Authenticity Concerns Over Signed "Beatles '65" in Julien's Auctions May 17 Sale

Julien's Auctions is scheduled to auction Lot 685, a band-signed "Beatles '65" album at Saturday's Music Icons Sale.

It was authenticated in 2005 by the world's top Beatles expert; a remarkably sharp and honest man. It has powerful provenance. It sold in 2005 to an astute, long-time Beatles collector, reportedly for six-figures.

But on Monday, Roger Epperson shared some of his concerns about the album with me. We spent a lot of time since then investigating the Beatles '65, and things just aren't adding up for us.

Maybe the album was genuinely signed by the Beatles. We don't think so. We think Julien's should pull it from the auction pending further study.

Julien's auction listing discription of the album:

Lot 685 of 724:

A Beatles signed Beatles '65 album sleeve. Signed by all four members of the band circa late 1964-early 1965. The Capitol Records released stereo LP sleeve is signed on the front cover. Paul McCartney signed "Beatles/ Paul McCartney/ XXX," and Ringo Starr signed "The Beatles/ Ringo Starr." George Harrison and John Lennon have each signed his name. Housed in a frame with a “gold” vinyl copy of the record.

The album was given to a CBS Television executive from another CBS employee who attended a meet-and-greet with The Beatles and obtained the signatures.

In general, The Beatles signed the back of their album sleeves and most signed albums are early British Parlophone Records releases. The reason for this is that once Beatlemania hit the band was not as accessible and therefore signed US Capitol released LPs, or any Beatles album released after 1964, are extremely difficult to find. In his 2005 evaluation of this album, Beatles expert, Perry Cox called the album " of the finest known signed Beatles album in the world."

Accompanied by letters of authenticity from Perry Cox and Frank Caiazzo, whose expertise was paraphrased in this description, and a letter of authenticity from a family member of the CBS executive who was originally given the album.

28 3/4 by 41 1/4 inches

Main photo in listing:

Large photo we found online (click to enlarge):

Letter of provenance by Sean Fanning, who sold the album to Perry Cox in 2005:

You can view genuine examples of Summer 1964 to Summer 1965 Beatles autographs to compare the album's autographs to here.

These are some of our main concerns about the album:

1) Beatles '65 is a U.S. release that came out on December 15, 1964. It was supposedly signed at a meet-and-greet for a California CBS executive. The Beatles' last 1964 U.S. concert was Sept. 20. They didn't return to the U.S. until Aug. 13, 1965, the day the "Help!" L.P. was released in the U.S. We couldn't find any meet-and-greets, let alone one a CBS executive is likely to have attended.

(The Beatles were in the Bahamas to film "Help!" from Aug. 22 to Mar. 10., but meet and greets would have been unlikely there, and I couldn't find any.)

2) The signatures have circa 1963 characteristics.

3) Having "Beatles" written on the cover once, let alone twice, is highly atypical.

4) In some cases there is writing in the album's nicks and scratches. Since the album was supposedly signed new, that's a significant concern.

For those who don't know, I'm not a professional authenticator. Roger, however, is. He's the leading specialist authenticator in popular music autographs. I looked at what Roger pointed out to me about the autographs, and confirmed it against known reliable exemplars, and examples of signed Beatles memorabilia.

This is extremely important:

Everyone makes mistakes or decisions that other reputable experts may disagree on. Even the world's top experts. Frank Caiazzo, the most respected Beatles autograph authenticator, is the expert who authenticated this album in 2005. He's also a good friend; one I highly trust and admire. The forgery industry attacks Frank every chance they get, just like they do Roger Epperson, Steve Grad of PSA/DNA and James Spence of JSA. The fraudsters know how to inflame crowds, and there's a good chance some will, to further their interests. Don't fall for it.

Now Roger will go over his concerns with you in the first comments.

Views: 8258

Tags: beatles

Comment by spaceman on June 10, 2014 at 11:46pm

You have convinced me Roger. Personally I do not like the way Beatles has been written above Paul. I believe as the money gets bigger, this issue will get bigger.Too many questions raised on this item. It should be pulled.

Comment by Anthony on June 11, 2014 at 9:12pm

In my opinion this is a classic example of some using those special printers that can apply autographs on various objects like baseballs and other items. I recognize the slight smudging of Paul signature where the signature has been transferred to the album. I have seen other examples of this before and am totally amazed at how real it looks. It appears that the person who did this Beatles album didn't have the knowledge of Beatles autographs to catch the many mistakes. One common thing that I see here is George Harrisons signature being together on the same line and not the first name on top of the last name. I believe this was kept this way because it is really hard to do it the other way. There is a seller on eBay who does this and sells the items as "fake" or "reproduction" but if you look at them they look totally real!! The printer costs about $5,000 and you can place signatures even on baseballs! It's truly amazing what they can do with it. So you can use "authenticated" autographs and place them on ANY item you want. It appears the mistake the person made here when creating this album isn't that the signatures are NOT "authentic" it's that they placed "authentic" signatures on the WRONG period item. Had these signatures been placed lets say on a Please Please Me LP and had NOT put Beatles above the names then I think that they would have gotten away with it and not drawn so my suspicion. Just my two cents.....

Comment by Richard Rushton on June 12, 2014 at 7:45am

I just posted to my home page photos of my Beatles '65 signed by all four.  Please take a look and let me know what you think.


Comment by roger epperson on June 12, 2014 at 7:48am

this was done by a famous forger named Joe, I'm refering to Richards's

Comment by Paul on February 14, 2015 at 1:05pm

Who in the world is this famous forger name JOE that signed Richards Rushtons Beatles album?

This whole Beatles 65 album posted By Steve is a mess because of the letter of provenance. If Frank and Perry are standing by it I don't think any auction house would reject it.

Comment by Paul on February 14, 2015 at 7:44pm

I would hate to say the boys have stuffed this. Ringo signs the set of the Ed Sulivan show with the round R. What I don't like about this is the way the H in Harrison goes into the A and the same with the star crossing the T also the beatles above paul crossing the t, it all looks the same.

Comment by Roy Goldberg on October 12, 2017 at 9:50am

What a great conversation. What do you guys think of these?


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