Historic Paul McCartney Beatles letter drums up higher price than expected
Steve Marinucci, Beatles Examiner
November 15, 2011
An auction of a handwritten letter by Paul McCartney from August, 1960 inviting an unknown drummer to audition for The Beatles has sold for £34,850 / $55,412 / €40,705 to an anonymous telephone bidder, the auction house, Christie's, announced Tuesday.
The letter, part of Christie's Popular Culture: Rick and Pop Memorabilia auction, was discovered folded-up inside a book in early 2011 by an anonymous collector at a car boot sale in Liverpool. Its sale price far exceeded the pre-sale estimate of £7,000-£9,000 ($11,071-$14,235).
The letter, which revealed new details about the Beatles' early history, was written just before the band traveled to Hamburg for two months of gigs with Pete Best as their drummer, though it's not known if the letter was written to Best. The letter was one of 30 items in the Christie's auction still going on that have connections to the Beatles or their individual members.
The person who found the letter told us in a rare interview he had found it folded in a book.
"I found the letter folded up inside a book that I bought at a car boot sale. I took the letter to the Beatles Shop in Liverpool City Center there. I was offered £3,000 ($4,731 USD) for it. I then went to the Beatles Museum, where I got details for Christie's Auction in London."
McCartney's letter read:
The rare 1960 letter written by Paul McCartney sold today to an anonymous bidder
"In reply to your advertisement in Echo, Wed. night, we would like to offer you an audition for the position of drummer in the group.
"You will, however, need to be free soon for a trip to Hamburg (expenses paid £18 per week (approx.) for 2 months.) If interested, ring Jacaranda club, Slater St. [ROYAL 65’64] and ask for either a member of the ‘BEATLES’ Alan Williams [sic], or else leave a message, stating when you will be available.
‘Yours sincerely, Paul McCartney of THE BEATLES."
Christie's of London