Beatles Autographs
As one of the most desirable pieces of Beatles signed memorabilia, signed album covers are indeed very highly sought after. They are extremely rare, in part because of their size and general lack of portability. Most autograph seekers did not choose to bring them or they simply didn't have them readily available when encountering The Beatles in person. The most common signed Beatles LP covers are those on the British "Parlophone Records" label, namely Please, Please Me and With The Beatles. Both titles came out in 1963, before they conquered the United States and the world and became virtually inaccessible.

While other authentic signed titles do appear on occasion, for the most part, any album that was released after 1964 is extremely difficult to find signed by all four members of The Beatles. Signed LP's are desirable because in a very real sense, it is akin to an artist or artists (in this case The Beatles) signing and acknowledging their work. American "Capitol Records" versions of Beatles albums are among the hardest to find as they signed very little while touring the States in 1964, 1965 and 1966 - especially when compared to 1963, their most prolific signing year.

To date, only about a half dozen U.S. titles have turned up authentically signed by the group. It is of utmost importance that the reader beware of the many forged U.S. signed LP's that have hit the market over the past 10 years, mostly done by American forgers lacking access to the original issue Parlophone covers. All in all, owning an album cover signed by The Beatles is a privilege about which very few can boast and without question, the ultimate in any true fans collecting experience.

SA9. A Swedish Parlophone Records “She Loves You Sleeve” Autographed By The Beatles On Their Very First Trip Abroad

Released in the United Kingdom on August 23, 1963, “She Loves You” (with “I’ll Get You” as the B-side) was an amazing new hit record for The Beatles and it set and then went on to eclipse several records in the United Kingdom record charts. Without question “She Loves You” is the song that thrust The Beatles full scale into the British national spotlight. It was for them the next step in their amazing progression after their first chart topping hit “From Me To You”. But it was not only Great Britain that took notice – so did other European counties –  most notably Sweden, located across the North Sea, some 1,200 miles to the northeast of Liverpool.

Because of the success of “She Loves You”, The Beatles were in heavy demand in Sweden and were immediately booked to play a series of concerts there in late October. And so The Beatles left for Stockholm on October 23, 1963 - the very same day the band had finished up recording for their second album “With The Beatles”.

Here is a Swedish issue Parlophone Records 45rpm record sleeve for “She Loves You” that has been autographed beautifully by all four members of The Beatles in black ballpoint pen on their respective images. The sleeve features a great Dezo Hoffman shot from the same July 1963 photo session that produced the classic ‘seated collarless’ pose. As depicted on the yellow tinted image of this sleeve, each member not only has their own chair, but their own genuine smile.

This record sleeve was signed on October 28, 1963, when The Beatles did a 30 minute in-store autograph session at the Waidele Music Store in Borås, Sweden. Later that evening they performed in concert at the Borås Hallen in Borås. The sleeve is in good overall condition, with some areas of paper loss on the front, and written on the back are the name and initials of the original owner, “Eva Hansson”.

For any collector who has been waiting and wanting to step up to the all important category a Beatles signed record sleeve, here is your chance to own one without breaking the bank…..$17,500.

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SA7.  "A Hard Day's Night" UK LP Cover Fully-Signed By All Four Beatles For American Runaway, November 1, 1964

