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George Harrison’s 10 best Beatles songs - Saturday, February 25, 2017

In celebration of what would’ve been George Harrison’s 74th birthday, we count down his best Beatles songs.

Today (February 25) would be the legendary George Harrison’s 74th birthday. Before the Beatles split, the guitarist contributed several of the very greatest songs in the Fab Four’s canon. Here are his 10 best Beatles tracks.

10. ‘I Need You’ Appears on: ‘Help!’

About the song: A simplistic love song was the first of many that Harrison would go onto write. Essentially, this was his big break as a songwriter for The Beatles after releasing two albums with no songwriting contribution from the guitarist. They decided to use it and recorded ‘Ticket to Ride’ that same day.

Best lyric: “Please remember how I feel about you, I could never really live without you.”

9. ‘You Like Me Too Much’ Appears on: ‘Help!’

About the song: This song, released on the ‘Help!’ album, was written by George Harrison and uses vocal overdubs for his voice. Bob Dylan later used the piano introduction in the song for his song ‘Temporary Like Achilles’.

Best lyric: “You&rsquo details

“All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.”

George Harrison didn’t exhibit the moody genius of John Lennon. Neither did he possess the charming boyish delight of Paul McCartney or the brilliant dry humour of Ringo Starr. But the ‘quiet Beatle’ owned a personality that went far higher and beyond that of his fellow bandmates. With strikingly good dark looks, an inherent musical tendency, and the soul of an Indian sage, George Harrison’s extraordinary life as a leading but humble musician of the greatest age of rock is perhaps the most interesting one to speculate, possibly because of his incessant urge to keep it behind closed doors.

Born into a working class family in Liverpool, Harrison claimed that he received his musical affinity from his mother, who while expecting him would tune into the mystical tunes of the sitar and tablas from Radio India every Sunday. A backbencher in school, Harrison would spend class-time doodling pictures of the greatest guitars. On a bicycle-ride back home, enlightenment hit him in the form of Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel, strumming its way out of a neighbour’s window. Determined to harbour this new kindlin details

The Fab Four’s iconic first performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in February 1964 is what initially inspired the devotion of many Beatles fans.

For Drew Harrison, the John Lennon of Beatles tribute band The Sun Kings, which bring the Liverpool lads’ tunes to Fairfield on Saturday, the story was different. For one thing, he was only 3 years old in 1964.

“When I was 7 in 1968, I was living in New Jersey and at a summer school class I heard ‘Dear Prudence’ from ‘The White Album,’ ” Harrison said. “It was magical to me. The reason I am talking to you right now is because that song kicked my butt.”

From being a Beatles fan, Harrison emulated his heroes and went on to become a musician.

“I went from wanting to be a brain surgeon when I was in high school to realizing I wanted to play music. The first two albums I ever had were John Lennon’s ‘Plastic Ono Band’ and Steve Wonder’s ‘Innervisions.’ Those two albums formed me. I couldn’t sing Stevie no matter how hard I tried,” Harrison said. “I got that Lennon album at a time when I had just started to question things. He said details

Paul McCartney’s ‘Ram’ Reconsidered - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

In early 1971, with The Beatles involved in some bitter legal disputes with each other and with their own management, Paul McCartney recorded Ram with his wife Linda and three hired guns, guitarists David Spinozza and Hugh McCracken, and drummer Denny Seiwell. The album was eviscerated by critics on its release, with Jon Landau and Robert Christgau particularly vicious in their assault on both the album and McCartney’s general reputation relative to John Lennon. Some writers were grudgingly complimentary about McCartney’s sheer mastery of the craft of production, but almost no one could be heard to support the material itself.

There has certainly been a reappraisal, with some glimmering that Ram represents not a failure to live up to The Beatles (or to the expectations of Village Voice writers), but rather a beginning of something new. Perhaps AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine is correct that “in retrospect it looks like nothing so much as the first indie pop album, a record that celebrates small pleasures with big melodies.”

I have always loved Ram – it never occurred to me to find it wanting. I listened to it with headphones as a nine year old, and I put the vinyl on in the details

John Lennon and Paul McCartney have long been ranked among the premiere songwriters of the 20th century. That the pair both wrote for the same band is certainly a central element of the The Beatles’ standing in rock history. Any band with two great songwriters is certainly very, very lucky.

