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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Can't buy me love but please please me with a signed Beatles gig ticketNorwich Evening News, December 16th
I could definitely see it making estimate. “Beatles memorabilia is the most sought after on the market. We have a lot of collectors. “This item is very rare as it is not ripped. It isn't like today's concerts where you get given back a small stub. “The...Read more
The magical, musical mystery of LiverpoolBoston Globe, December 13th
My fear was that this hotel would resemble the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas — a glitzy, tacky showcase of Beatles memorabilia. I was expecting dishes with names such as Strawberry Shortcake Fields Forever and Love Me Fondue. But the place is a class act...Read more
An Inside Look at Chachi's Rare Beatles Memorabilia (VIDEO)100.7 WZLX Classic Rock, December 5th
On December 7th of 1967, the Beatles opened their “Apple Shop”, which would soon thereafter be referred to as the “Apple Boutique”. The retail store was located in a building on the corner of Baker Street and Paddington Street in Marylebone, London...Read more
Kit O'Toole's Top Beatles Albums, Books, Collectibles and Movies for 2014Something Else! Reviews, December 1st
Horse-Doggin': the Morrell Archives, Volume 1 by Dave Morrell ($12.99; also available on Kindle): An early Beatles memorabilia collector and longtime record promotions man, Morrell has published the first in a planned multivolume memoir. While his...Read more
1964: Beatles fans crowd BCL to hear Davis talk of Fab Four tourSanta Paula Times, November 30th
The library went all out purchasing a Beatles cardboard standup for photo opportunities with the Fab Four, Xavier “Big X” Montes and students playing Beatles songs, a raffle of Beatles memorabilia. Davis, noted Branch, is an author known for a wide...Read more
Downtown Bay City coffee shop houses trove of Beatles memorabiliaMichigan Radio, October 17th
Most of us are pretty familiar with the sounds of a coffee shop, from the clink of cups and spoons, to the hiss of the steam wand on the espresso machine, and to voices in conversation. At one coffee shop in downtown Bay City, you'll hear music of the...Read more
Buying The Beatles: High demand for memorabiliaExpress.co.uk, October 7th
THERE IS nothing so collectible as The Beatles. Over the past 30 years the trade in the band's memorabilia has become a worldwide industry and created a hunger well beyond the relics' intrinsic value. As well as the obvious examples - song lyrics...Read more
SA home to massive Beatles memorabilia collectionKSAT San Antonio, October 1st
SA home to massive Beatles memorabilia collection. Redbone Guitar Boutique owner Richard Turner has been collecting since junior high. Posted October 01, 2014, 6:02 PM Updated October 01, 2014, 6:43 PM. Video thumbnail for SA home to massive ...Read more