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SI25. A Fully-Signed First Pressing of The Beatles' Debut Single "Love Me Do"
          From Their Dawson's Music Shop Appearance of October 6, 1962

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SI25.  A Fully-Signed First Pressing of The Beatles' Debut Single "Love Me Do"
            From Their Dawson's Music Shop Appearance of October 6, 1962


Ever since 1957, The Beatles had been knocking around Liverpool, working to hone their skills as musicians and expand their repertoire beyond cover versions to their own original tunes. By 1962, they'd played countless church halls, dance halls and clubs, served two apprenticeships in Hamburg, cut a record as the backing band for Tony Sheridan (which brought them limited notoriety) and found a manager in the form of record retailer Brian Epstein. They had become wildly popular throughout their native Liverpool, but despite this and Epstein's valiant efforts, they had failed to achieve their dream of a record contract. An unsuccessful audition with Decca and numerous other record company rejections had all but dashed their hopes. Then in early May, Epstein secured an audition (or, more accurately, an "artist test") for them with EMI's smallest label Parlophone, having been referred to producer George Martin by Sid Coleman, head of EMI's record publishing company, Ardmore & Beechwood.

On June 6, 1962, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best first recorded, as part of their audition, the song that would at long last propel them out of Merseyside and onto the national music scene: "Love Me Do". By the time of their first official recording session, Pete had been drummed out of the group and replaced with Ringo Starr. And so it was on September 4, 1962, a contract secured, that The Beatles' (in their final lineup) entered the EMI Studios on Abbey Road and recorded "Love Me Do". (On September 11th, it was re-recorded with session man Andy White on drums after George Martin expressed dissatisfaction with Ringo's performance from a week earlier.)

When they started out, The Beatles dreamed of one day having their own record, and at the time they really couldn’t see much beyond that. Achieving their dream, "Love Me Do" hit the shops on October 5th and soon entered the British charts, peaking at number 17. The following day, October 6th, the band made the 15-mile trek to Widnes, Lancashire on the outskirts of Liverpool for a 4 p.m., half-hour-long record signing at Dawson's Music Shop. Each Beatle signed their debut single right on the red and silver label. This signing appearance would be the first of only three such occasions in their storied career, all of them taking place in England. That same evening, the group crossed the Mersey to the Wirral, performing for a Horticultural Society Dance at Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight. When you consider the fact that the Dawson's record signing only lasted 30 minutes, you begin to understand the extreme rarity of a signed copy of this record.

Offered here is a stunning first pressing of The Beatles' breakout single, signed at Dawson's the day after the record's release, obtained by a local Liverpool fan named Bob Edwards. All four Beatles have signed their full names beautifully in ballpoint pen on the "Love Me Do" side (the “A side”). John Lennon has signed at the top of the label directly above the word "Parlophone", adding three X's (kisses) after his name. Paul McCartney has signed on the bottom of the label near (and partially through) the song title and songwriting credits, also adding three X's. George Harrison has signed the "sweet spot", splitting his first and last names directly above and below the center punch-out spindle hole. Ringo Starr has signed with two X's up the label's right-hand side, directly atop Parlophone's £ trademark. The silver label printing does not detract from the beauty of these classic early Beatles' signatures. The majority of the “Love Me Do” 45’s that were autographed by the band were done on the “B side” (containing the song “P.S. I Love You”), which is less desirable than to have the “A side” signed as this one is. The record – which shows signs of wear and play - has been framed to 11” x 18” by the previous owner, with an original green Parlophone 45 sleeve, and a short written description.

Here is your opportunity to own an incredible piece of early Beatles history: their first single, fully-signed by all four members at the very
point in time when they would start making the transition from a local Liverpool bar band to the most influential group in the history of popular music…..$30,000


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