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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GISELE WINTON SARVIS The Packet & TimesOrillia Packet & Times, July 27th
Perryman said he preferred to have the festival on its own weekend, as opposed to mixing it with the annual sidewalk sale, where the Beatles memorabilia is “lost” among other merchandise, but he loves the festival. “It's a real coming together of a...Read more
HEMET: Beatlemania invades the Western Science CenterPress-Enterprise, July 26th
Radford added that listening boxes with some of the Beatles' songs and a video kiosk will add to the visitors' experience in this multimedia exhibit. “The Beatles! Backstage and Behind the Scenes” also includes Beatles memorabilia on loan from...Read more
Mom With Cancer Helps Beatles Superfan Son Meet Ringo StarrHuffington Post, July 25th
A mom's determination to create and share as many special moments with her kids as possible led to a meeting of a lifetime for her 5-year-old son. With his mom proudly looking on, the boy -- a Beatles superfan -- got to spend some time with drumming...Read more
Danbury Celebrates the Beatles This WeekendNBC Connecticut, July 23rd
LONDON - 1964: Rock and roll band 'The Beatles' perform onstage in a still from their movie 'A Hard Day's Night' which was released in 1964. (L-R) Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ...Read more
Beatles fest back in DanburyDanbury News Times, July 23rd
Along with the expansion of the festival to two days, there will be more Beatles memorabilia dealers and vendors, exhibitors, attractions, kid-friendly activities and a larger variety of food options. For folks planning to stay overnight, there's a...Read more
Danbury Proclains "Beatles Weekend"HamletHub, July 22nd
Along with 20 live musical acts, there will be Beatles memorabilia dealers, vendors, exhibitors, and a food court. The Connecticut Beatles-themed music festival will "Come Together" for its third year at the Ives Concert Park at 43 Lake Ave Ext. in...Read more
Five-year-old Beatles fan catches attention of Ringo Starrabc7news.com, July 17th
And every nook and cranny of his room is covered in Beatles memorabilia. Cali says the fact that King can sing or listen to Beatles music at all is a miracle since he is the only survivor of a set of triplets. His mother says doctors had little hope...Read more
Beatles memorabilia fills Kingman homeKingman Daily Miner, July 16th
KINGMAN - We may not all live in a Yellow Submarine, but given the opportunity, Kingman residents, Scott Wilfong Sr. and his wife Helen would probably choose to do so. Scott grew up an avid Beatles fan, learning to play his favorite Beatle' tune...Read more