A piece of history

Colin Hanton’s original drum kit. © Julien’s Auctions

A piece of history is to be auctioned off at Julien’s Auctions in their premiere music auction event MUSIC ICONS, taking place Friday, May 20th, Saturday, May 21st, and Sunday, May 22nd 2022 live at Hard Rock Cafe® New York and online at juliensauctions.com. The piece in question: Colin Hanton’s original drum kit as used in the Quarry Men.

The Quarry Men (also known as The Quarrymen) started as John Lennon and a number of his teenage friends, and would gradually evolve into the Beatles. Heading to the auction for the first time is a John Grey and Sons Ltd. white finish “Broadway” drum kit purchased from Frank Hessy’s famed music store in Liverpool in the autumn of 1956 by Colin Hanton, the drummer of The Quarry Men from 1956 until 1959, who was part of the group throughout its most important line-up changes – including the joining of Paul McCartney in July of 1957 and the joining of George Harrison in March of 1958. Indeed, Hanton was the last of the original line-up to remain in the group, save for John.

Hanton played this same drum kit on the very first professional recording of the pre-Beatles group, which took place on July 12th, 1958 at the Liverpool studio of Percy Phillips, where John, Paul, George, and Colin (along with John “Duff” Lowe on piano) recorded an original track written by McCartney and Harrison called “In Spite of All the Danger,” as well as a cover of the hit Buddy Holly song, “That’ll Be the Day” – both of these seminal recordings were featured on The Beatles compilation release, “Anthology 1”.

The Roseberry Street Party

Other prominent stage performances where the drum kit was played include: The Quarry Men’s first live performance, the Rosebery Street Party on June 22nd, 1957 at the request of Hanton’s friend Charles Roberts, who was responsible for stenciling the band name onto Hanton’s bass drum and for taking the three photographs of the band during the concert, the earliest known images of John Lennon performing; the July 6th, 1957 performance at the Garden Fete at St. Peter’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool, where Paul McCartney saw the band for the first time and soon became a member and on several occasions at The Cavern Club.

Hanton departed the group in 1959 and stopped playing the drums all together, storing the drum kit away on top of an old wardrobe closet until 1997 when he brought it out again to play at the 40th anniversary of the Garden Fete performance, commemorating the first meeting of McCartney and Lennon. He has since continued to play as a member of the Quarry Men, who are also expected to play the Casbah Club in Liverpool at this year’s “Best Fest” in August.

Colin Hanton behind the drum kit in the Quarry Men. Supposedly the first Quarry Men photo taken after Paul joined.

A documentary, “Pre Fab!” about the Quarry Men was announced to be in the making in the pre-pandemic days in 2019, based on Colin Hanton’s autobiography of the same name.

The drum kit has been subsequently featured on display at several historical institutions and exhibitions, including The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool and The Magical History Tour in the United States. The drum kit, hand-signed by Colin Hanton in the inside of the tom-tom drum and inside of the bass drum, is estimated at $400,000 – $600,000. The lot also includes a 1-of-1 Quarry Men Drum Kit Animated NFT serving as the digital representation of the physical drum kit used by Colin Hanton in The Quarry Men.

U.K. mono White album #0000002

Another Beatles item in this auction is an extremely rare low-numbered U.K. mono vinyl pressing of The Beatles’ 1968 White Album (PMC 7067, Number 0000002).

Link: JuliensLive.com

2 Responses

  1. Eric Michael Lethbridge-Shade says:

    I thought I read somewhere that each Beatle received the first 4 numbered White Albums, with Ringo getting 0000001.

  1. March 18, 2022

    […] Colin’s original drum kit from his early days with John, Paul and George is going under the hammer at Julien’s […]

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