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AP1.  Early Beatles autograph set, signed in 1961 at the world-famous Cavern Club in Liverpool by the original pre-Ringo lineup
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AP1.  Early Beatles Autograph Set, Signed In 1961 At The World-Famous Cavern Club In Liverpool By The Original Pre-Ringo Lineup

There is no one venue as closely associated with The Beatles as Liverpool's Cavern Club. It was here where, as legend states, The Beatles played 292 times in the two-and-a-half-year period between February 9, 1961 and August 3, 1963. At their first Cavern show, they were virtually unknown even in their hometown. By the time they played their last show at the club, they were nationally-known in England and a mere six months away from their breakthrough in America and the worldwide acclaim that followed. Much has been written about the Cavern -- its origins in 1957 as a jazz club and the early ban on rock 'n roll; the damp, hot air filled with the stench of cigarettes and perfume; the walls dripping with condensation; the crowds that packed the place at lunchtime and evenings to hear all the great emerging bands; and the long queues that stretched for blocks from the entrance at 10 Mathew Street.

But from 1961 to 1963, this was The Beatles' stomping grounds and, during this time, the 150-year-old cellar would witness the astonishing rise to fame of the band that would come to dominate popular music. It was here on November 9, 1961 that Brian Epstein would first see the group perform, an event which, just over two months later, led to his signing a five-year contract with the band as their manager. The rest, as they say, is history.

Offered here is a set of Beatles autographs, signed at The Cavern Club in their inaugural year of 1961. The 4” x 3 ½” cut album page has been fully signed in blue ballpoint pen by the pre-Ringo incarnation of the band: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and original drummer Pete Best. Paul has additionally prefaced his name with "Love" and Pete has added "Best Wishes" before his signature. At the bottom, someone else (presumably the original owner) has written "The Beatles - obtained from The Cavern - Liverpool", thereby verifying the set's origins at the world-famous club.

The piece is "framed" on all four sides with glue residue from the cellophane tape which clearly held it in place in an early fan's scrapbook. This residue doesn't affect the clarity of the signatures and could easily be removed by a skilled paper restorer.

The set is accompanied by an original, but well-worn Cavern Club membership card from 1961. A very scarce artifact in itself, the membership card allowed the bearer access to the club all through the 1961 season -- becoming, in effect, a "ticket" to see The Beatles for the entire year (after the member paid a nominal cover charge with each visit, of course). Also included with this ‘Cavern set’ is a 10” x 16” photograph of The Beatles in their ‘leathers’ taken in 1961 outside of the Cavern Club, which can be used appropriately for framing to make a fabulous display once framed and hanging on your wall.

Beatles autograph sets from 1961 seldom surface as they represent some of the earliest signatures on record. Even fewer are the number of sets signed at The Cavern during their first year at the club. This is a chance to own a set from a milestone year in Beatles history -- the year the group started its climb from obscurity to fame -- and signed on their legendary manager.
 


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