Beatles Autographs
concert-programs
Signed concert programs for live performances by The Beatles were often sold at the venues. They contained photographs and a bio page of the group along with other acts who were also on the bill. They sometimes also included advertising by local merchants. Before the band's popularity rose to dizzying heights, The Beatles would actually stay behind after a show and sign for fans, who were mostly female.

Without question, female fans were the major purchasers for concert memorabilia. It made perfect sense that the majority of the items being signed were the show programs (or programmes, the proper British spelling). Many of these programs unsigned are worth quite a bit of money to collectors, particularly those for 3, 2 or even 1 performance in a given city. For example, on March 8, 1963, The Beatles played at The Royal Hall in Harrogate, Yorkshire, England. For this one day only show, a program was printed which is worth approximately $1000. in mint condition unsigned.

About 10 of these have turned up which have been fully signed by all of The Beatles. As with the majority of signed material, most programs were signed by The Beatles in 1963, their most fertile signing year because they were far more publicly accessible throughout the first three quarters of the year. The generic American programs for their U.S. tours were printed by Raydell Publishing in New York City and were available at shows across North America.

Although more common unsigned than most other programs from around the world, they are among the scarcest to find signed. In fact. very few autographed examples of these have turned up at all because they simply did not sign that many US tour programs due to extremely heightened security. Signed tour programs are quite special as they represent an historic collectible from a specific and in most cases very direct encounter with The Beatles. Indeed, the magic of a live performance by the world's greatest band combined with the intimate experience of acquiring their autographs was the ultimate Fab Four dream.

CP1. A Signed Beatles Concert Tour Program From Their Second Tour of Great Britian.

Between the dates of March 9th and 31st, 1963, The Beatles went out on tour in Great Britain with popular American singers Chris Montez and Tommy Roe. It was the second tour of their country, and the first with Helen Shapiro had ended mere days before. When this tour was initially booked months prior, The Beatles were only slated to get 5th billing in a 7 act tour, behind Montez, Roe and 2 other acts, but by the time the shows arrived they had a tremendous momentum. The Beatles’ popularity was soaring and although not pictured or even mentioned by name on the front cover of the concert program, they were for all intents and purposes the headliners on this tour. "Please Please Me", their debut album on Parlophone Records was released on March 22nd, right in the middle of the band’s second stint out on the road.

It was 6 days later, on March 28th when the band performed live in concert at the ABC Cinemas in Exeter, England. On that day that The Beatles autographed the back of a concert program beautifully, near their respective images, in black ballpoint pen. Additionally John Lennon has written “Best Wishes” at the top, which is very nice to have as it’s quite rare and desirable to have this sentiment from John. The individual shots of each seated band member illustrated on the back cover were taken by German photographer Astrid Kirchherr at her home studio in November of 1962. A former girlfriend of Stuart Sutcliffe and dear friend of the band who met them in Hamburg in 1960, Astrid has been widely credited for creating their ‘Beatles hairstyle’.

The program had been very well kept by D.J. Keast, the original owner who obtained the autographs in Exeter on March 28, 1963. He has written his name in the top left corner. All of the signatures on the concert program are excellent and complete examples of Beatles autographs from March of 1963. This was really a critical and exciting period for The Beatles, yet even they had no idea at the time that they were well on the road to immense worldwide fame that was far beyond their wildest dreams…..$18,500

   

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CP4.  Fully Signed "The Beatles Show" Program From September 1963


On Wednesday, September 4, 1963, The Beatles launched a four-night run of shows promoted by John Smith, a leading London concert promoter. This wasn't the first series of Beatles gigs Smith had promoted. His first booking with the group had been for a show in Oxford the previous February. He had also booked several dates in support of Brian Epstein's Mersey Beat Showcase starting in Croydon on April 25th of that year. Because several of these Showcase concerts had to be cancelled, Epstein offered Smith this September mini-tour, for which the headlining Beatles earned £250 a night. The shows, compered by Ted King, also featured supporting acts Ian Crawford, Mike Berry, The Fourmost, Rockin' Henri and Patrick Dane's Quiet Five.

The four-night package kicked off on September 4th at the Gaumont Cinema in Worcester, followed the next night by a show at the Gaumont Cinema in Taunton. On the 6th - the third night - they played the Odeon Cinema in Luton before concluding the "tour" on the 7th with
a show at Fairfield Hall in Croydon.

Smith had a special 8-page program printed for this 4-nighter and the one offered here has been signed by all four Beatles on the back cover. This autographed page features four individual Beatle portraits taken in November 1962 by the group's close friend from their Hamburg days, Astrid Kirchherr. Each Beatle has signed beautifully next to his own portrait
in dark blue ballpoint pen. Because these shows took place at a time when fans still had in-person (though increasingly more limited) access to the band, this program was likely signed after one of the four shows on the tour.

The program, which measures 7" x 9-1/2", has been folded vertically down the middle and there is some wear to the top of the front cover. There is also a very light, almost imperceptible horizontal fold on the program. None of these folds affect the cover signatures on the back cover which remain as bold as the day they were signed.

From their fledgling days as The Quarrymen in 1956-57 through the end of August 1966, it was all about touring for The Beatles. Still, Beatles-signed concert programs are very rare indeed and are seldom offered for sale. This is your opportunity to own a gorgeous, authentic example signed during the group's heyday as the most popular act in their native Britain -- just five months before they arrived in America and, in effect, conquered the world…..$22,500

   
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CP2. A “Beatles (USA) Ltd” 1964 U.S. Tour Program Signed By The Beatles

Seven months after their first historic visit to America, The Beatles made a return visit in September of 1964 and embarked upon their first full-fledged tour of the United States. They played 32 shows in 24 cities between August 19 and September 20. Among these was the fabled show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Here is a program from that first North American tour which has been signed beautifully by The Beatles on the first right-hand inside page.

Each member has signed in dark blue ballpoint pen directly above his respective image. The signatures were originally obtained by Mr. Raymond Lussa, the owner of the New York based company Souvenir Publishing, which published Beatles promotional materials and fan magazines, as well as this program. Lussa had The Beatles sign this program for him. He then gave it to a 10- year-old girl named Vicky, the daughter of his next-door neighbor. It was signed while The Beatles were in New York to play two consecutive days at The Forest Hills Tennis Stadium (August 28th and 29th).

The program, which measures 12” x 12”, is in very good condition overall, with some minor scuffing and wear to the front and back cover. The signed page is flawless and all signatures are bold, complete and excellent examples from their all-important breakthrough year of 1964. Very few of these Beatles (USA) Ltd. 1964 programs were signed by The Beatles because it was virtually impossible for fans to get to them either before or after a performance once they arrived in America. This was quite a turnaround from just a year earlier, when they were still fairly accessible while touring in Great Britain. Signed as beautifully as it is, this is without a doubt one of the nicest autographed Beatles 1964 tour programs in existence.....$25,000





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