She's not the runaway who inspired "She's Leaving Home", but 13-year-old Elizabeth Freedman garnered her own share of international publicity when, on October 17, 1964, she slipped away at dawn from her Newton, Massachusetts home and flew to London. Before her overseas adventures were over, she would have a fortuitous meeting with the Beatles and head back to America with two fully-signed Beatles LPs.
Elizabeth's love for the Beatles and the Animals prompted her to withdraw $400 from her bank account, secure a passport, obtain a smallpox vaccination and buy a one-way ticket to London. She left a note at home, saying she was going to see a movie and instead flew off to Britain. Despite her young age, no one questioned her along the way. Once she reached her destination, she immersed herself in the local music and club scene, attending shows by Tommy Steele, Cilla Black, Cliff Richard, Petula Clark and Long John Baldry. Having recently attended a concert by the Animals in Boston (where she met Eric Burdon and another member), Elizabeth hoped to once again meet up with the group, which had just returned to England. It was also her intention to see the Beatles in concert, but that seemed unlikely to happen.
In the meantime, Boston police had traced Elizabeth as far as the city's Logan Airport, where it was discovered that she had flown to England. There the trail ended. Her widowed, British-born mother, Barbara Freedman, contacted the U.S. Embassy and Scotland Yard in desperation, asking for their assistance. Elizabeth's passport photo was sent from the authorities in Washington D.C. to Scotland Yard, but neither British nor American authorities were able to locate her. A glimmer of hope appeared when the Embassy soon notified Mrs. Freedman that they had traced Elizabeth to a London hotel, where she had stayed for two days after her arrival. Unfortunately, she had disappeared again.
Mrs. Freedman immediately flew to London to begin her own search, starting with the clubs and coffee bars in the West End.
Enter Beatles producer George Martin. When news of Elizabeth's plight hit the London papers, Martin made this public promise in print: “When this little girl is found I promise her I will see she meets The Beatles before she goes home”. The following day (October 30th), nearly two weeks after her disappearance, Elizabeth was located at a rooming house in the tough Brixton district in South London. The London papers had run a description of the missing girl and police had been tipped off by someone she had met in a club. Mother and daughter were immediately reunited. The pair stayed in London a few additional days and, while in England, visited the girl's grandmother, who lived in a town about 70 miles south.

George Martin’s promise was fulfilled on November 1st when Elizabeth was escorted into the Beatles' dressing room at the Astoria Theatre in Finsbury Park. A published account in the November 2nd Daily Express described the meeting. "So this is the little girl we've been reading about," Ringo quipped. "I don't think we've been to Boston," George said. Paul replied, "We have. That's where we had the tea party." The newspaper article reported that after she ate a hot dog with the Beatles, "Elizabeth saw the show, clutching two record albums the Beatles had signed." Four days later, Elizabeth and her mother returned to Boston where she was promptly grounded for a while.

It is a rare instance indeed when a Beatles signed piece comes with such ironclad provenance, but offered here is one of the two LPs that Elizabeth had autographed by the group during her backstage visit. This original British Parlophone Records mono pressing of A Hard Day's Night has been fully-signed by all four Beatles on the back cover in the same black ballpoint pen. John, Paul and Ringo have signed at the top above the liner notes and George has signed below his photo at the bottom. The signatures are large and legible. John and Paul have also added kisses ("XXX") following their signatures. The LP, which measures 12" x 12", has very light wear and discoloration on the back, but this has no bearing on the clarity of the signatures or the overall beauty of this piece which has remained solely in Elizabeth's possession for almost fifty years.

The LP is accompanied by copies of several newspaper article clippings (both British and America) chronicling Elizabeth's escapades, her mother's frantic search for her and eventually her face-to-face meeting with the boys. As a nice bonus, Elizabeth's Beatles concert ticket from the night of her meeting with them is included. Additionally, there are two black & white photos showing Elizabeth taken at the time of her amazing encounter with the Beatles in their dressing room. In one, John Lennon is seen holding the very A Hard Day’s Night album being offered here! He is pictured clutching the album in one hand and the pen The Beatles used to sign in the other. (Elizabeth recalls Lennon pointing the pen at the photographer and saying "bang, bang" as if he was shooting him.) On the same evening, Elizabeth also had all four Beatles sign a copy of the With The Beatles LP, but gave that album to a friend when she returned home.

Autographed Beatles LPs are among the rarest and most desired of all autographed Beatles pieces as they represent the music the band created. Certainly, A Hard Day's Night, the soundtrack album to their first feature film, is the LP that best exemplifies Beatlemania at its peak. In recognition of the great album that it is, Britain's Q magazine placed A Hard Day's Night at number five in its list of the "100 Greatest British Albums Ever". To date, fewer than a dozen A Hard Day’s Night covers signed by all four of The Beatles have materialized, making this an exceptionally rare title.