As we all know, the Fabs didn’t have two great songwriters – they had three. The emergence of George Harrison’s songwriting talent only serves to reiterate that, as in so much of their lives and career, The Beatles were winners of whatever history’s equivalent of the Powerball is.

George, who was given the moniker “the quiet Beatle,” might better have been denominated “the independent Beatle.” Because he was younger (and remember, Paul, and George got together when they were very young and Paul had to sell John on allowing George to join the band that eventually became THE band), his status was predicated on 1) his guitar playing (which was better than anyone’s, not excluding John or Paul) and 2) his absolute commitment to the cause (which equaled John’s and Paul’s). That he might be a creative contributor was a matter of little importance to the creative details

There's a barbershop in Buenos Aires where you can have any haircut you want - as long as it's a Beatles haircut. The most popular style is the John Lennon 1967 Sergeant Pepper cut, a look that's still going strong 50 years after the release of the Beatles' hit record.

Welcome to the Beatles barbershop of Buenos Aires, where the only haircuts on offer are inspired by the styles of the Fab Four.

Hairdresser Gerardo Weiss has brought together his twin passions to create what he claims is one of only four Beatles-inspired barbershops in the world. After a long career working for top Argentine hairdressers, Weiss decided to forge his own path and opened a barbershop back in 1988.

His modest salon was nothing out of the ordinary, until one night in 2004 he had a dream that would change his life forever. "One day I dreamt that The Beatles were waiting for me at the door of the barber shop and I fell asleep in the dream and I couldn't attend to them, a very, very crazy thing. It made me feel so worried, so bad, I woke up so upset, that I changed everything instantly, overnight. I took out the pictures of conventional cuts, I started to fill the walls with pictures of them and I said to myself, 'from now on, thi details

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has apologised after video emerged showing her leaving the scene of an accident involving a taxi driver, without providing her full details.

Paul McCartney’s daughter issued a statement on Tuesday saying she was “very apologetic” about the accident after driver Arash Nabezadeh released footage of the aftermath to The Sun.

McCartney was said to have given Nabezadeh her registration number, but failed to provide him with her personal details, driving off when the 32-year-old began filming her. In footage of the incident, the designer is heard saying, “take the number of my licence plate. Do whatever you need to do, no problem”. The law states that if you are involved in a collision you must give your full name, address and registration number, or report the incident to the police within 24 hours.

Following the accident, Nabezadeh followed the celebrity to the gates of her children’s school to try and get further details from the 45-year-old. McCartney, Nabezadeh said, took his number and her husband, Alasdhair Willis, called the next day to give their insurance details. Nabezadeh told The Sun: “I didn’t even know who she was details

Washington has 27 specialty license plates celebrating law enforcement, snow sports, firefighters, rhododendrons and more. Some lawmakers think using John Lennon to fight hunger justifies a 28th.

Bipartisan bills in the House and the Senate aim to create a new license plate and source of income for Feeding Washington, a nonprofit organization that supports food banks around the state. The plates would feature a self-portrait of the former Beatle with the word “imagine” across the bottom. I

nitial revenue will go to the Department of Licensing to cover the cost of establishing the new plate, but the rest will go to Feeding Washington. The plates would cost $40 initially with a $30 renewal fee. 

“This provides a great opportunity to provide support across the state to help people live a better life,” said Michael Towner, special projects director for Imagine License Plate Program.

The organization says similar specialty plates in Florida have raise more than $3 million for anti-hunger efforts. Supporters needed 3,500 signatures to apply for a new plate design with the state Department of Licensing, Towner said. They stopped taking signatures after they reached 4,850.&nb details

Sir Paul McCartney has been dubbed a "really talented magician".

The 74-year-old musician was recently spotted showing off his trickery at a party in Los Angeles, and onlookers have described his act as "really good".

One fellow party-goer said: "Sir Paul is a really talented magician. He often performs tricks during any showbiz bash he attends. He's actually really good, people are always so shocked."

It has been claimed that The Beatles legend is thinking about expanding his career prospects and making his magic tricks available for hire.

