POP CULTURE

The Beatles 1962 Decca Audition

Original recording tape from The Beatles iconic 1962 Decca audition!

A vintage quarter-inch magnetic tape recording (7.5 ips) mounted on a 5-inch Philips brand reel, featuring seven songs from the infamous recording session during which The Beatles auditioned for a recording contract with Decca Records on January 1, 1962. The band was subsequently rejected by Decca, which reportedly proclaimed, "The Beatles have no future in show business" and "Guitar groups are on the way out”. For a more detailed story regarding the Decca audition, please PRESS HERE.

The tape recording was part of the personal property of The Beatles manager Brian Epstein and was inherited by his nephew, Henry Epstein. The recording is housed in an Emitape brand box and is accompanied by a digitized version on CD.

Mark Lewinson, world leading Beatles historian and author of the trilogy Tune In: The Beatles - All These Years, states that the recording “sounds ever so slightly different, in that certain instruments seem more pronounced in the mix. The ending of Three Cool Cats is a single bass note longer than any version we've had before. The song September in the Rain is four seconds longer than any of the circulated versions as it includes a vocal line which is always edited out. These tiny differences do mark out the tape as original to Brian Epstein, not something created from any other known-to-exist sources.

The running time on the tape is 15 minutes and 20 seconds. The track list in full:

– Money
– The Sheik of Araby
– Memphis
– Three Cool Cats
– Sure to Fall (in Love with You)
– September in the Rain
– Like Dreamers Do

The last song, “Like Dreamers Do”, was written by Paul McCartney in 1959 and it’s one of the very earliest songs credited Lennon-McCartney. Note that Beatles performed a total of 15 songs during this iconic Decca audition. The tape offered here contains seven songs.

In 2012, the auctioneer Fame Bureau sold, what they claimed to be, the original recording tape from the Decca audition for £35,000. The recording that they sold was on Ampex tape, which was NOT in use in 1962. It’s therefore not an original recording tape from the Decca audition, but instead just a later copy.

The recording tape offered here by Alexander Bitar History is indeed an original from the 1st of January 1962 with impeccable and solid provenance as it’s from the personal property of Brian Epstein, the man who actually was in charge of booking The Beatles to audition for Decca. With that being written – this is the only authentic original copy ever offered for sale!

Size: Approximately 6 x 6 in. / 15 x 15 cm (the box)

Condition: The tape is in very fine condition; the box is complete but it’s slightly torn and has what appears to be some tape marks; overall good condition.

Provenance: The Estate of The Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Letter of provenance from Henry Epstein, Brian’s nephew. Letter of authenticity from Tracks UK. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

Price upon request.


Marilyn Monroe

Monroe’s personally owned pearl necklace!


A faux pearl necklace that’s been personally owned and used by Marilyn Monroe. Contrary to popular belief, Monroe had very few things of value in her jewelry collection. Almost everything in her collection was costume jewelry as she was a very non-materialistic person. This necklace bears 53 pearls in total and is very characteristic and significant for Monroe as greatest sex symbol of all time. Personally owned items by Monroe are very sought-after, especially beautiful jewelry such as this piece.

Size: Approximately 19.5 / 50 cm in total length.

Condition: In used, yet very fine condition.

Provenance: The estate of Marilyn Monroe. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

Price upon request.


Bob Dylan

The earliest known Bob Dylan harmonica ever offered for sale!


Bob Dylan's personally owned and stage-played, heavily-used M. Hohner harmonica in A minor and a neck stand. The harmonica was given away by Dylan in 1961, a few months prior to Dylan’s debut album and his later world-wide fame. Due to the fact that Dylan gave away this heavily-used harmonica in 1961, it’s reasonable to state that it shaped Dylan to become one of the all-time greatest singer-songwriters. Listening to Dylan’s music, you’ll notice that the harmonica is very important and significant for Dylan and is included in almost all his classic songs.

Only a handful of instruments owned by Bob Dylan has ever been offered for sale. This is the earliest known harmonica that Dylan owned. It's pre-fame and before all of his success, which makes it even more interesting. Indeed, a truly important piece of pop culture!

