During the all-too-brief 10-year run of the Beatles, the world received some 200 songs that many of us can still sing and hum. Even greater volumes of Beatles memorabilia was cranked out to capitalize on the band’s extraordinary popularity. Today, many of these items of clothing, tableware, school supplies, trading cards, and jewelry are highly collectible.
Beatles records aside, the crush of memorabilia got serious in 1964. That was the year the Beatles first toured the United States. Brass barrettes for girls and autographed beach hats for boys were among the articles offered to fans. Cloth or vinyl purses and handbags, stamped with autographs and likenesses of the Fab Four, were especially popular.
Even more collectible today are some of the printed dresses from Holland produced in that pivotal year. And the Ringo boots and caps, as well as other "Beatles Authentic Mod Fashions" were designed to bring a bit of Carnaby Street to Smalltown, U.S.A.
For many Beatles collectors, the ephemera and paper associated with a concert is the most important thing. The Beatles did not begin their career in the early 1960s as headliners, which is why artists like Little Richard often appear on the covers of programs published for those events. One tour in 1963 began with the Beatles playing second bill to Roy Orbison, with the program reflecting that hierarchy. Halfway through the tour, though, the billing was switched and new programs were printed to reflect the change.
Other programs of particular interest to collectors of Beatles memorabilia are those for performances at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London in 1963 (where John Lennon made his famous "rattle your jewelry" crack) and Carnegie Hall in 1964.
Tickets and posters for these shows are also collectible. In general, the larger the ticket, the more valuable it is, and tickets with the word "Beatles" on them and a picture of the boys are always worth more than those without.
Very few Beatles shows had posters printed for them in the way we think of concert posters today. An exception to this rule was the poster for what would be the Beatles final live appearance in 1966 at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. With artwork by Wes Wilson, who would go on to design the first 50 or so posters for Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium, this poster was printed in a run that may have been as small as 300, which makes them one of the most sought-after music posters today...
Other types of 1964 Beatles collectibles are the bamboo plates, plastic ashtrays, ceramic candy dishes, and glassware. All were treated as canvases for portraits of the band or individual members. Corkstoppers in the shapes of John, Paul, George, and Ringo’s heads were also manufactured.
Jewelry items such as charm bracelets and necklaces were created to give the legions of screaming female fans a way to show their allegiance to their idols; the boys got cuff links and tie tacks. And then there were the grooming products, from hair gel to pocket combs to talcum powder to bubble bath and shampoo.
Plastic toys and musical instruments were big sellers, and are highly prized today. There were Beatles banjos, Beatles bongo drums, Beatles guitars, and even Beatles guitar strings. Want a pennant for your bedroom? There were dozens to choose from. How about a poster? Today’s collectors can choose the famous shot of the lads posed in a doorway for their London Palladium show in 1963 (although originals of this are difficult to come by) or any of the four psychedelic photos produced in 1968 by Richard Avedon for Look magazine.
In the mid-1960s, school supplies such as lunch boxes and pencils were all the rage, as were "Bobb’n Head" dolls. Revell made models, Topps printed trading cards packed with bubble gum, and several special series of cards were issued to coincide with the release of A Hard Day’s Night.
In fact, Beatles movie memorabilia is almost a category unto itself. In addition to 1964’s A Hard Day’s Night there was Help! in 1965. But the animated Yellow Submarine in 1968 spawned an even greater stream of posters and puzzles, clocks and costumes, stickers and yet more school supplies.
Last, but certainly not least, are the objects associated with membership in the Official Beatles Fan Club. Collectibles include the cards, of course, the 7-inch "flexi-disc" Christmas records, the Booklets and Bulletins, and the photo albums of individual Beatles printed in 1965.
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16 bottles of wine a day. Piles of coke. So how, at 75, does Ringo now look ...New Zealand Herald, April 29th
In 2015, an auction of Beatles memorabilia by Ringo, which included stage and studio drum kits, brought in some £6 million. You can see why some might suggest that such retrenchment signals a financial crisis - but those who know Ringo say he has no ...Read more
The Magical History Tour Brings Beatles Memorabilia to MichiganBillboard, April 29th
based Exhibits Development Group (EDG), The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition begins a 21-week run at The Henry Ford museum in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn on Saturday. It features 10,000 square feet and more than 150 artifacts ...Read more
30+ must-see art exhibits this week in LouisvilleThe Courier-Journal, April 28th
The Beatles Memorabilia exhibit from the collection of Paul Ratterman. Ends June 17. Kentucky Fine Art Gallery. 2400-C Lime Kiln Lane. “Bluegrass Beauty,” paintings, drawings and prints by Jaime Corum, Lynn Dunbar, Robert Halliday and David Schuster...Read more
Beatles magic fills Henry Ford exhibitThe Detroit News, April 27th
“The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition” chronicles the rise of John, Paul, George and Ringo from humble beginnings in Liverpool, England, to phenomenal success in the United States and around the globe and their subsequent solo ...Read more
"Magical History Tour" brings the Beatles retrospective to the Henry FordThe Oakland Press, April 24th
The “Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition” will take visitors on an unprecedented journey of the Fab Four's ground-breaking career from their humble beginnings to their massive influence on the music industry. Courtesy The Henry Ford...Read more
Luke Skywalker geeks out over the Beatles and LiverpoolLiverpool Echo, April 21st
I bought a 25 or so piece set of Beatles memorabilia in 1970 for $112. It's about the only time I've been savvy and realised the future collectability.” The actor is again in the UK currently filming the eighth instalment of the Star Wars saga at...Read more
Beatles Exhibit to Premiere at The Henry Ford This MonthDeadline Detroit, April 11th
To celebrate the impact of the group, the The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition starts a U.S. tour at The Henry Ford from April 30 through Sept. 18. The museum promotes it as the "most comprehensive Beatles exhibition ever...Read more
Beatles amplifier returned to Halewood superfan with incredible memorabilia ...Liverpool Echo, April 10th
Halewood man Stan Cargill has spent years collecting Beatles memorabilia and owns hundreds of autographs - some worth thousands of pounds - as well as original photos of the band. And now he is the proud owner of a 55-year-old Vox AC30 amp which ...Read more