How do you guys know what Beatles autographs are real and what aren't?

I know it might sound dumb to ask this, but I was reading about Beatles autographs and saw a few discussions on this group about fake autographs with Letters Of Authenticity from JSA, Beckett, etc.

I've also seen so many forgeries that look amazing.

This makes me feel really weird. I know how to recognize forgeries by other bands, like Kiss, Metallica, etc. I even scored an authentic Kiss autograph last year (the signed card they sold on and I knew it was authentic by comparing to lots of other certified Kiss items.

But regarding autographes from The Fab Four? I'm never really sure what's real and what isn't.

It looks like autographs from The Beatles require an extra attention to detail which I've never ever seen being taken for autographs from most other artists.

How do guys even do this?

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I think it’d take two hours of study to recognize 95% of fakes. 

True, if you're already an autograph collector.

Yep, it looks like something only real hardcore collectors can identify, hehe

Not to mention that even authenticated examples by JSA, Beckett, PSA/DNA are sometimes debated here as questionable.

Those are in the top 5 percent. There are so many examples that I believe would be obvious to anyone  with a tiny bit of experience 

I feel that two hours is not enough... I've been collecting autographs for a few years now, and when I started reading about Beatles and J.K. Rowling forgeries, so many of them looked so good, I'd never know some of them were fakes without anyone telling me...

Your inquiry is far from dumb. Your interests are what this is all about!

My story begins at the birth of American Beatlemania in December, 1963, when I first heard "I Want To Hold Your Hand" on my local radio station (WTAC, Flint!). I immediately found 69 cents, bought the 45 & played it religiously, along with the flip side (I Saw Her Standing There!). I still remember that  smell of vinyl! As the hits followed, they became my favorite band. And that's when I remember being fascinated with their signatures. Signed Beatles stuff was everywhere, gum cards, posters, on fan club letters, etc. I knew those weren't real - but they established their style.

As The Beatles evolved, I was along for the ride, from elementary grades to the end in high school (1970-71). During this time & through the solo years, I remember loving it all. While saddened when they broke up, I developed a respect for NEW music, eventually dedicating my life to it (owning & operating a cool Indie Music Store for 20 years). So began my hunt for collecting all 4 genuine signatures.

I remember seeing Beatles autographs for sale in the mid to late 70's, in Goldmine Magazine, at big city record shows and other outlets. Back then, if I recall correctly, signatures were selling for $300-$500, a fortune for a guy just starting out.

Prices instantly escalated, as did the fakes, when John died.

My autograph hunt continued. And I learned each style, variation and age of their scrawls, and the obvious fakes, though study, through legit sellers and my own experience.

Two hours, Mark? It's taken me 60 years and I still see scribbles that fool me, lol. 

There's no shortcut to learning them. My suggestion: start at the beginning. The best sources are those filled with history and genuine photos, like Beatle Source, for example. Here's the link:

Best of luck to you.

Mark is right. Most Beatles forgeries are bad enough that if you're an autograph collector you can learn to identify them quickly—the vast majority of them are easy to tell with a high degree of accuracy. But the rest can be hard to identify.

I was addressing someone who was just beginning to familiarize themselves with Beatles signatures, their style, the era signed & the nuances. It's a lifelong endeavor. Or should be, lol!

for sure! 

You're right, it is. 

Woooow! Thank you for sharing your story!

Your story is very similar to my experience with discovering the world of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock music. I've been a die-hard fan ever since I've heard music from the nu-metal era, and I've been collecting music and memorabilia ever since.

Even though I've been collecting on and off for quite some time, I still find autographs that fool me, from various artists, but especially The Fab Four!

I'm not really interested in buying autographs from The Beatles, as they are not only pricey, but get forged way too often. For mega-huge bands, I tend to skip the autographs and just collect all the rest.

Still, thank you for sharing your story. I'm 25 and I'm super jealous that you got to live through the golden years of music and entertainment.

If it isn’t an amateurish forgery or a SoCal forgery or a Joe Long forgery or a UK forgery or a German forgery or Neil Aspinall secretarials or Mal Evans secretarials or Fan Club secretarials or Louise Harrison secretarials or a Beatle signing on behalf of the other Beatles, it could be an authentic set of Beatles autographs.



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