The Beatles acetate of two rare tracks from their 1962 New Year’s Day Decca Records audition, which the auction house described as a “Holy Grail” Beatles item, sold Tuesday for £77,550 ($110,223 USD, 98,279 Euros), Omega Auctions announced. The price was far above Omega’s original estimate £10,000 ($14,212 USD, $12,672 Euros). An auction house representative told Beatles Examiner on Monday it expected the disc would sell for more than the original estimate. Omega said the acetate attracted fierce competition from bidders worldwide including China, the U.S., Germany and the UK.
The disc featured the songs “Hello, Little Girl,” which was titled “Hullo, Little Girl” on the disc, and sung by John Lennon, and “’Til There Was You,” sung by Paul McCartney, came from songs recorded during the group’s audition for Decca Records on Jan. 1, 1962. It was sold on behalf of Les Maguire, the keyboard player in Gerry and the Pacemakers, also managed by Brian Epstein. Maguire said he was given the disc by Beatles manager Brian Epstein in 1963. The writing on the label was done by Epstein. The group then consisted of Lennon, McCartney, George Harrison and drummer Pete Best, who was later fired and replaced by Ringo Starr. “Hello, Little Girl” was a Lennon-McCartney original.
The disc was pressed at the HMV Record Store on Oxford Street in London and then presented to Sir George Martin by Epstein, who was trying to persuade Martin to sign them. The writing on the disc also was a key in trying to standardize the Beatles’ billing, according to Mark Lewisohn, author of “All These Years: Volume 1: Tune In.” . “Hello Little Girl” was labeled as by “John Lennon and the Beatles,” while “’Til There Was You” was listed as by “Paul McCartney and the Beatles.”
“The Beatles Auction” also featured other rare Beatles items. The auction house said many sold above their original estimates. A rare set of John Lennon photographs from “How I Won The War,” estimated to sell for £20,000 ($28,426 USD, 25,345 Euros), took in £51,700 ($73,492 USD, 65,526 Euros). A seven-inch pressing of Tony Sheridan and The Beatles singing “My Bonnie’ along with a with a 1961 press release sold for £999 ($1,419 USD, $1,265 Euros) against an estimate of £100 ($142.12 USD, $126.72 Euros).
A black gold stereo pressing of “Please Please Me,” estimated to sell for only £800 sold for £4,700 ($5,680 USD or 5,957 Euros) against an estimate of £800 ($1,137 USD, $1,014 Euros). The Russell Beatle collection of memorabilia, consigned by Mr. R. Jamieson, Russell Beatle himself, the youngest and only honorary member of the Beatles Fan Club, sold for £4,935 ($7,015 USD, 6,255 Euros). It was estimated to sell for £3,000 ($4,264 USD, 3,803 Euros).
Omega said it will hold its next Beatles Collection sale on Sept. 13. Items for this sale must be consigned before Aug. 26. “It has been a fantastic sale with some incredible prices,” auctioneer Paul Fairweather said. “It was a privilege to sell the acetate and the amazing price it realized is testament to its historical importance. I’m looking forward already to our next Beatles sale in September to see if we can find anything to beat this, although it will take something extra special!”