Mersey Beat at Sotheby's

   

Paul McCartney and John Lennon at the Casbah clubThe Stage & Screen auction at Sotheby's, Olympia, Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX takes place on Tuesday December 3 2002 at 2.30 pm. The Beatles items range from Lot 161 to Lot 271, the majority of the memorabilia being autographs on material ranging from album covers to concert programmes.

The second lot, No. 162 is a copy of the first ever issue of Mersey Beat, published on July 6 1961, which contains John Lennon's 'Dubious Origins' piece on page two. The cover features Gene Vincent at the Rialto Ballroom, signing autographs, with Mary Larkin and Terry Shorrock, the two girls who worked at the Jacaranda club. It is valued at £350-£450.

Another item of interest is Lot 197, a photograph of John and Paul performing at the Casbah Club, Hayman's Green, in September 1959. The girl watching them is Cynthia Powell, who was to become John's wife. The photograph was taken by the photographer for the West Derby Reporter and published in that paper under the headline 'Kasbah (sic) Has A New Meaning For Local Teenagers.' It was photo B1565, the number indicating that readers could order a copy of the photograph themselves (I wonder if anyone did? I have a copy!) The last I'd heard of this particular photograph was when Sam Leach bought the photo and negative for £5 when the newspaper was closing down. In the auction it is valued at £7,000 - £8,000. I wonder if it is Sam who is selling it?

I suspect that the Lot could attract Pete Best's attention - it is of historical value and would make a handsome item for the Casbah museum which Pete, Roag and Rory Best are considering.


Editor's note: The sale of this photograph has been frozen due to a copyright dispute. Mona Best invited the local newspaper down to the Casbah and asked them to take the photograph and then entertained them with food and drink. According to pre-1988 copyright law, the copyright of any photograph or image belongs to the person who commissions the photograph, not necessarily the photographer. Payment does not have to be financial and even the offer of a cup of tea can be taken as payment.

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