Condition: The harmonica is heavily-used, yet intact with minor restoration of three screws only.

Provenance: Letter of provenance by Peter McKenzie dated July 27 1994 in which he writes: "This A Hohner Marine Band harmonica was played extensively by Bob Dylan and was given to me along with a note when Bob moved out of my parent's apartment in September of 1961" and a photo copy of Bob Dylans note: "These are for you. They are a bit worn but still good! Bob". The items sold as lot 446 (2) by Sotheby's New York in September 18 1996. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.
Bob Dylan
Peter McKenzie 1961-1994
Wayne Rogers 1994-1996
Private collection, USA 1996-

Price upon request.


Bob Dylan

Handwritten and signed lyrics to Like a Rolling Stone!

Handwritten lyrics to “Like a Rollig Stone” by Bob Dylan! Voted as the greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine, the 1965 song is the most essential Dylan song and indeed a piece of high-end poetry!

The lyrics, entitled “Like a Rolling Stone”, in full:
''Once upon a time you dressed so fine threw the bums a dime in your prime didn't you,
People call say beware doll you're bound to fall you thought they were all kiddin' you,
You used to laugh about everybody that was hanging out,
Now you don't talk so loud, now you don't act so proud,
About having to be scrounging around for your next meal,
How does it feel, how does it feel,
To be on your own, with no direction home like a complete unknown,
Like a rolling stone.

You've gone to the finest schools all right Miss Lonely but you know you only used to get juiced in it,
Nobody ever taught you how to live out on the street and now you find out you're gonna have to get used to it,
You said you'd never compromise with the mystery tramp but now you realize,
He's not selling any alibis as you stare into the vacuum of his eyes,
And say do you want to make a deal,
How does it feel, how does it feel,
To be on your own, with no direction home, like a complete unknown,
Like a rolling stone.

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers or the clowns when they all came down to do tricks for you,
You never understood that it ain't no good you should never let other people get your kicks for you,
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat,
Ain’t it hard when you discover that he really wasn't where it's at,
After he's taken everything he can steal,
How does it feel, how does it feel,
To be on your own with no direction home like a complete unknown,
Like a rolling stone.

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people drinking thinking that they got it made,
Exchanging all their precious gifts and things you better take your diamond rings, better pawn 'em babe,
You used to be so amused at Napoleon in rags and the language that he used,
Go to him now, he calls you and you can't refuse. When you nothing, you got nothing to lose,
You're invisible you got no secrets to conceal,
How does it feel, how does it feel,
To be on your own with no direction home like a complete unknown,
Like a rolling stone”

Although not the original lyrics sheet, this later handwritten lyrics is extremely rare and very sought after. The 1965 original lyrics sold for $2,045,000 at auction and was described as “the most significant rock manuscript to be offered”.

Size: Approximately 8.5 x 11 in. / 22 x 28 cm, unframed.

Condition: Very good condition.

Provenance: Letter of authenticity from Jeff Rosen, Bob Dylan’s manager.Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

SOLD!


Freddie Mercury

Iconic stage-worn jacket by the icon himself!


A red and white cotton twill military-inspired jacket with straps and buckles that was worn by Freddie Mercury during numerous of shows during Queen’s 1986 "Magic Tour". The Magic Tour was Queen’s biggest tour and also Mercury’s final tour with the band. The jacket was designed by Diana Moseley, who designed many of the band member's costumes. Moseley and Mercury worked closely during the design process of his tour costumes.

The Magic Tour is arguably the most iconic and appreciated tour that Queen ever held. From this tour, Queen has since released Live at Wembley '86, Live Magic, and Live in Budapest.

The jacket was gifted from Queen’s management to Irena Sedlecka, a renowned sculptor who created a statue of Mercury wearing the costume that was unveiled in Montreux, Switzerland in 1996. This is a prime memorabilia of the front man of one of popular music's most commercially successful and important bands of all time!

Note that the third photograph shows Mercury wearing this very jacket at Wembley Stadium in London, England November 7 1986, whilst the forth photograph is from July 27 1986 at Népstadion in Budapest, Hungary.