"They were very friendly, sweet, funny and unassuming," Elizabeth writes in the Letter of Provenance that accompanies the LP. "They were not at all stuck up or arrogant. I was so dazzled by them...". The girl who ran away from home to meet the Beatles still has her memories, but now you can own the well-preserved evidence of her meeting with the four most famous rock musicians of all time. Don't miss this opportunity to acquire an investment-grade artifact with a well-documented back-story that gives it an impeccable pedigree….. $60,000

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SI23. "A Hard Day's Night" UK LP Flat Fully-Signed By All Four Beatles On Day Of Release, July 10, 1964

On July 6, 1964, the Beatles attended the Royal World Premiere of their first feature film, A Hard Day's Night, at the London Pavilion in Piccadilly Circus. Four days later, on the afternoon of July 10th, they boarded a flight at London's Heathrow Airport for their triumphant return home to Liverpool for the Northern Premiere of the film. They arrived in late afternoon at Speke Airport to the screams of 3,000 fans. A brief press conference was held, followed by a police-escorted drive to the city centre along a route lined with an estimated 200,000 people, roughly a fourth of the entire population of Liverpool.  The motorcade arrived at the Town Hall at a little before 7pm, where 20,000 fans gathered in the streets outside. Here, they were given a civic reception hosted by The Lord Mayor, Alderman Louis Caplan, and attended by 714 city officials, friends and family members.  During the celebration, the group stepped out onto the balcony of the Hall and waved to the throngs milling in the street below.  At 9pm, they left in an Austin Princess limousine for the Odeon Cinema, where the Liverpool charity premiere showing of A Hard Day's Night took place.  At 1:30am, after the premiere, a limousine ride back to Speke Airport and another round of civic ceremonies, they took a return flight to London.

July 10th is noted not only for the Beatles' Liverpool homecoming for the ‘Northern Premiere’, but also it is the release date of their third studio album, sharing the same name as the movie - A Hard Day's Night, the first side of which contained seven songs from the film's soundtrack. If ever there was a high spot in those early days of global success, this was it. As the four most recognized faces on the planet, the boys were brimming with confidence over their recording career and the accolades they'd received for the film.  On that very morning of the album’s release, before leaving Heathrow Airport for Liverpool, they signed for their attending flight stewardesses cardboard front cover ‘flats’ of the new album. These flats (which measure 12” x 12”) were actually the factory pressed cardboard printed front covers of the A Hard Day’s Night LP, before being fully constructed into album covers…..after which a thick, heavy laminate was applied to the front cover.

The accompanying photo shows Paul McCartney preparing to board the British Eagle airlines flight for Liverpool.  The two stewardesses shown to the right of Paul are each clutching their newly-autographed A Hard Day’s Night covers. The attendant on the right far is holding the very one that is being offered here.  An enlargement of the cover seen in the photo is provided for closer inspection of the location of the signatures and the positioning of the individual letters, making for proof-positive photo identification!

Because the British albums had thick glossy laminated front covers, the Beatles found it difficult, if not impossible, to sign the fronts because the ballpoint pens of the day would not take to the glossy surface.  The vast majority of fully-signed British LPs (any title, unless it was a ‘gatefold album’) were signed on the un-laminated back cover, often on top of the liner notes — and those few that they attempted to sign on the front have signatures that are generally incomplete, due to pen skips. This flat, however, was signed on the un-laminated front cover graphics – with 20 headshots of The Beatles - making it a far more desirable and rare presentation piece.

As of this writing, there are no known A Hard Day's Night Parlophone UK LP covers signed by all four Beatles on the front, and less than ten known examples fully-signed on the back.  On this classic cover (featuring four rows of five head shots, set up as though they were frames from a movie), each Beatle has signed beautifully in black ballpoint pen on the row where his respective image appears.

Consider, too, the supreme rarity of having photographic provenance for any signed Beatles piece. Instances where visual proof of authenticity is available in the form of photographic evidence simply never happens, making the photo verification for this signed LP flat all the more astonishing. You can't ask for better provenance for a Beatles signed piece than having that piece appear in a photo with one or more of the Beatles!