The source added to the Daily Star newspaper: "He even mentioned that he would have to start hiring himself out for parties."

However, the 'Hey Jude' hitmaker will have his work cut out for him if he wants to take his magic to the stage, as he recently admitted he suffered from terrible stage fright during the early days of The Beatles and at one concert at Wembley in London he nearly gave it all up for good because it was so "painful".

Asked by a fan on his website what his biggest fear is, he admitted: "Performing, it was always the idea that the audience didn't like you and you had to prove yourself.

Source: Simcoe.com

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MY OBSESSION WITH A BEATLES SONG - Monday, February 20, 2017

I was the species of moody adolescent who drove people away from me when that was the last thing I wanted, so I spent a lot of time alone. I had private enthusiasms. I liked to be in the woods by myself, I liked to sleep, I liked to swim underwater, and I liked to sit in my room and listen to music, usually repetitively, while looking at the record’s cover. The first record I did this with was the Kingston Trio’s “At Large,” which belonged to one of my older brothers. I played it often enough that I was able finally to establish who among the three men on the cover was Dave Guard, who was Bob Shane, and who was Nick Reynolds; also, who had the husky voice, who had the tenor, and who had the slightly stiff delivery. Likewise, several years later, staring at the cover of the Grateful Dead’s first record, I determined who was Bob Weir, who were Captain Trips, Phil Lesh, and Bill the Drummer, and who was Pigpen. (People tend to look like their names, and when they sing they often sound like their names, too.) When “Revolver” came out, in 1966, I already knew who the individual Beatles were—they had cunningly saturated the culture by then—but, even so, I stared at their images wh details

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have reunited in the recording studio for the first time since 2009.

The Beatles shared a picture of themselves following a studio session on Sunday, suggesting that they had been working together on new material. Shared on Starr’s Twitter page, the caption read: “Thanks for coming over man and playing. Great bass. I love you man - peace and love.” McCartney is expected to feature on a number of tracks from Starr’s forthcoming follow-up to 2015’s Postcard from Paradise.

Eagles star Joe Walsh was also in the studio at Starr’s home over the weekend, leading fans to believe that an epic collaboration in the works.

Producer Bruce Sugar, who has worked with both Starr and Walsh on a number of their most recent releases, also posted a snap of himself with the Beatles. “Magical day in the studio today with these two,” he wrote.

McCartney and Starr last worked together back in 2010 on tracks Peace Dream and Walk With You for album Y Not.

Rumours of a new collaboration surfaced last week when the pair were spotted having dinner together in Santa Monica, alongside Walsh, Tom Hanks and Dave Grohl.

By: Jennifer Rub details

The current owner bought the car for spares and was unaware that it once belonged to one of the world's most successful pop stars.

A rare black Porsche 928 once owned by Beatles guitarist George Harrison is being put up for auction. Harrison, who bought the car in 1980, reportedly drove it regularly when he lived in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.

The vehicle is currently owned by Raj Sedha, from Leeds, who bought it for spares in 2003 without knowing its history.

Details of its famous former owner only came to light when Mr Sedha's wife saw Harrison's name in the logbook. Mr Sedha said: "It didn't click with me. She said it is George Harrison's. "I said, 'That's who the man who I bought it off said. Who is he?' "She said, 'He's the Beatle. You can't take the car apart for spares.'"

The car is rare because the stitching on its interior leather is completely black. Usually the model includes a combination of either black and red or black and cream stitching. Auctioneer Paul Fairweather said: "For anybody that's into cars and The Beatles, this is a must-have. "The 928 is an absolute classic and the fact that it was owned by George for four years from new will ensure that it roars off the auction b details

Here’s the thing about Paul. As I have written before on more than one occasion, McCartney rubs a lot of people the wrong way. He’s the most musically gifted of The Beatles (though George Harrison fans would likely argue) and in some ways the most creative force in the band (which will likely make John Lennon fans see red). He has even been accused of being an occasional threat to Ringo’s self-esteem (unjustified) which seems unconscionable, especially to the most lovable Beatle’s fans.

Here’s some truth that I doubt anyone would deny: Paul was and is the most driven Beatle, the one who wanted/needed to achieve. In a very real way, that has made him odd man out, even within The Beatles. Even within that close knit band of brothers, he felt his differentness.

