Beatles letter to recruit drummer sells for £35k

Musicroom November 16, 2011 0

A letter written by Sir Paul McCartney in 1960 to an unknown recipient to audition a new drummer has sold at auction for £34,850.

The correspondence, written just days before the Beatles were due to travel to Hamburg, asks for the drummer to head to the Jacaranda club to audition for the job, which would pay £18 per week for two months.

Sold to a private European buyer, the lot soared past its estimate, which was placed at between £7,000 and £9,000. It is thought to be a highly-valued item of Beatles memorabilia as not only is it hand-written by Sir Paul at a crucial time in Beatles history, it also reveals something about the band that was previously unknown.

It was written at the time when Pete Best was the drummer for the Beatles and historians did not know that the band was looking for a replacement. Best went on to play in Hamburg and it is not known if the auction actually took place.

The letter had been found folded up in a book at a car boot sale in Bootle, Liverpool.

Neil Roberts, director of Christie’s auction house explained that the huge sale was a result of a “dramatic last-minute telephone bid competing against bidders in the room and online”.

Other lots at the pop culture, rock and pop memorabilia auction, which was held at Christie’s in London yesterday (November 15th), included the iconic ‘BED PEACE’ placard from John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Montreal Bed-In for Peace in 1969. It fetched £97,250.

The auction also saw the sale of 17 lots go towards The Band Aid Trust. It raised a total of £77,224 and included a Roger Griffin/Schecter guitar owned by Pete Townshend. The musical instrument sold for £34,850 and was used during The Who’s set at Live Aid in 1985.