Adding to the rarity of this piece is the fact that 90% of authentic Beatles autograph sets were signed in 1963 when the band members were still reasonably accessible to their fans.  Items signed once they had achieved global fame are relatively few in number because they were generally sequestered, inaccessible and unapproachable.

In excellent overall condition, the piece has been expensively framed to museum archival standards. Here is a chance to own the instantly recognizable front cover of a classic and important Beatles album, signed on the day of release and at a time when The Beatles were on top of the world, celebrating their first film  —  successful, young, exuberant, creatively prolific and with so much more to achieve…..$65,000


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SA6. "A Hard Day's Night" LP Cover Signed Beautifully By The Beatles in 1964

Shortly after their triumphant visit to America in February of 1964, The Beatles returned home to England with a big challenge in front of them — and they delivered in a big way. They immediately began recording their third album, to be titled “A Hard Day’s Night” (although one of the album tracks, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, was recorded in France just before their trip to the U.S.). The album also served as the soundtrack to their first feature film, a critically acclaimed semi-autobiographical ‘day in the life’ of The Beatles also called “A Hard Day’s Night”. In addition to the title track and “Can’t Buy Me Love”, the LP contained such classics as “I Should Have Known Better”, “If I Fell” and “And I Love Her”, and was clearly the band’s best effort to date. Upbeat, exciting and energetic, it was the embodiment of ‘Beatlemania’, the fan frenzy that had exploded worldwide by the time the recording sessions took place. The synergistic effect created by featuring most of the album’s songs in the movie gave these great compositions even more impact. The songs included on this album are nothing short of spectacular, with the first 7 songs (Side One) appearing in the movie.

All four have autographed the back cover on this LP jacket beautifully in blue ballpoint pen, with John Lennon signing directly over the Side Two song titles, and Paul McCartney signing to the left of thick block capital letters stating “THE BEATLES”. George Harrison and Ringo Starr have signed below and above their respective images. This particular cover was the first prize in a contest held by Wathes, a store located in Liverpool, and in fact writing in another hand indicates that it was ‘PRESENTED BY WATHES’ to the winner. This well preserved album cover is in excellent condition, having been well kept over the years.

“A Hard Day’s Night” is the first U.K. issue Beatles album to feature photographs of the band members, with four individual headshots taken during the filming of the movie - and these images dramatically heighten the visual appeal of this signed Beatles treasure…..$45,000


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SA4.  A “Please Please Me” Album Cover Autographed By The Beatles In The Fall Of 1963

"Please Please Me", a seminal album in early ‘60s British rock, was rush-released on March 22, 1963, barely a month after it was recorded by The Beatles in a marathon one day recording session at Abbey Road Studios (then known as EMI Studios). With eight Lennon & McCartney originals, and the balance taken from a pool of songs which were written by other artists that The Beatles performed in their live show repertoire, this album thrust The Beatles into the national spotlight in Great Britain. It was a fabulous launch into the foray of Long Playing Records and it immediately exploded onto the British charts and went to Number 1 where it remained for 30 weeks, until it was replaced at the top spot by the band’s follow up album, “With The Beatles”.

This early issue U.K. Parlophone Records “Please Please Me” LP cover has been autographed beautifully in blue ballpoint pen by all four members. Although no further information regarding the signing of this album was available, the signatures date from The Fall of 1963, and these are excellent representative examples from the period.

The cover is in overall good condition, and as it will be 50 years old in just a few months, it shows some signs of ageing. The initials G.V.T. are written in the upper left hand corner of the back cover, and there are small areas of paper loss in the upper and lower left hand corners. The upper right hand corner of the front of the cover has peeled back a little. These minor detractions can be repaired by an experienced paper restoration expert, if so desired.