As I noted in a piece written for his 70th birthday, if you want to know Paul, you’ll find him in his music. One of the songs that tells us a lot about Paul is “The Fool on the Hill.”

Paul, of course, as he is wont to do, explains away the composition of the song as a meditation on, of all people, the Maharishi:

“The Fool On The Hill” was mine and I think I was writing about someone details

It was a commission for Paul McCartney’s Kintyre hideaway that led to the Beatles’ most memorable album cover. Now Sir Peter Blake’s version of The Monarch Of The Glen, made in the Swinging Sixties, could go on display alongside the 19th-century original if the latter is secured for the nation.

National Galleries of Scotland chiefs have revealed the idea after pop artist Blake, who painted his take on the masterpiece for McCartney’s dining room, recorded a message backing a £4 million fundraising drive to buy Sir Edwin Landseer’s picture.

The National Galleries said it had four weeks to raise the final £750,000 to buy the painting from whisky giant Diageo, which had been poised to auction it off last November until it was asked to consider a “part-purchase, part-deal” gift.

It would have to borrow the Blake painting directly from the former Beatle. It has been hanging for years in his McCartney Productions offices in London.

The work was completed in 1966, shortly before the artist worked on the famous cover of the Beatles’ eighth album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album cover depicted dozens of famous figures, inclu details

A musician from Cardiff has used a sample of John Lennon on his debut album after getting permission from Yoko Ono.

It’s something of a coup for Gizmo Varillas, the 27-year-old whose family are from Spain but who moved to Cardiff when he was five. The Lennon estate very rarely grants permission for Lennon’s voice to be sampled, but the singer-songwriter who grew up in the Canton area of the city, managed to persuade the wife of the late-Beatles’ guitarist to allow him to use a sample of a Lennon interview on his song No War - which features on his debut album El Dorado.

“He was a huge inspiration of mine - an idol for what he stood for,” said Gizmo, who now lives in London. “I didn’t set out to write an anti-war song, not did I consciously set out to use a sample of John Lennon. All of this happened as I started writing the song and it developed from there.

“The song evolved as I wrote each individual line. Line by line it revealed itself, and then when I reached the middle eight I was thinking to myself what else could I add to the song. “The song is called No War and who expressed that message better than John Lennon.”

By: David Owens< details

The helter skelter story of the Cavern Club - Saturday, February 18, 2017

It has been shut down, demolished, and rebuilt, but Liverpool's Cavern Club remains an icon of pop history. As it celebrates its 60th year, those who were there in its heyday recall its evolution from subterranean jazz club to international music Mecca.

Peter Morris was a friend of the club's first owner, Alan Sytner, who modelled the basement venue on Le Caveau de la Huchette - a jazz place he'd seen in Paris.

He recalled how they were drinking at The Grapes pub in Mathew Street when the idea was formed.

"Alan said, 'We should have a place like [Le Caveau]'. He said, 'I'd love to find a place, like a basement or something'.

"We came out of the pub and [one of us] said, 'Hey Alan, what about that place there?' And there was a sign that said 'Basement For Sale, Or Let'.

 

"The next day we met up again for a pint at lunch time and Alan said, 'Got that place. I've bought it'."

Peter recalled how Alan's vision for the club, which opened on 16 January 1957, involved some questionable manual labour.

"It was actually three rooms, and Alan said, 'What we need is one big room, so these walls will have to come down'. details

David Magnus was once told that he’d never make a photographer. But, at the age of 19, in 1963 he was invited to photograph the Beatles at Stowe School — the first of many assignments he’d undertake for the band.

“They were absolutely charming. They were great fun to be with and I found them very easy to work with throughout,” says Magnus, a member of Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue.

Magnus went on to photograph everyone from Gerry and the Pacemakers to Cilla Black for NEMS Enterprises, the management company formed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

For the first time in his career, Magnus’s photographs, many of which have never been seen, are being exhibited. And at the heart of The Beatles Unseen, at Proud Chelsea, is his exclusive shoot from the historical live recording of All You Need Is Love for the BBC’s Our World on 25 June 1967, watched by 400 million people worldwide.

