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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Paul McCartney's Childhood Home Heads to AuctionRollingStone.com, February 26th
Among the countless Beatles memorabilia that has been auctioned off over the years — from guitars and the group's Help! jackets to a 1962 recording made at a German strip club and John Lennon's tooth — two other members' childhood homes have gone ...Read more
New issue of Beatlefan highlights an All StarrBeatlesNews.com (blog), February 23rd
Roll Hall of Fame, the newest issue of Beatlefan Magazine has a special package of articles that includes a couple of recent fan encounters from Cortney Kintzer and Dave Persails, including a tale of how Ringo is himself a Beatles memorabilia...Read more
All You Need is Lolly: how well do you know Beatles memorabilia? – quizThe Guardian (blog), February 18th
John lennon toilet 1. How much did an "overseas investor" cough up for an old John Lennon toilet, in 2010? £6,000; £12,300; £9,500. 2. Which two items of clothing worn by George Harrison and Ringo Starr cumulatively pulled in £115,100? The jackets they ...Read more
Historic Beatles memorabilia goes on show at museumITV News, February 15th
A piece of rock history dating back more than 50 years and which has never previously been on public display has gone on show in Liverpool at the Beatles Story Museum. The Hand written notes by George Martin from the first HELP! recording dated 15th ...Read more
Beatles for sale: Hamburg strip club tapes capture band on brink of fameHITC, February 14th
Beatles memorabilia continues to attract top prices and the tapes capture a unique moment in time. “When they were playing the gigs in Hamburg they were basically a comedy act,” Owen said. “You had John Lennon coming out with a toilet seat around his ...Read more
The Queen Has Something Which Belongs To John Lennon And Beatles Fans ...The Inquisitr, February 13th
What's more, fans of the Beatles believe that the iconic medal is an important part of Beatles memorabilia and are calling on none other than Yoko One to storm the palace gates and get back what once belonged to her famous husband. Not that John Lennon ...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