Size:

Condition: In used, yet very fine condition.

Provenance: Freddie Mercury/Queen; Irena Sedlecka; Private collection, USA. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

SOLD!


John Lennon

Handwritten lyrics to Give Peace a Chance!


Handwritten lyrics to “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon! Considered as one of the most powerful songs in pop culture history, the song was written in full by Lennon (although credited Lennon-McCartney) and became the anthem of the American anti-war movement in the 1970’s. “Give Peace a Chance” was Lennon’s very first solo-issued single and became an instant success after being released in July of 1969.

The lyrics on this sheet contains several misspellings and a few minor variations were added on the June 1, 1969 recording. The song lyrics are often praised as one of Lennon’s finest even though he described them as a “mix of various words”. During the live performance of the song, which was included in the Live Peace in Toronto 1969 album, Lennon didn’t remember the lyrics in full and sang whatever came to mind, inclusing “Eric Clapton”, “Penny Lane” and “Nixon”.

The lyrics in full:
“Everybodies talking bout”

Bagim, Shagism, Draggism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism, This-ism, That-ism.

Ministers, Sinisters, Bannisters, Cannisters, Bishop +, Fishops, Rabbies and Popeyes, Bye byes.

Revolution, Evolution, Masturbation, Flagellation, Regulations, Integrations, Meditations, United Nations, Congratulations.

John + Yoko, Timmy Leary, Tommy Smother, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper, Derek Taylor, Norma Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna.

All we are saying is Give peace a chance.”

This is an extremely rare opportunity to purchase handwritten lyrics to one of the most important and iconic song of all time. Indeed, a Holy Grail of pop culture memorabilia!

Size: Approximately 14 x 20 in. / 35 x 50 cm, unframed.

Condition: Very good condition.

Provenance: Written by Lennon in Suite 1742 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal, Canada, during John and Yoko's “Bed-In for Peace” in 26 May - 2 June, 1969. Featured in literature such as “The Beatles Anthology” (The Beatles”), y. 2000, pp.334-335 and “The Complete Beatles Chronicle” (Mark Lewisohn), y. 1995, p.323. Private collection, England; Private collection, USA. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

SOLD!


John Lennon

One of the most significant handwritten letters by John Lennon known to exist – written to Sir George Martin!


Handwritten and signed letter by John Lennon written to The Beatles' producer George Martin. The letter in full: "Dear Martin George of Rock Ink, Yoko and I got Two Virgins out in spite of being part owners of Apple. We made it in May and they fucked us about till November! Then E.M.I. (who have the real control) wrote warning letters to all their puppets around the world telling them not to handle it in any way, (this after Sir Joe had told us face to face that he would do everything he could to help us with it and asking us for autographed copies!) In the States it came out on Tetragrammaton, which vanished leaving a few thousand spares (it was sold discreetly wrapped in brown paper bags). Retailers here & there were to [sic] scared to handle it and it sold very few it's very well known but not many people could actually get it. In most other major markets e.g. Japan, it has never been released. On my last album in U.K., E.M.I. allowed me to sing 'fuck' but wouldn't allow the lyrics to be printed! Yoko's Open Your Box * was banned (again by an E.M.I. letter) everywhere. It only came out in Britain in a censored form. Just thought you'd like to know. Love J&Y".

An original typewritten document, dated "Sept. 12, 1971", of the letter is accompanied. The letter is angrily written regarding Lennon's experimental album "Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins". That was the very first non-Beatles album that Lennon made. It was a very controversial album, in particular the now famous album cover, which was the reason of why Lennon was so critical towards Apple Records and E.M.I. Lennon's most iconic album – "Imagine" was released September 9, 1971. That's only three days prior to when Lennon wrote this letter. In other words, he is writing the letter to make sure that his previous experiences with Apple and E.M.I. will not be happening again with "Imagine" – an album that later became one of history's most iconic albums.

