I never had the chance to see The Beatles perform in concert. I was born in 1983, sadly a few years too late to be a "first generation fan".... Okay well more than a few years too late.
Also with there never being a chance for a true reunion with John Lennon having already passed on before I was even born, who knows what could have been had all four been here today?
I grew up mostly with new wave music in my early youth as an 80's child my memories are also of George Harrison and The Travelling Willbury's, with both Got My Mind Set On You and Handle With Care videos played memorably on MTV rotation...This was when I first fell in love with a Beatle in my youth. Along with listening to the "oldies" radio playing The Beatles hits that would pave my love of music and the 1960's era that I never was able to experience.
However I am lucky and grateful to have had the chance to see Paul McCartney in concert five times and Ringo Starr four times and hope many more still ahead. Not to mention the numbers of "tribute" acts that try to do the music justice.
In 2011 I bought my first "Beatle" autograph. Before this I had not collected many autographs outside horror show conventions. It was a Ringo art piece titled "Starr"( cleverly titled right?) With only doing my own research at the time, I knew that I could trust to buy a legitimate piece through the same art gallery that goes out on tour with Ringo. To this day I still treasure it highly.
(Ringo Starr signed "Starr" )
Two years ago I bought a Paul McCartney signed programme from Rockaway Records that was signed in 1968 at "The Talk Of The Town" in London by both Paul and his then fiancee Jane Asher (who McCartney had written a fair share of songs about their relationship.) It has been authenticated by one of the best in the industry Frank Caiazzo and discovered it was likely signed at The Supremes debut performance in the London club.
Now 1968 is important as it is my favorite year associated with The Beatles and this being signed only a couple weeks before they were off to India and writing music for what would become The White Album.
It also holds extra meaning knowing he was still a Beatle when this was signed! To me there is something special added to it compared to more modern signatures, as the history holds meaning.
(Paul McCartney 1968 signed "Talk Of The Town")
Since I have wanted to pick up a George Harrison autograph for a few years at the very least (I decided on a Eric Clapton signed tour programme last year instead, being one of my favorite guitar players.) George is perhaps The Beatle that served a major link from my early years to today.
I knew from all of the great experiences I have heard from others that I had already decided to go through Tracks UK for my next purchase. I got in contact with Jason Cornthwaite, whom I can't speak more highly of as he answered all my questions with the utmost respect.
I fell in love with the history of this programme just as I did the McCartney signed programme from 1968, this one served a dual purpose as it not only holds a vintage 1963 George Harrison signature, but also a vintage Ringo Starr full graph!
(George Harrison and Ringo Starr signed 1963 tour programme)
This is the description from the Tracks listing that also got my blood flowing for the past few months before making my purchase:
"An original concert programme from the Chris Montez and Tommy Roe tour which also featured The Beatles. The programme has been signed in a blue pen on the reverse by George Harrison and Ringo Starr. George has added ‘To Josephine Love From’ and ‘xxx’ before and after his signature. The signatures were obtained in Birmingham on the 10th March 1963. It comes with a detailed letter from the original recipient detailing how the signatures were obtained. The programme measures 20cm x 26cm (8 inches x 10.25 inches)."
I understand there are many things about this program that may turn others off. It is only signed by two out of the four Beatles, there are many examples to come from 1963 (so rarity scale isn't over the top), the Ringo is a bit obscure over his image. Etc.
It being personalized "To Josephine" I am sure also would be considered a turn off for some others, however to me, this adds to the story and puts a face of someone, a fan from that period who was able to experience something special. That this women met both George and Ringo in 1963 and they took the time to sign for her, perhaps she haf not known at that time just how important to music The Beatles would ever become!
The following information is from the website "The Beatles Bible." about the concert this was signed at:
"The 10th of March 1963 was the second date of The Beatles' UK tour with Tommy Roe and Chris Montez and took them to the Hippodrome Theatre in Birmingham.
Although The Beatles hadn't been placed on the top of the bill prior to the tour, the audience reaction after the first night in London ensured that the group closed the show on this and all subsequent tour dates.
The Beatles performed a six-song setlist throughout this tour: Love Me Do, Misery, A Taste Of Honey, Do You Want To Know A Secret, Please Please Me and I Saw Her Standing There."
Being able to paint the picture in my head or get as much information about a piece is important to me as a collector. Especially on vintage items like this programme, almost 54 years after it was signed. It is the history of autographs that I treasure most.
I was going to wait till March 10th to post this blog, as it would be the 54th anniversary from when it was signed, but I couldn't wait and this being what would have been George's 74th birthday today it is a good enough reason to post a bit early I believe!