desperate attempt to get them a recording contract. This meeting, despite Martin’s initial reticence, was to eventually lead to the breakthrough they were looking for.”
— CNN International (@cnni) February 26, 2016
It’s the first disc to be cut before the band hit the national charts in late 1962. The record was pressed at the HMV store on London’s Oxford Street, where manager Brian Epstein mislabeled the record “Till There Was You” as “Til There was You,” and described it as being the work of “Paul McCartney & The Beatles.” He also mislabeled “Hello Little Girl,” on the other side, as “Hullo Little Girl,” and described it as being the work of “John Lennon & The Beatles.”
Maguire was given the record by Epstein in 1963 after it had been returned to him by Martin. Despite initial skepticism, Martin eventually offered the Fab Four a recording contract from EMI.
“I’ve never been a big fan of memorabilia, but people seem to like it,” Maguire said. “It’s no good to me so I’ve given it to my granddaughter, who is hoping to buy a house after passing her accountancy exams. I hope it goes for a good price.”
The record has been wrapped in paper and stored in Maguire’s loft for more than 50 years. During that time, members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr became the best-selling music act in history, with estimated sales of over 600 million records worldwide. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, with all four being inducted individually as well from 1994 to 2015.
the beatles || bestselling musical group of all time, revolutionised music and the vinyl. introduced concept albums pic.twitter.com/8O9b3Rnb2D
— rt ur fav musicians (@rturfavmusician) February 24, 2016
Livemint notes that music editor Ian Shirley described the record as a “Holy Grail” item that helped Epstein “to start the ball rolling to musical world domination.”
“It will fascinate Beatles collectors worldwide and no doubt attract bids from those with deep pockets,” Shirley added.
Last year, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr auctioned off over 800 items of personal and rock and roll memorabilia, including rare Beatles gear, and the first pressing of the White Album, which they had kept in a bank vault for over 35 years. A portion of the proceeds benefited Starr’s Lotus Children’s Foundation.
“We’re fed up with having the stuff in storage when it could be put to some good use and also give a lot of people joy,” said Starr.
McCartney and Starr are the only surviving Beatles members, and remain musically active. Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980, and Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001. There’s a longstanding conspiracy theory that Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 and was replaced by a lookalike named William Campbell to keep the Beatles in business, which was big business for the U.K. economy. The clues of this purported deception are said to be all over the album covers and songs recorded from 1967 onward.
The Beatles hit global streaming services last December, for the first time in a long-awaited move that was considered a Christmas gift to their fans.
[Images courtesy AP Photo]