"Please Please Me" was released in the Spring of 1963, when the Beatles were still accessible and approachable. However, with each passing month it became increasingly more difficult to come face to face with them. By the end of the year it was next to impossible, as their phenomenal success put considerable distance between the group and their fans. Because of this brief window of accessibility in 1963, there are more "Please Please Me" signed covers in existence than any other title by the band. Still, they rarely come up for sale and most are firmly rooted in collections worldwide and are seldom seen on the market. This is a nicely signed, vintage signed copy of The Beatles’ debut album — the one that started it all for the most influential band in the history of popular music…..$32,500


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SI8. A “Twist and Shout” Extended Play Record Sleeve Signed By The Beatles

On July 12, 1963, The Beatles released their first EP (extended play) record in Great Britain on Parlophone Records, entitled “Twist and Shout”. The songs included on this 4 song record were all taken off of their debut album “Please Please Me” and they were: “Twist and Shout”, “A Taste of Honey” (both cover versions written by other artists) and “Do You Want to Know A Secret” and “There’s A Place” (both Lennon & McCartney originals). Even though the songs were available on the album, the “Twist and Shout” EP sold more than 800,000 copies in Great Britain, a remarkable feat at the time for an extended play record. Upon release, the record promptly reached #1 in the U.K. charts – and stayed there for 21 weeks! It also remained in the EP charts for a record 64 weeks.

The front of the “Twist and Shout” EP sleeve features a Dezo Hoffmann photo of The Beatles in a jumping mid-air pose, hovering above a decrepit wall. John Lennon’s vocal performance on the song “Twist and Shout” was nothing short of magnificent. It is a raucous dynamic rocker, and to this day it ranks among the finest examples of a Rock & Roll vocal in the history of British music. John was only able to record one take (because it took a toll on his vocal cords), which was left for last in the one day marathon recording session on February 11, 1963 that resulted in almost the entire “Please Please Me” album. Many agree that the Beatles’ version of “Twist and Shout” is the definitive version, rather than the original done by the Isley Brothers.

All four have signed the reverse side of this original pressing EP record sleeve beautifully in dark blue ballpoint pen. The signatures date from within one month and a half of the time of release – so the EP was very current when The Beatles signed it. The sleeve is in excellent condition, having been well kept very the years. The original record is included, and it is in VG condition. Beatles signed EP’s are incredibly rare - many more times so than signed LP covers. In fact, to date there have been less than 10 authentically signed Beatles EP covers known to surface, which puts them in the realm of ultra-scarce.....$30,000

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SA3. A “White Album” Signed By John Lennon And Paul McCartney

In November 1968, The Beatles released their ninth UK album — their first on the newly-created Apple label. The double LP, simply titled “The Beatles”, was housed in a plain white cover and quickly gained notoriety as the “White Album”. It contained 30 new songs, most written earlier that year in Rishikesh, India while the group was studying transcendental meditation under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The eclectic style of the music contained on the “White Album” took the listener on an unexpected aural journey. From hard rock to reggae, acoustic ballads to avant-garde, chamber music to country and even touches of 1930’s dance hall, blues and bluegrass music, this landmark release touted nearly every musical genre known at the time. Many critics and aficionados consider it to be their best work and it is indeed a fan favorite, ranking tenth on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.

Here is an American Apple issue “White Album” LP cover signed on the right-hand side of the open gatefold in the mid-1970s by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. John has used a red felt pen to sign, and the result is an unusually large signature that measures 5¾” long. This autograph bears a strong resemblance to those signed in May of 1975 when he was a special guest host at the WFIL Helping Hands Marathon in Philadelphia. Paul McCartney has signed in black ballpoint pen. His signature, which measures just under 5” long, dates from the mid-1970s, either 1975 or 1976. Any “White Album” signed by John Lennon in any form is incredibly scarce and, to date, only one known example signed by all four members of The Beatles has surfaced. Today, it is worth over $100,000. The album offered here, signed by the songwriting juggernaut of John Lennon and Paul McCartney — arguably the greatest of all time and the composing team responsible for 25 of the 30 songs on the “White Album” — is the first ever to date which has been signed only by Lennon & McCartney.....$20,000

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SA2. The Nicest Signed "Please Please Me" LP Cover In Existence, With Impeccable Provenance

Throughout 1963, The Beatles’ popularity began to grow beyond Merseyside as they gained national attention across Britain. The slowly-building hype culminated on October 13th with their appearance on the television show “Sunday Night At The London Palladium”, a show that clearly set the stage for what was to come. As legend has it, the next day the mainstream media began using the term “Beatlemania” to describe the fan frenzy that accompanied every Beatles appearance.

