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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Craster WI, April meetingNorthumberland Gazette, April 19th
Be careful what you throw away as it may become quite valuable over time, eg Beatles memorabilia and Ercol furniture. On our table we had brought a wide variety of articles to be valued, from a Mousey Thompson cheeseboard, a carriage clock with a case, ...Read more
Don Letts on Record Store Day music, memorabilia and bassDigital Spy UK, April 19th
"I'm first generation black British and all that s**t and my musical taste reflects the duality of my existence," Letts said. "As a kid I was Beatles crazy. There was a period of my life where I actually owned the largest collection of Beatles...Read more
Spare Times for April 18-24New York Times, April 17th
Included are clothing, lyric sheets and a re-creation of a teenager's bedroom filled with Beatles memorabilia. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m., Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m., 111 Amsterdam Avenue, at 65th ...Read more
Exclusive preview of Beatles show Let It Be as UK tour comes togetherSTV Aberdeen, April 14th
The Glasgow branch is home to coveted Beatles memorabilia including John Lennon's iconic cord jacket. via STV. We made our way over for an exclusive preview of the band's setlist which included the 1963 love song I Want To Hold Your Hand. via STV...Read more
Proving the experts wrongVictorville Daily Press, April 13th
Norris continues to live in her purple-walled bedroom, surrounded by Beatles memorabilia, a record player, rock music posters and her own colorful artwork. “I have always loved The Beatles, even when I was younger. I have collected so much Beatles ...Read more
South Grafton takeaway shop offers Beatles to goClarence Valley Daily Examiner, April 8th
Fifty years on Mr Bray's affection for the band has only grown, so much so that the South Grafton takeaway shop owner owns about a thousand pieces of Beatles memorabilia. A lover of most things from the era of peace protests and pop music, Mr Bray ...Read more
Gimli's ax, Marilyn's earrings and Beatles rarities expected to draw hundreds ...Today.com, April 3rd
For those who've ever wanted to own a piece of Hollywood or a rock 'n' roll rarity, the opportunity is at hand — for the right price. Upcoming auctions featuring celebrated movie and music memorabilia from the likes of Marilyn Monroe and The Beatles...Read more
Greece man a full-bore fan of Fab FourRochester Democrat and Chronicle, March 22nd
Years later, he got into the Fab Four full-bore and started collecting Beatles memorabilia. His collection is on display this month at the Greece Historical Society Museum, in commemoration of the golden anniversary of the birth of Beatlemania. "I had...Read more