Interesting items on sale in auction

American auction house Gotta Have Rock and Roll is holding an auction titled “The Rock & Roll Americana Auction” which, despite the name, has a number of historically interesting Beatles and related items. Apart from signed memorabilia and clothes worn by the individual fabs, and even a couple of recording consoles used by the group at E.M.I. studios in Abbey Road, we are zooming in on the following items:

LOT #23:
The Beatles “Please Please Me” Vee Jay Records Archive Including Please Please Me Master Tapes and the First Ever Contract Signed in America for The Beatles (100+ Items Total).

Offered here is an amazing collection of ephemera from the files of Vee Jay Records, from a Vee Jay Records associate, with the items pertaining to the Beatles.

The first item, which is the most important item in the collection, is the very first contract signed in America for the Beatles, for anything! This document grants Vee Jay Records the right to issue the Beatles first single, “Please Please Me / Ask Me Why” (VJ 498). The licensor is Transglobal Music, an EMI subsidiary. This contract is dated January 10th, 1963, making it the oldest known surviving piece of American Beatles memorabilia – an incredibly historic item which represents the absolute genesis of Beatlemania in the U.S. Also of great significance is a one paragraph rider on the back which grants Vee Jay the first right to issue ALL Beatles recordings in the U.S. for 5 years. Had Vee Jay not breached this agreement by failing to pay royalties on time, they would have released every Beatles record through Sgt. Pepper (Instead of Capitol Records) and history would have been quite different indeed.

Included in this lot are seven master tapes in relation to the Beatles including the incredible “Please Please Me” Master Tape. Incredibly rare to find actual Beatles master tapes.

Another item is a lawsuit document. There were many lawsuits between Vee Jay Capitol, Transglobal and Beechwood, which were eventually settled on April 9th, 1964. This document is from Beechwood Music and EMI publishing company, granting Vee Jay the license to issue “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You”, which they had previously refused to do, which is why there are two different versions of the “Introducing The Beatles” LP. The first issues contained those two songs, which Vee Jay did not have the rights to. Later, they reconfigured the album and replaced those two songs with “Please Please Me” and “Ask Me Why”. After this agreement, Vee Jay issued a 45 of these two songs on their Tollie label.

Next is a contract, 6 pages long, that is the final settlement agreement between Vee Jay, Capitol Records and Transglobal which is signed by the heads of each of these companies, including Randy Wood of Vee Jay Records. It is also dated April 9th, 1964, and grants Vee Jay the right to issue any Beatles records already in their catalog (which are listed on this document) until October 15th, 1964. After that, all rights were transferred to Capitol Records.

Also offered is a binder which contains all the other items in the collection. There are various telegrams relating to “Introducing the Beatles”, “Beatles and Frank Ifield On Stage”, and even Capitol Records. There are more documents, the deed of gift from the U.S. Library of Congress to Vee Jay Records thanking them for the copy of “Beatles and Frank Ifield on Stage” LP they sent, invoices and many more!

The offered collection here features over 100 items, which the highlights being the highlighted three agreements and the master tapes.


LOT #25:
The Beatles Derek Taylor Never-Before-Heard Collection of Lost Beatles Recordings: Including the 1967 Kenwood Sessions and John Lennon Private Recordings. Who knows what these cassettes might contain of hidden gems?

LOT #38:
The Beatles 1969 Vintage Iain Macmillan Colour Photographic Artwork Print Used In The Production Of The Abbey Road Album Sleeve.

Provided by a former employee of Colorcel, the company who worked with photographer Iain Macmillan, who has the following to say about this print:

”Prior to and during my university years I spent my summers working for the commercial photo processing laboratories Colourcel Ltd in Old Street, near Old Street tube station. In my third summer I went inside and learned how to process prints. When the print was signed off, an extra copy would be kept, in case of problems in the studio during retouching, and the modified dyes would be bottled, and used by the in-house artists to retouch the print using the same dyes as had been used for the print.

The Abbey Road print, as I recall, did not present any color problems, but a registration challenge. It required the main image, which had been altered during generation of the separations to have a blank area where the Beatles name would go. As can be seen from the artwork, letters or pairs of letters each represented a separate image to be printed. These were added as further sets of separations to write the name “Beatles” in the space that had been created. The missing letters were found by Iain Macmillan from other streets.

As can be seen from the artwork, there are gaps around the “Beatles”, and other marks that were later fixed by the in-house artists.

Particular points of note:

The girl in the picture is not a separate image

Letters are used from the Abbey Road letters. You can see shaded parts in common.

Ian [sic] Macmillan found a letter S with a crack. In the retouched artwork doesn’t quite line up.

I kept the artwork for many years in excellent condition, but over the years, the paper hardened. Damage occurred when my then teenage daughter tried to tidy my office at home. She rolled up the artwork, then placed other stuff on top, which cracked the artwork. I avoided further damage for a number of years.

Having seen Ashleigh Brown on a television documentary about paper conservation. I contacted her and commissioned a conservation of the artwork. The object was to stabilize and preserve. As it was my intention to sell the artwork, with none of my family wanting it, I was recommended to do no further work other than conservation”.

You know our obsession with the Abbey Road photo session, so you will appreciate our excitement of finding another piece of this puzzle. And also this next lot:

LOT #60:
Paul McCartney ‘Paul Is Live’ Iain Macmillan Owned Photographic Prints. We did have a copy of the photo as used on Paul’s “Paul is live” album, as well as some informal shots taken by Linda at the session, but here we have a collection of seven photographic prints of Paul posing with his old English sheepdog, “Arrow”, and one shows a group of four policemen. Click and take a look, these photos have never been seen publicly before.

There are lots of other interesting items in this auction, like the original film negatives used in the printing of the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album cover, George Harrison’s drawing of Hitler or even previously unseen photos of John Lennon playing golf in Majorca in 1971. Lots of fun stuff to discover, so head on over to Gotta Have Rock and Roll. Enter here for all items, or enter here for Beatles only.


3 Responses

  1. Wayne Aitkin says:

    Wow !

  2. Win Corr says:

    The Beatles continuing story has never ending twists and turns. So John’s idea was Yellow Submarine, George was essentially all of And I Love Her, Paul structured Lucy in the Sky and now John directed the Hello Good Bye video to the greatest detail.

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