Just two-and-a-half weeks later, on November 1, 1963, the group embarked on an Autumn tour, their fourth package tour around Britain in ten months. The schedule was grueling - 34 towns, with two “houses” per night and barely a night off. There was only an occasional break, one taking place just 3 dates into the tour when they made their now-legendary appearance at the Royal Variety Show. Their 10th stop was in Plymouth on November 13th, where they played two performances at the ABC Cinema. These shows were almost canceled because Paul McCartney came down with a case of gastric flu just the day before. In fact, their show at Portsmouth the previous evening had to be canceled for that very reason. The Plymouth shows seemed likely to follow suit. However, on the day of the Plymouth gigs, the group was interviewed by Stuart Hutchison for a television show called “Move Over, Dad!”. Hutchison began the conversation by asking Paul how he was doing after his reported “collapse”. Paul assured him that he hadn’t collapsed, but did confirm that he’d had “a bit of flu” but was now feeling fine.

As the band relaxed in the chilly confines of their cold dressing room that evening just prior to one of the Plymouth shows, Paul came down with a case of the “shivers”. Hoping to prevent a possible relapse, a sound engineer working the venue that night came to Paul’s rescue. Ted Sparrow of Lipson, a country suburb of Plymouth, hurried home to pick up an “electric fire” (space heater) that would nicely warm up the room for the recovering Beatle bassist. While he was home, he wisely remembered to grab his “Please Please Me” LP. It was his only choice of LPs as the band’s second album “With The Beatles” wasn't due to be released for another nine days (on November 22nd).

After returning to the dressing room with heater and album in hand, Sparrow asked the boys if they would sign his LP. Naturally, they obliged him. They flipped it over and, right on top of the liner notes, boldly signed their names using a nice, thick black marker. The resulting signatures were not only very pronounced but unusually large. Better yet, they were as beautifully written as one would hope them to be — classic textbook examples of The Beatles’ autographs.

Presented here is that same album signed 47 years ago on that crisp fall evening in Plymouth. This is one of the finest examples of Beatles signatures from that era and certainly among signed albums. It was customary for the group to sign the reverse side of their LP's as the glossy front covers were difficult to sign with the ballpoint pens of the day. The provenance for this piece is impeccable and comes with Ted Sparrow’s story as told in a lengthy July 1995 article published in the Plymouth Evening Herald detailing the memories of those who saw The Beatles perform in the town on that fall ‘63 tour. Mr. Sparrow has been photographed for the article, showing him holding his prized LP in one hand and what he claims is the program from that same evening. It must be noted that although the photo caption states to be the program from that 1963 show, it is not. More than likely, Mr. Sparrow also attended the Plymouth show the following fall as the pictured program is from the Beatles-Mary Wells tour from October 1964. This LP was unquestionably autographed by The Beatles in November 1963, as the signatures date precisely from that period. It was signed nine days before the release of their “With The Beatles” LP, which was issued the very day that President Kennedy was gunned down an ocean away in Dallas, Texas. Within three months, The Beatles would conquer the civilized world.

This autographed album cover comes with a handwritten letter from Ted Sparrow recounting the day he obtained the signatures, as well as the original vinyl record. Fully-signed Beatles LP's are very difficult to obtain now, and this particular one features the nicest and boldest set of authentic signatures ever found on one of their albums. The signatures couldn't be more perfect, with every letter of each name present. The album cover is in excellent condition, having been well preserved by Mr. Sparrow over the years. A stunning full set on their iconic first album, this is by far the nicest example of "Please Please Me" signed by The Beatles to surface to date.....$60,000

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