I bought a 1961 Cavern Club membership card a while back. It was issued in April 1961 and includes the names of a number of performers, including George, John and Pete of the Beatles. Given that the Beatles were in Hamburg from Feb to July 1961, their entries cannot date from before they returned.
The seller stated outright that the Beatles signatures were not genuine and the price was accordingly very low. I bought the card as it seemed to be a genuine card and interesting just for that. I do not know why the seller stated that the signatures were not genuine rather than just saying that she did not know either way. Perhaps she had asked someone for authentication. After buying this card I also bought a 1960 card from the same seller for a similar price. This has no performer signatures but does have quite an interesting entry from the time of the first Rory Storm gig (more on that another time).
By the general appearance and feel of the cards and the entries in them I find it hard to believe that the signatures have been added recently to deceive. Given the date, I also think it highly unlikely that any of the Beatles signed for the others or that a fan signed. At that time I doubt many fans would have even known or cared what their signatures looked like or would have bothered to reproduce them in some sort of self-delusional act.
I would like to start by sharing the George. I am well aware that nearly everything about this signature is atypical. The only things that give me some hope (and gave me some hope at the time of buying) are the capital G and H, the "rr" in Harrison and the way the letters have been connected. What brings me back down to earth is the general appearance of the signature (flat and stiff). the open letter "o" and the odd "s".
As most will be well aware, there are only a handful of very early "in person" Beatles' signatures on the internet (as opposed to formal contracts and signed salary slips). I have included some fairly early ones below - maybe not as early as July 1961. I think example 3. comes closest to mine but is obviously much looser. I also believe that - in another thread - someone said this might have been signed by Lennon. Example 6. gets close to my very tight lower case lettering and the H of item 7. has a similar feel about it to mine.
The Harrison in my card is signed right on the edge of the page and runs vertically up the page, so whoever signed it had the card turned on its side. I don't know whether this could account for the very flat and tight appearance of the signature. The card is also very small of course, so it would be fiddly to handle and sign anyway.
So after all that:
a) Does anyone think that this has the remotest chance of being a real George?
b) If not, does anyone have any idea who would have signed it, when and why?
c) Does anyone have better in-person examples?
Tomorrow is the Swiss National Day and there will be lots of fireworks in the evening. I feel like I have lit the blue touch paper a day early and need to stand well back!!! Go easy on me!
1. Cavern card 1
2. Cavern card 2
3. Early album page 1
4. Early album page 2
5. Early set 1
6. Early set 2
7. George and Pete (thank you Heritage)
Hey Pug...IMO...no...sorry...Harrison's writing is rounded...yours looks much to "pointy"...his writing seems to flow...your writing is jagged...yes?...no?
I take your point Jim (pun intended) and I would be a brave man to argue against it.
The card was anything but expensive Paul - under $500 certainly. Just as a 1961 Cavern Club card I think it was fairly cheap.
I am realistic enough to know that the George is more than likely written by someone else but somehow I do not believe that this was faked for commercial gain. If it had been I think the faker would have made the signature nearer to a typical George of the period - if there is such a thing. I also think a faker would have included Paul's signature somewhere, unless it was just too difficult or obvious. Last but not least, the price asked would have been considerably higher - assuming that the seller was connected to the faker of course.
I am attaching the John. This also seems somewhat atypical but less atypical than George's perhaps. My main concerns are that it seems a bit hestitant and "love to" looks like it could come from a later period Lennon. Obviously "The Beetles" is also strange but perhaps the original owner of the card didn't know better at the time (or it is an even cleverer faker's ploy).
Difficult to say, but I'd much rather have that than the alternative - some sweaty guy in his underpants churning out fakes.
As I've said before I cannot see this being a totally fabricated Cavern Club card. It would have involved an awful lot of effort and imagination, especially when you consider that the page before the "Beatles page" has signatures from members of Johnny Sandon and the Searchers and the Remo Four. I cannot judge if these are real or not as there is almost nothing to go on internet-wise, though Phil Rogers name does mysteriously include a "d". Here are those signatures:
Here is a later 61 George Harrison.
Great photo. Looks like the name of the recipient might be in another hand.
Getting back to fab 432's point, I doubt a fan signed the Beatles' names in my card as the "signatures" look a bit too much like they should do for mid-1961 and at that time having the signatures wouldn't have been that much of a big deal anyway (local band, no hits, no record deal). I still go to quite a few gigs by "up and coming" bands at small venues and the interest in their autographs is usually zero or close to it.
My guess is that the Beatles' signatures in the card have either been written by someone in or very close to the band at the time or have been added to an otherwise genuine card by a faker. I think the former hypothesis is the more likely one.
Yes,the girl wrote in her name.George wrote the rest in his hand.
The photo at one time had a small piece of paper attached to the back of it that had Pauls signature on it! When easily removed it was discovered that George had signed the back of the photo.Sorry,I do not own the small paper signed by Paul.
if you don't have it, how do you know it was there?