Beatles Autographs
SI5. A George Harrison Handwritten Letter to a Fan, August 1963
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SI5. A George Harrison Handwritten Letter to a Fan, August 1963

From August 19 through August 24, 1963, The Beatles played a series of shows at the Gaumont Theater in Bournemouth on the southern coast of England. During their extended stay in this seaside resort town, the band took up residence at the very posh and very exclusive Palace Court Hotel. While there, photographer Robert Freeman took the cover shot that would be featured on the front of the band’s second album, “With The Beatles”, which was released a few months later. Between gigs, they took time out to answer some of their fan mail. George also wrote his first song which appeared on a Beatles album, “Don’t Bother Me”, while sick in bed at the Palace Court Hotel during this time in Bournemouth.

This 2-page letter, handwritten by George Harrison “To Boote” on Palace Court stationery, is filled with interesting references. His opening line mentions the chart-topping “She Loves You” which he urges the fan to buy (it was released on August 23rd, one day before they left Bournemouth). It would instantly hit number one, and went on to become the best selling Beatles single in ever the U.K. He follows this with a reference to ‘jelly babies’, the soft British confection he had recently told the press was their favorite candy. After his comment was published, British fans inundated the group with boxes of jelly babies. In this letter, Harrison denies their affection for jelly babies, stating that no one in the band likes them and that the press made it up. (His published comment would have further repercussions a few months later when American concertgoers showered the band with thousands of jelly babies, a much harder candy The Beatles disdained because of the pain they inflicted when they were hit by them on stage.) Harrison then makes a reference to the band’s ever-growing presence in London as their recording career progressed, a move which upset their original Liverpool fans and, as they earned international acclaim, proved to be permanent.

Harrison additionally comments on the frenzied audiences at Beatles shows, stating that “we don’t mind girls screaming in the noisy numbers, but I think we would prefer them to be a little quieter in the slow songs.” He also alludes to what was obviously a question about their forthcoming shows, telling the fan that there are no scheduled appearances at the Gaumont State Theater in London’s Kilburn High Road, but that they will be playing London’s Royal Albert Hall. (This was the ‘Great Pop Prom’ show held on September 15, 1963. The Beatles topped the bill, sharing the program with eleven other acts, including a new up-and-coming band called The Rolling Stones.) Harrison signs off with a full signature which is extraordinary and as nice as he could have signed on that day, followed by three kisses (“XXX”).

The letter is written in blue ballpoint pen. The two pages each measure 5” x 8”, have three mailing fold lines and are in very good condition overall. Letters written by members of The Beatles to their fans are quite scarce. While they would reply to fan letters early in their career, the practice would stop altogether by the end of 1963 and into 1964 as they became international stars and virtually untouchable — and unreachable…..$17,500

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