The letter is addressed to "Martin George of Rock Ink & Roll Ink", which is clearly Sir George Martin. Typical John Lennon humor! George Martin is known as "The Fifth Beatle", perhaps the man, beside the four, that contribute the most for the great success of The Beatles. He produced all of Beatles's albums and singles between 1962 and 1669 including Sgt. Pepper, White Album and Abbey Road.

This is surely one of the most significant handwritten letters by John Lennon known to exist; the fact that it's written to George Martin makes it even greater! Noted Beatles autographs expert Perry Cox writes the following in the accompanied letter of authenticity: "Very historic and incredible hand written letter ... One of the most significant letter’s I’ve examined by Mr. Lennon to date."

Size: Approximately 8.5 x 11 in. / 22 x 28 cm, unframed.

Condition: Very good condition; impression of paper clip on upper left side.​

Provenance: Sir George Martin, producer of The Beatles. Letter of authenticity from Perry Cox. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

Price upon request.


Paul McCartney

Incredible letter by Paul McCartney to Prince!


Handwritten and signed letter by Paul McCartney. The letter in full: "[1] Dear Princely person, Hi there! I know how hard it is to always be getting letters that ask for some favour or another, so it was not easy for me to accept the job of Lead Patron for a Performing Arts School to be located in my home town, Liverpool. But, you guessed it! I did agree to do it, so now I'm writing to ‘friends and all good people’ to try and interest them in the scheme. The story started just after the inner-city riots in Liverpool a few years ago. A friend suggested that ‘what the city needs is a ‘Fame’ School.’ I liked the idea as a possible positive focus for local and overseas kids, but it was only later when I went back to my own old school that was in ruins, that I thought by locating a Performing Arts Centre there we could save the 1825 building in the process.

[2] So…(phew!) We're now well on our way, as the enclosed info shows, but there's still a lot to be done. Now the hard part. A donation from you would be a great boost to the project, and I know your involvement in some way, would be a thrill for everyone concerned. Hope you didn't mind me writing this, it's so long since I've written letters I feel like I'm back at school myself. Anyway, one of these days you'll have to come and teach a class some moves!! Who knows, it may turn out to be something special for thousands of future kids. Thanks for looking at this. Cheers + love, Paul (McCartney)".

The letter is written to Prince, making this a truly remarkable and incredible letter that connects two of the most important figures of the history of popular music. Although the letter is undated, it dates to early 2000. McCartney signed the letter twice; at the end (also adding a small sketch of a smiling face), and in the beginning as sender in which he also adds his home address "1 Soho Square, London W.1., England". Indeed, one of the finest letters there is in regard of music memorabilia!

Size: Approximately 8 x 11.5 in. / 20 x 29 cm each, unframed.

Condition: Very good condition; extremely light toning.

Provenance: Prince; Private collection, USA. Letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

SOLD!


The Beatles

The greatest Beatles signed photograph known to exist!


Glossy black and white photograph of The Beatles, taken in 1963 in Liverpool. All four Beatles members (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr) have signed beside their respectively image. The photograph is professionally matted and framed using museum-quality archival materials with two off-white passé partout frames, and an off-white wood frame, with an UV-protected glass.

The autographs were obtained in-person in June 1964 during The Beatles’ Australian tour. The Beatles had eight shows in Australia dated from June 12 to June 20. The person who obtained the autographs was The Beatles’ Australian tour promoter Mr. Kenn Brodziak.

Beatles autographs expert Perry Cox has stated – in his letter of authenticity that accompanies this item – "Indeed, this is truly one of the very best signed Beatles photographs I have examined to date. It is very likely the greatest Beatles signed photograph known to exist". This is truly one of the all-time finest Beatles items ever to have been offered for sale.

Size: Approximately 8 x 10 in. / 20 x 25 cm; the overall size of the frame is 12.6 x 15.4 in. / 32 x 39 cm.

Condition: Very good condition; some miner handling creases.

Provenance: Kenn Brodziak; Peter Garro. Letter of provenance from Peter Garro. Two letters of authenticity from Frank Caiazzo dated 1999 and 2015. Letter of authenticity from Perry Cox. Letter of authenticity from Alexander Bitar History.

SOLD!