Magnus took unusually candid photographs of The Beatles relaxing backstage. “The best pictures that I ever took of them were that weekend. I think that was the closest I ever got to the Beatles photographically because it is natural and unposed as you see it.

&ldqu details

The children's home immortalised by John Lennon in The Beatles hit Strawberry Fields Forever is to be redeveloped by the Salvation Army.

An £8m scheme has been unveiled for the home, where Lennon played as a child. The venture will combine an education centre for young people with learning difficulties and an exhibition on the home, the song and Lennon's early life. The gates at the site, which is closed to he public, are a popular attraction for Beatles fans visiting Liverpool.

The plans were announced on the 50th anniversary of the release of the single, which was a double-A side with Penny Lane, reaching number two in the UK charts and number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the USA.

The original home in Woolton was demolished in the early 1970s and replaced with a smaller building.

Major Drew McCombe, divisional leader for the North West branch of the charity, said: "Strawberry Field is special in the hearts of many people in Liverpool, the UK and across the world, and we at the Salvation Army are aiming to redevelop the site to do justice to the many people that have been supported by the children's home or formed a connection with the iconic Beatles song."

According to details

Will you still love me when I'm 64 - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Liverpool's most popular museum, The Beatles Story, recently asked any "Fab Four" fans celebrating their 64th birthday in 2017 to contact them. It's 50 years since the first song the Beatles recorded for their iconic 1967 album, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, was completed.

George Martin (the band's legendary producer) called When I'm Sixty-Four the album's "jokey song", a classic counterpoint to George Harrison's sombre, spiritual and sitar-influenced Within You without You which started Side Two. Yet Paul McCartney's jaunty, music hall melody now causes more angst and introspection than any of the other more exulted tracks on the album.

Why? Because Baby Boomers regard it with special dread.

If you had the misfortune to be born in the 1950s, celebrating your 64th has become far more gut-wrenching than your 60th ever was. Or your 65th could ever possibly be. As a rite of passage, it's simply the pits. Search the web and you'll find entreaties from both sexes complaining about the pressure they felt. Some post photos of themselves looking hot. Subtext? "Be honest – does my backside look 64 to you?" 

Others – mostly divorced, as McCartney has been – insist they're per details

Photographer Shimpei Asai was lucky enough to step behind the curtain with John, Paul, Ringo and George on their 1966 trip to Tokyo. The rare, behind-the-scenes photos have only just been released in the limited edition photo book Hello, Goodbye.

“Though there had to be a lot of security, the Beatles actually escaped from it briefly. I think they accepted their situation though.”

“I had never felt this before. I did know about hysterical fans, but the atmosphere in the Budokan was different. It was as if all the audience shared one idea, and this was the only time they had.”

“I tried not to make them conscious I carried the camera, so they wouldn’t feel my presence.”

“John and Paul did escape from the hotel for a short time, but they saw almost nothing in Tokyo before they had to come back.”

“They looked frustrated about the amount of security, and they were. But they didn’t hate this situation, they accepted it.”

“When I first saw the Beatles, they were in a large room, resting. They didn’t talk to each other very much, they seemed so used to each other they didn’t have to.”

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A pair of John Lennon ’s sunglasses which he stamped on in a fit of rage and threw in the bin have emerged at auction. Luckily his uncle Charlie Lennon fetched them out of a bin and had them repaired and they are now tipped to sell for £3,500. The circular, metal framed glasses were owned by Lennon in the 1970s, post-Beatles , and are accompanied by a fascinating letter from Charlie Lennon explaining the incident in which they were broken. An irate Lennon, according to the letter, stamped on his glasses after an unhappy phone call and chucked them in the bin. His uncle, who died in 2002, decided to salvage the glasses from the bin and had them repaired.

The letter reads: “The glasses were stamped on by John whilst in an argument with someone on my phone in London. “The lenses shattered and I retrieved them from the bin because I felt he (John) could have them repaired. “The boy had a temper - but I thought it was a silly waste of money.” The uncle’s anecdote paints a different picture of a more volatile Lennon than the man who is remembered for his bed-ins for peace with his wife Yoko Ono in protest at the Vietnam War.

