The Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction June 2023
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/8/2023
A Beatles McCartney & Harrison Handwritten Concert Set List, Additionally Autographed By The Beatles of Spring 1963 (Caiazzo)

Among the most prized of all investment-grade Beatles signed or handwritten materials are stage-used set lists. These were not done for the gratification of a fan, but for the group's own private use. That any survived the decades at all is incredible and, in fact, very few are known to exist, as they were created for the moment -- to be used by the band for reference for a very short period of time and then tossed out.

There is simply no denying that, in the realm of handwritten artifacts, few pieces can approach the scarcity, historical appeal and intrinsic value of an original Beatles stage-used set list. Particularly in the very early days when their show repertoire was in a constant state of flux, a set list was needed to guide their performance, to literally give them a quick reference for the order of songs they would play at a given show. These were hastily written out -- often just prior to the show -- on whatever was available at the moment. The lists could be written on hotel notepaper, envelopes, paper scraps, promotional cards, even cigarette packs.

To demonstrate the extreme rarity of an authentic Beatles handwritten set list, it should be noted that, to date, only around a dozen have ever surfaced and been accounted for. Of these scant few, several of these lists still remain within the collection of the author of the list.

Of the half dozen or so that found their way into the collector’s market, only two have been additionally autographed by the four Beatles (or by any Beatle for that matter - because of the others, none bear even a single autograph.) With so few known to exist, one can only imagine just how infrequently a Beatles set list comes onto the market. Of the few in the hands of private collectors, nobody can be certain as to when, if ever, one will become available. On a rare occasion, one will become available to those astute enough to appreciate their historical significance and investment potential.

This is one such occasion.

Presented for your consideration, here is a Beatles handwritten, concert-used set list -- this one from the spring of 1963. This is also one of the two mentioned above that has also been autographed by all four band members! And as if that wasn’t enough, it is the only known set list to have been written out by two Beatles -- in this case, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

Unfortunately, the story behind this piece has been lost to time. It made its first appearance into the marketplace almost 20 years ago, in a prominent London Rock & Roll auction. Since that time, it has been with the person who won the bid, hidden away in a private collection. We know from the precise dating of the signatures that this setlist is from the Spring of 1963 -- specifically April or May. This would place it to within 60 days of the March 22nd release of their chart-topping first album “Please Please Me”, and extending through their nationwide package tour with Roy Orbison.

The slated tunes were written on the back of a March 1963 issue Beatles Parlophone Records promotional photocard which measures 5 ½” x 3 ½”. The overall condition of the card is superb, especially considering that is now exactly 50 years old. There is a triangular area of paper loss in the upper right hand corner on the reverse. (As a side note, the photo on the card was taken on Monday, January 21, 1963 at EMI House in London by none other than Angus McBean, the photographer credited with taking the iconic image used on the cover of the “Please Please Me” LP.)

The reverse of the card boasts a list of 11 song titles handwritten by two of The Beatles. The titles written by Paul McCartney are Hippy (short for Hippy Hippy Shake), Talkin' About You (short for I'm Talking About You), Secret (short for Do You Want To Know A Secret), (A) Taste Of Honey, Boys, Thank You Girl, From Me To You, Keep Your Hands Off (short for Keep Your Hands Off My Baby), Anna and Long Tall Sally.

George Harrison wrote out the title Took Some Honey (which was really Carl Perkins' Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby, which featured George's lead vocal and began with the line "Well they took some honey from a tree, dressed it up and they called it me."). George was a huge fan of Carl Perkins, and that song, with George’s lead vocals, was recorded by The Beatles a year and a half later and closed out the album “Beatles For Sale”.

Four of the listed songs are featured on the “Please Please Me” LP and two songs (“From Me To You” and “Thank You Girl”) comprised their latest single at the time, issued on April 11th. Three of the listed songs are original Lennon-McCartney compositions, while the remaining eight songs are cover versions originally recorded by the likes of Chan Romero, Chuck Berry, Lenny Welch, The Shirelles, Little Eva and Little Richard. It's interesting to note that McCartney has written "(request)" after Ringo's signature song Boys, indicating that the gig took place at a time when audience members or even promoters could still ask the group to play a favorite tune.

The photo side of the card has been signed in ballpoint pen by John Lennon and George Harrison. The reverse side, on which the set list was written, has been signed by Paul McCartney (in black ballpoint), Ringo Starr (in blue ballpoint) and a second time by John Lennon (also in blue ballpoint). Paul has added "love" to his inscription and both Paul and Ringo have also added three kisses ("XXX") after their names. It is important to note that John Lennon has signed the piece twice, once on the front and once on the back.

The only other known authentic set list autographed by the band originates within this same timeframe and was signed on an identical promotional card. That set list, used for an April 17, 1963 show in Luton, shares five of the same songs as the set list offered here. The Luton set list, now in private hands, was signed for the daughter of The Beatles’ cab driver that night. After requesting the group's autographs for his daughter, the driver realized he didn't have anything for them to sign. One of the band members, most likely Paul, produced the set list from the just-completed show and each Beatle signed it. While we'll never know the circumstances surrounding the signing of our featured set list, it was more than likely autographed under circumstances similar to the Luton set list.

What is certain is that there are only two known set lists were ever autographed by The Beatles, making this piece extraordinarily rare and incredibly desirable. Add to that the fact that this was a stage-used set list and the historical value is almost incalculable. Keep in mind that set lists like this were never intended for fans. Most were either left behind on stage to be tossed out, or kept for posterity by members of the group. We cannot understate the rarity of this piece.

And so, for collectors of the rarest of the rare Beatles artifacts, opportunity knocks. If you've ever aspired to own an original Beatles concert set list, this may be your last chance for a long time to come. Don't miss out on a truly top-drawer, investment-grade Beatles piece of high end memorabilia.

Authentication: Frank Caiazzo Letter of Authenticity, a James Spence Authentication (JSA) Letter of Authenticity, and a Gotta Have Rock and Roll Certificate of Authenticity
A Beatles McCartney & Harrison Handwritten Concert Set List, Additionally Autographed By The Beatles of Spring 1963 (Caiazzo & JSA)
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $150,000
Final Bid: $260,000
Estimate: $300,000 - $500,000
Number of Bids:7
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