Beatles For Sale: Eight Unique Items That Have Been Sold At Auction
(On Feb. 9 The Recording Academy, AEG Ehrlich Ventures and CBS will present "The Beatles: The Night That Changed America — A GRAMMY Salute." The two-and-a-half hour special will celebrate the legacy of the Beatles and their groundbreaking first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" exactly 50 years to the day, date and time of the original event.)
Nearly 50 years after their U.S. debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and the release of their fourth No. 1 album on the UK Albums Chart, 1964's Beatles For Sale, the Beatles have, literally, been put up for sale. Well, not the individual members themselves of course, but it seems anything that has been owned, touched or breathed on by John, Paul, George, or Ringo keeps music fans clamoring with cash in hand.
Money can't buy you love, but it can buy you a piece of the Beatles. Below is a list of eight of the weirdest Beatles items that have been sold at auction, according to our research. Of course, this list is in no way exhaustive. Have you ever purchased an item formerly in the possession of a Beatle? Let us know in the comments section below.
John Lennon's Tooth
Yes, you read that correctly — the tooth of a Beatle was purchased, by a dentist nonetheless. In November 2011 Lennon's pearly white was sold to author, dentist and celebrity tooth collector Michael Zuk for more than $31,000. In August 2013 Zuk was reported as saying he plans to use the tooth to clone the former Beatle. We can't even imagine how much that would sell for.
George Harrison's Leather Jacket
The black leather jacket that guitarist Harrison wore in the early '60s was sold at auction in 2012 for nearly $180,000. Harrison originally purchased the jacket for $14 in Hamburg, Germany. One lucky bidder also nabbed Harrison's pair of signature Beatle boots for nearly $100,000, while an orange Western shirt he wore at the 1971 Concert For Bangla Desh sold for approximately $37,000. If this had been a game of strip poker, Harrison would have likely said, "My sweet Lord."
John Lennon's "Imagine" Piano
The piano on which Lennon wrote his anthem of peace, "Imagine," was sold at auction in 2000 for $2.1 million to fellow musician George Michael. According to an article in The Sun, Michael outbid fellow British stars Liam and Noel Gallagher and Robbie Williams for the instrument.
Paul McCartney's Childhood Rex Guitar
The same Rex guitar that McCartney used to persuade future Beatles bandmate John Lennon to let him join his Quarrymen in 1957 was sold at auction in 2006 for more than $532,000, more than three times its estimate. It was sold by McCartney's school friend Ian James, who is reportedly using the money for his retirement.
Ringo Starr's 1964 Facel Vega II Coupé
Baby you can drive his car. Ringo Starr's car, that is. One lucky Beatles fan drove off in the 1964 Facel Vega II Coupé formerly owned by Starr and it only cost nearly $550,000. According to Bonhams auction house, the car, which came fitted in a metallic red finish and with its original engine and beige leather interior, was sold by Starr in 1968 in exchange for an "ordinary family saloon, something like a Mercedes." It's no yellow submarine, but this ride would certainly do.
Rejected Beatles Demo Tapes
Did you know that the Beatles almost weren't for sale? The demo tape that was played for Decca Records' Dick Rowe, who later became known as "the man who turned down the Beatles," was sold at auction in 2012 for approximately $57,000. The 10-song tape was reportedly recorded on Jan. 1, 1962, and features McCartney, Lennon, Harrison, and Pete Best (who was later replaced by Starr).
John Lennon's School Detention Sheets
It turns out that the words "peace" and "love" weren't frequently in Lennon's vocabulary in high school. In a pair of detention sheets dated 1955–1956 from Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool, England, the late Beatle is cited for "fighting in class," "acts of sabotage" and showing "just no interest whatsoever" in school. The sheets sold in December 2013 for nearly $14,000 each.
Paul McCartney's Old Front Door
The long and winding road led to McCartney's door for Dominic Winter Book Auctions last April. The wooden door that served as the entrance to McCartney's childhood home at 20 Forthlin Road in Liverpool fetched more than $8,000 at auction. McCartney's bedroom door from the same house sold at a London auction in 1995 for more than $4,000.