Bonham’s auction June 13th in LA

After 44 years in a near-forgotten cigar box, a tape recording of a press conference by the Beatles in Toronto goes on the auction block next month.

Retired photographer Paul Hourigan made the tape when he was a freelance reporter before joining the Hamilton Spectator newspaper. In 1966 he hoped to get $50 for it, but neither The Spectator nor any of Hamilton’s radio stations was interested. Today the auction house is listing the one-of-a-kind piece for as much as $25,000.

The catalogue for the auction describes the 14-minute tape as: “Recorded that day by the current owner … these tapes are believed to be the only audio known to survive from that press conference, though written transcripts of the event have always been available as countless reporters were there.”

During the short interview session, reporters focus on John Lennon’s controversial remark about the Beatles being more popular than Jesus Christ, in addition to Vietnam and the generation gap. The guys do add some levity, though, and a few laughs are heard throughout, especially when asked how long the band will be together. Lennon responds, “We’re obviously not gonna go around holding hands forever” and McCartney adds “…it would be a bit, you know, embarrassing at (age) 35…”

The auction also includes other Beatles and related items, among them a never before seen black and white photograph showing the band onstage at their last concert on August 29, 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, snapped by Robert Stinnett (see illustration above). Stinnett shot a whole series of photos that night, most of which have never been published.

Other interesting items: a third state butcher cover, a collection of magazines and fan memorabilia from 1964-1980, a US Beatles record collection (albums and 25+ singles) purchased when the records were first released, the Incredible! poster, a contract for “Live and Let Die” signed by McCartney, the Sgt Pepper costumes from the film of the same name, starring the Bee Gees, Peter Frampton, and Billy Preston etc. Take a look at the full catalogue here.

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