It has been quite a busy time of late for traders in Beatles memorabilia. The latest item of interest weaves a fascinating backstory. It pertains to one of the rarest Beatles album covers, one with the signatures of all band members – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
Let It Be was The Beatles’ 12th studio album, a soundtrack for the motion picture of the same name, and the Fab Four’s last LP to be released.
Since Let It Be was released soon after the announced breakup of the band in 1970, there was never a time that all signed a copy at the same time. This particular album cover has a well-documented history.
According to Heritage Auctions, the bidding for this album begins April 7, with the auction scheduled for April 26.
Bidding could well approach six figures.
This coming week, wealthy Beatles collectors will have a shot at bidding on memorabilia from the group’s 1965 film Help!
The piano Lennon and McCartney played while filming the movie is going up for auction. Lennon and McCartney composed the song “Help!” on a 1907 Bechstein Concert Grand. Its current owner is the movie’s director, Richard Lester, who also claims that McCartney played the instrument as he was composing “Yesterday.” It is expected to go for more than $83,600 when it hits the block at Omega Auctions in Liverpool, England on March 20th.
Here’s How the Signatures Came Together
It’s uncertain if the Let It Be cover will get close to that mark. With the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ Ed Sullivan appearance just passed, there is higher demand for these collectibles. Here are the highlights of the interesting backstory on the album’s gathered signatures:
- Lennon autographed a Let It Be LP cover for a fan in May 1975 at the WFIL “Helping Hands Marathon.”
- In the early 1990s, Harrison signed a separate album; while Starr’s signature was added to that one on June 4, 2006, in Toronto.
- Soon thereafter, the John-signed and the Harrison & Starr-signed covers were perfectly “melded” together by a top-notch paper restorer.
- The resulting cover with three signatures was then made complete when McCartney signed it on July 15, 2010.
The resulting fully-signed cover has been professionally matted with a photo of the famous “rooftop” concert taken during the Let It Be filming.
Here is a quote from the letter of authentication from renowned Beatle autograph expert Frank Caiazzo:
“This Let It Be LP is the only one known to exist bearing the signatures of all four members of The Beatles, and as such, it is exceedingly rare and desirable. Add to that the fact that this is one of very few LP covers which have been autographed on the front by the entire band to surface, making this indeed a very special signed Beatles album cover.”
The full text of the letter and more information on the the auction can be found here.