The Beatles: Autographs of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr up for auction at Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers in Stansted
Money can't buy you love – but it can get you the autographs of all four members of The Beatles when they go under the hammer at Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers in Stansted later this month.
The signatures of the Fab Four – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr – were collected backstage at London's Hammersmith Odeon in 1965.
They are expected to fetch between £1,000 and £1,500 at the Tuesday January 17 design sale at Sworders' Cambridge Road saleroom.
The vendor is the nephew of writer and broadcaster Ludovic Kennedy and his wife the ballerina Moira Shearer – the celebrity couple who enabled backstage access to John, Paul, George and Ringo at the peak of Beatlemania.
He said: “My aunt and uncle had met Paul McCartney at a Christmas party. When they told him they were coming to the concert with two daughters and two nephews (me and my younger brother), he invited us all backstage.
"I was just 13 at the time and wore a shirt with a tab collar, which was all the rage!”
The vendor told Sworders that he remembers very little of the music “because of the screaming”. The band, playing a run of 20 near-consecutive nights at the west London venue, had played 11 songs, opening with Twist and Shout and closing with a rendition of Long Tall Sally.
However, the seller still has vivid recall of the backstage meeting.
“I shall never forget it. The dressing room was small and cramped," he said.
"John was sitting on the floor deep in conversation with a man he introduced as ‘my intellectual friend – he’s a teacher’.
"George and Ringo sat silently, smoking – the washbasin was full of cigarette butts – but Paul was the friendliest. He stood chatting to Moira and Ludovic while we passed our autograph books around.”