All you need is gloves! Beatles autographs smudged by John Lennon’s greasy fingers after eating fish and chips sell for nearly £8,000
A set of the Beatles autographs that were smudged by John Lennon‘s greasy fingers after he ate a fish and chips have sold for nearly £8,000.
The seller, who has not been named, was just 14 when she plucked up the courage to ask the Fab Four for their signatures as they tucked into a chippy lunch at a TV studio in Birmingham.
McCartney took the autograph book first and before signing is name, he sweetly wrote ‘Love from The Beatles’.
Meanwhile, when John Lennon signed, he smudged the name of his bandmate George Harrison with chip grease.
The 59-year-old book, which was also signed by the group’s manager Brian Epstein, was expected to fetch between £4,000 and £4,500 at Hansons Auctioneers on Wednesday afternoon.
But a three-way international bidding war saw the price rocket before the hammer came down on the winning bid of £7,760.
The retired teacher, 73, said: ‘It was an excellent, exceptional auction result. I’m delighted – thrilled. And I’ve got a special thank-you. It’s for Paul, Ringo, George and John.’
The seller, who has not been named, was just 14 when she plucked up the courage to ask the Fab Four for their signatures as they tucked into a chippy lunch at a TV studio in Birmingham. She collected the iconic signatures of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison while they sat in the canteen to eat their lunch in 1963
The Beatles (pictured) were filming a pre-recorded performance at ABC Weekend Television Studios in Aston, Birmingham on June 23, 1963
The seller revealed she was ‘nervous’ to approach the band, who were in the city to pre-record a TV performance, but remembers ‘absolutely everything’ about the incredible moment.
She added: ‘I was really, really lucky – and privileged – to get those autographs that day.
‘I remember absolutely everything about it all. It was a lovely summer’s day 59 years ago.
‘I was only 14 at the time. My friend’s mother worked in the design department at the ABC Weekend Television Studios in Aston, Birmingham, and the Beatles were filming there on June 23, 1963.
‘They were in the city to pre-record a performance for TV show Thank Your Lucky Stars which was broadcast on June 29, 1963.’
She recalled: ‘My friend’s mother arranged for us to go backstage. We walked into the canteen and there they were – The Beatles.
‘It was pretty quiet. No one was bothering them. I suppose people had been told to leave them alone.
‘They were queuing up at the food counter and they all plumped for fish and chips. We were very nervous but managed to pluck up the courage to approach them.
‘I went over to Paul McCartney first and wished him happy birthday. His birthday’s on June 18, which was a few days earlier.
McCartney took the autograph book first and before signing is name, he sweetly wrote ‘Love from The Beatles’
‘He signed my autograph book first, wrote ‘love from The Beatles’ and passed it round the table.
‘John was the last to sign. They’d been picking up chips with their fingers and I remember him licking his lips and rubbing his fingers on his trousers to try to get the grease off before he signed.
‘He still put a greasy smudge on George Harrison’s name. It was one of those old blotchy Biros. I suppose the inky smudge contains John Lennon’s DNA.’
She remembered how the band were incredibly ‘kind’ and chatted with the pair as fans screamed outside the window.
The seller said: ‘They were all so lovely to us, chatty and kind. It was very early days for The Beatles so perhaps the novelty of signing autographs hadn’t worn off.
‘We could hear loads of screaming girls outside the window of the canteen hoping for a glimpse of them.
Meanwhile, when John Lennon signed, he smudged the name of his bandmate George Harrison with chip grease
‘We watched the band perform for the show and you couldn’t hear the music because there was so much screaming going on in the audience.
‘On the same day we bumped into Brian Epstein walking down a staircase. He was over the moon to give us his autograph – really delightful.
‘I’ve treasured the autographs for decades and kept them carefully wrapped up in polythene, usually on a book shelf. They’ve moved house with me many times.
‘I only sold them because my friend, whose mother got us backstage that day, lost her set of Beatles autographs which she got at the same time.
‘I plan to share the proceeds with her. It seems only fair. Without her mother I would never have them.
‘It’s time for someone else to enjoy and treasure them.’
The autograph book had three-way international bidding war saw the price rocket before the hammer came down on the winning bid of £7,760
Claire Howell, music memorabilia consultant at Hansons Auctioneers, said: ‘There was strong interest in these autographs because the fight-and-chips story and provenance was so fantastic.
‘A phone bidder and people competing on two different online bidding platforms battled for the lot.
‘It’s a wonderful piece of music memorabilia and I’m pleased to see it achieve the price it deserved for our client.’