Beatles ‘Holy Grail’ set to sell for £10,000

From the Daily Mail website

‘Holy Grail’ of Beatles records found after 50 years gathering dust in a Liverpool loft and with manager Brian Epstein’s handwriting on the label is set to sell for £10,000

  • Beatles record from 1962 to go on sale and is expected to sell for £10,000
  • Unique item has been kept in musician Les Maguire’s loft for half a century
  • Acetate record has the group’s manager Brian Epstein’s handwriting on

A Beatles record described as the 'Holy Grail' for collectors is set to go up for auction. It had been kept in a Liverpool loft for more than half a century and is expected to fetch more than £10,000. Paul Fairweather of Omega Auctions hold the record, which has spent more than half a century in a Liverpool loft

Because when it comes to old Beatles records the 1962 10-inch record of Till There was You and Hello Little Girl is considered the ‘Holy Grail’ for collectors.

The 78rpm record was the first Beatles disc to be cut before the band broke into the music charts in late 1962.

The Fab Four pictured in 1962. From left: Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison

Pressed at the HMV store in Oxford Street, London, it was presented to future Beatles producer George Martin at the EMI record label in a bid to secure the band a recording contract.

Despite Martin’s initial scepticism over the band, he offered the outfit from Liverpool a recording contract – and the rest is history.

The unique acetate record is one of a kind and is owned by Les Maguire, the keyboardist in fellow Liverpool act Gerry and the Pacemakers.

The famous HMV store in London's Oxford Street, where the unique 10-inch record was pressed

Les Maguire, second left, the keyboardist of Liverpool group Gerry and the Pacemakers, found the band's record in his loft

Manager Brian Epstein's handwriting can be seen on the one-of-a-kind record

He misspells 'Hello Little Girl' as 'Hullo Little Girl' of the original 10-inch 78RPM acetate recording of the single and of 'Till There Was You'

Maguire, 74, of Formby, Merseyside, was given the disc after it had been returned to the Beatles manager Brian Epstein by George Martin.

What makes it extra special is that it bears Epstein’s handwriting as he wrote ‘Til (sic) There was You’ and then attributed the song to ‘Paul McCartney & The Beatles.’

On the flip side he misspells ‘Hello Little Girl’ as ‘Hullo Little Girl’ and records the track as being the work of ‘John Lennon & The Beatles.’

Although it has been given a conservative auction estimate of £10,000 it is expected to go for far more when Beatles collectors hear about it.

Maguire said: ‘I’ve never been a big fan of memorabilia, but people seem to like it. 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.’

Ian Shirley, Record Collector Rare Record Price Guide editor, said: ‘This is one of those Holy Grail items, like the original Quarrymen acetate that the band recorded themselves.

‘This acetate is a unique item that, in many respects, helped Brain 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.’

Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn said in his book, Tune In, the uniqueness of the disc is ‘enhanced by Brian Epstein’s handwriting on the labels, and the recognition of what it led to.’

Earlier this week, a lock of John Lennon’s hair that was cut as he prepared to appear in a film sold for £24,000 at an auction in Dallas.

The band, pictured with original drummer Pete Best, wrote the record in 1962
 The band, pictured with original drummer Pete Best, wrote the record in 1962

The world-famous HMV in Oxford Street was regularly a hive of activity as music fans scrambled for the latest records

A number of Beatles memorabilia has gone under the hammer in recent years and prove hugely popular with collectors

Other items sold at auction include a photograph signed by all four Beatles which fetched £30,000 and a sealed copy of the band’s ‘butcher’ cover for the ‘Yesterday and Today’ album went for £87,000.

Beatles memorabilia has remained some of the most sought-after and last year a Gibson acoustic guitar belonging to John Lennon sold for £1.7 million.

But for record collectors the earliest records of the Beatles are the prize – the number one being The Quarrymen That’ll Be The Day/In Spite of All the Danger, a 1958 acetate which is valued at £200,000

In July 1958, a young Paul McCartney visited a recording studio for the first time with The Quarrymen. The five-piece – John Lennon, George Harrison, John ‘Duff’ Lowe on piano and Colin Hanlon on drums and Paul McCartney paid either 11 or 17 shillings and 6d for the pressing. The acetate was passed around when the Quarry Men split, and ended up with John ‘Duff’ Lowe.

The sale is to take place at Omega Auctions in Warrington on 22 March and will be broadcast live online for worldwide bidding.

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