The glasses have belonged to a memorabilia collector details

The movie rights for The Beatle Who Vanished, a book by Jim Berkenstadt about the life of drummer Jimmie Nicol who was a Beatle for 13 days, have been secured by Alex Orbison, son of Roy Orbison on behalf of the family's Roy's Boys Films, and Ashley Hamilton's 449 Productions. Hamilton is the son of actor George Hamilton and actress Alana Stewart.

Berkenstadt's book, first published in 2013, told Nicol's story in detail. It included accounts of Nicol with the Beatles, his pre- and post-Beatles career and included many archival photos.

Nicol temporarily replaced Ringo Starr when the Beatle was hospitalized in 1964 for tonsillitis and pharyngitis just as the group was about to play a series of concerts. The new drummer passed an audition in front of Brian Epstein and received a new mop-top haircut. After a rehearsal with the group, he made his first formal appearance with them June 4 at K.B. Hallen in Copenhagen, Denmark.

During his almost two weeks with the group, he performed with them in 10 concerts at five venues, a TV show at Hilversum, Holland, appeared at press conferences and made public appearances as a Beatle. Besides Copenhagen, his concert performances were in Blokker, Holland; Hong Kong; and f details

“Wings? They’re only the band The Beatles could have been!”

Television comedy character Alan Partridge, in his inimitable style, summed up the problem Paul McCartney would always face.

How do you follow being in the biggest, most famous, most influential pop group of all time? If you’d been in Newcastle on this night 45 years ago, you’d have found out.

Nearly two years after the Fab For dissolved in acrimony, McCartney rolled into the city’s university, asking (literally) if his new band could play a gig there. Having turned his back on the excesses of life with The Beatles, McCartney had loaded his wife Linda, his eight-year-old step-daughter, assorted pets, and a group of musicians and their instruments into a van and hit the road looking to play music at whichever university venue took their fancy.

Their first port of call was Nottingham University, then York, then Hull, then Newcastle. They would play 11 impromptu uni gigs in all.

Steve Dresser, chairman of Newcastle University’s entertainment committee, said: “I couldn’t believe my luck. “Paul asked if a spot could be found for his new band, Wings , in the Sunday folk night details

The Magical Mystery Tour: Fifty Years On - Monday, February 13, 2017

The worldwide popularity of the Beatles endures a half-century after the lads from Liverpool led the British Invasion of the ’60s, as evidenced by a full house last week at Malibu City Hall for the Library Speaker Series kickoff event of 2017. Beatles expert Scott Freiman presented “Roll Up! Deconstructing The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour.” Fab Four fans of all ages were treated to a two-hour multimedia presentation detailing how the groundbreaking rock group created their psychedelic tour de force.

Freiman, who is a composer and musician himself, gave a detailed song-by-song account of the album to a rapt audience. As referenced in Sgt. Pepper, it really was 50 years ago today that Magical Mystery Tour was released to a confused public. Freiman explained that a disastrous tour preceding the making of the album led the group to retreat to the relative calm of the recording studio. The Beatles’ unprecedented popularity made touring difficult as audiences screamed so loudly that the musicians — relying on primitive monitors — couldn’t hear themselves. A hostile stop in The Philippines cemented the decision: They would no longer play live.

By: Judy Abel

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The record that launched The Beatles career is going on display at The Beatles Story in Liverpool.

The unique acetate disc was presented to producer George Martin by the band's manager, Brian Epstein, 55 years ago, on February 13th 1962. It features a recording of ‘Hello Little Girl’ on one side and ‘Til There Was You’ on the other.

Brian Epstein had the disc cut in the Personal Recording Department of the HMV record store on Oxford St in London. It was cut using The Beatles’ Decca audition tapes before being presented to George Martin of EMI.

Despite Martin’s initial reticence, the disc eventually led to the breakthrough the band were looking for.

The leading Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn wrote about the disc in his book 'Tune In': “Its uniqueness is enhanced by Brian Epstein’s handwriting on the labels, and the recognition of what it led to – making it one of the rarest and most collectible of all Beatles records.”

“This is one of those Holy Grail items like the original Quarrymen acetate that the band recorded themselves. This acetate is a unique item that, in many re details

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