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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/23/2023
The Beatles Historic Ed Sullivan Show Wall Signed by All Four with Their Hand-Drawn Self-Caricatures from their performance on February 9, 1964.

An extremely large section of movable wall (called a hard wall traveler) that was used as part of the backdrop during The Beatles historic first ever appearance of the Ed Sullivan Show. The performance was the group’s first ever appearance on American television and was watched by a staggering record TV audience of 73 million Beatles fans.

There were thousands of teenage fans waiting up and down Broadway trying to get a glimpse of The Beatles entering and leaving the studio. Even though there were 50,000 requests for tickets to the show, there were only a mere 728 seats available inside. Watching the Beatles’ performance that night in the studio audience were John’s wife, Cynthia Lennon and George’s sister, Louise Harrison.

The Beatles’ sang five songs in two separate segments including “All My Loving”, “Till There Was You”, “She Loves You”, “I Saw Her Standing There” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. The group made such an impact with their historic live appearance that it launched Beatlemania in the U.S. which still endures to this day.

Shortly before The Beatles went onstage for their second set that night, where they performed ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ and ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, a stagehand named Jerry Gort asked them to sign the back of the moving wall which was used as the backdrop during the performance. Jerry handed the group the pen and each member of the group signed an enormous bold signature with a facial doodle with Paul adding the word ‘Uncle’ above his autograph.

According to Gort, “John, Paul and George signed the wall first and when it came to Ringo he had to lift him up by his waist to sign. Immediately after Ringo signed and completed his drawing he had to run to get to his drum kit before the performance started.”

Included with this lot is a detailed letter from Jerry Gort in which he gives all the details of the signing. He also explains how the wall was ready to be sent to the dump at the end of the TV season but was saved and sent to a young handicapped Beatle fan. Also included is a photo of Jerry and his family with Ed Sullivan.

Another letter included with this lot is from Bill Bohnert, the art director and set designer at the Ed Sullivan Show, Bill designed the sets for The Beatles first appearance in this country in 1964. His letter goes on to say ‘Our stagehands asked the Beatles to autograph the back. Eventually, the hard wall was thrown out, but the portion with the autographs was saved.’

This historic piece of Beatles memorabilia hung for years at the popular Southdowns Lounge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The young Beatle fan named Loftin Sproles who had received it in 1964 fell upon some hard times in the mid-1980s and offered to sell it to Rodney Cary, the owner of the lounge. Cary, having just added a kitchen to Southdowns, wasn't sure he could come up with the cash to buy it, but when he and his three-person lunch staff dug into their saved tips, they managed to come up with the asking price. Cary set up a display in his lounge along busts of the Beatles and a script telling the story of the piece of this amazing hardwall traveler signed by the Fab Four. There it stayed until Cary found out how much it might be worth when he and his wife Laurie took it to Los Angeles for an exhibit at a Beatles festival. After receiving offers in the six-figure range, they took the signed wall piece back to Baton Rouge, placed it in a bank vault, and inserted a photographic replica into the lounge's display. In 2002, Cary decided to sell the signatures to a buyer from New Jersey who flew into Baton Rouge for the sole purpose of making the purchase.

The wall section is professionally mounted in a shadow box display frame.

The wall piece shows some signs of minor wear that one would expect, there are other partial and complete signatures on it from acts that appeared later in the season. One worthy of note is from the Searchers, another Liverpool area group with a history paralleling The Beatles. They appeared on the show April 5, 1964, and one of them wrote ‘The Searchers Were Here With Kilroy 4/5/64’ and drew a map of England.

The Wall piece measures approximately 40.5cm x 126cm (16 inches x 48 inches).

Authentication: Frank Caiazzo Letter of Authenticity, Jerry Gort Letter of Authenticity, Track UK Letter of Authenticity, Bill Bohnert Letter of Authenticity and a Gotta Have Rock and Roll Certificate of Authenticity.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500,000
Final Bid: $500,000
Estimate: $750,000 - $1,000,000
Number of Bids:1
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