Beatles Autographs
special-items
SI2. A Pan Am Postcard Signed by The Beatles on February 7, 1964 During Their Historic First Flight to New York
(Scroll down to view all available images for this item!)







 

SI2. A Pan Am Postcard Signed by The Beatles on February 7, 1964 During Their Historic First Flight to New York

Friday, February 7, 1964. It is arguably the most decisive day in the history of The Beatles. At 11:00 a.m., the group and their entourage boarded Pan Am flight 101 at London’s Heathrow Airport and embarked on the trip that would change the world forever. This was their first journey to America, and they were on the way to make their groundbreaking appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. Fading in the distance behind them was their native England, the country they had taken by storm throughout 1963.

Through chart-topping records, television, radio and concert appearances, they had well-established themselves as the most heralded act in all of British entertainment. In just a few hours, they would arrive in the United States – America – the one domain that no British act had ever conquered. During the flight, The Beatles were virtually caught between two realms – a past that saw humble beginnings, a demanding musical apprenticeship in Liverpool and Hamburg and a meteoric rise to fame in Britain … and an unfathomable future that not even the most vocal devotees could have predicted. This was more than just a flight to New York City. This was a flight to their destiny. Once they stepped off the Pan Am Yankee Clipper and onto the tarmac at JFK Airport, nothing would ever be the same again.

It’s been often said that an autograph is a moment frozen in time. If there was ever a Beatles autograph set that captured an epochal moment, this is it – a Pan Am postcard signed by all four Beatles in mid-flight just an hour before that momentous landing in New York. All have signed their full names beautifully on the reverse side of a Pan Am postcard in blue ballpoint pen. George Harrison has additionally written an inscription: “Dear Monica Best wishes from the BEATLES”.

What is most remarkable about this signed postcard offering is the letter that accompanies it. Rarely has such impeccable provenance been provided with a Beatles autograph set. Amazingly, the note, written by a member of the flight crew (Gerry Shea), is on a sheet of Pan Am letterhead and boasts all the written pedigree that collectors dream about. It’s as though Gerry knew that detailed provenance would be critically important over four decades later.

At the top, he has dated the letter “Friday, February 7, 1964” and has also added the time (“5:30 p.m. London time, 12:30 p.m. New York time”) as well as “Flight 101, Boeing 707”. The body of the letter reads:

"Dear Monica,

Good news – I have the Beatles on board and we are up in the air now about one hour away from New York. The flight has been a good one so far. We left London airport at 1 a.m. and sure enough there were hordes of screaming girls – The B’s boarded safely however – They are very nice Monica, fine lads – I had a chat with each of them and told them of you – I told Paul especially that he was your favorite – They all send their greetings to you and don’t be surprised if they all pop into Woolworths to see you someday – Excuse my poor writing as the air is a little rough here. I am enclosing the card they signed just for you. They said they were delighted to do it. I sure hope you are still living at this address because I would not want your autographs to get lost – The Beatles are going to be in N.Y. 10 days – They did some singing in the lounge on the plane – quite good too. I hope you, Ann, Mrs. Voss, Olive, etc. etc. are well – Please give my best wishes to all of them & to Mary White if you get to see her. Hope to be seeing all of you again at the end of the month – Both the Beatles & I send our love to you – Keep well

Gerry Shea "


As if this isn’t enough provenance, the letterhead reads “In Flight…Pan Am Jet Clipper”, further cementing the fact that the set was signed during the flight.

One of the most fascinating passages in Gerry’s letter is one mentioning an impromptu show held by the group in the plane’s lounge. One can only imagine them doing an “unplugged” rehearsal of their Sullivan set!

Interestingly, as Gerry was obtaining The Beatles’ autographs on this postcard, the band’s road manager Neil Aspinall was elsewhere in the plane busily adding his own version of their signatures to a stack of publicity photographs in an effort to fulfill what would certainly be an avalanche of autograph requests from Manhattan police and city officials. After a while, he tired of signing in full and proceeded to sign the balance of the photos in first name only.

The postcard and letter are accompanied by the original Pan Am envelope which has been addressed to the recipient in London, Monica Conway, and is postmarked “FEB10 ‘64” (mailed from Jamaica, New York – which is just next to JFK airport).

Noted Beatles author and historian Bruce Spizer has devoted an entire page to this piece in his highly-acclaimed 2003 book The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America, which chronicles in detail the band’s gradual introduction to American audiences throughout 1963 as well as their whirlwind two-week first visit to America in February 1964.

In every detail, this remarkable assemblage of items represents the calm before the storm. Even the most discerning collectors would be hard-pressed to find a Beatles autograph set with better provenance or one that captures a more important moment in The Beatles’ extraordinary history. This is a truly unique opportunity to own what is one of the best-documented and historic sets of Beatles autographs ever to surface.....$35,000




^ Return To Top ^


Please call or email to contact us about any items you are interested in. We always enjoy talking to our long time veteran collectors and meeting new ones.


T: (+) 1-212-643-4525
E: info@beatlesautographs.com
 

All Rights Reserved; Frank Caiazzo, Beatles Autographs
602 Higgins Avenue, Suite 121, Brielle, NJ 08730, USA