The Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction Summer 2022
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An American stereo vinyl pressing of The Beatles 1968 self-titled album, commonly referred to as the “The White Album”, that has been autographed by all four Beatles on the inner gatefold. John Lennon and Paul McCartney have signed in black pen with John adding self-portraits of himself and Yoko Ono, he has also dated his autograph ‘Dec 73’, Paul has added the word ‘too’ after his name George Harrison and Ringo Starr have signed in blue pen. George started to sign his autograph but the pen did not take too well on his first attempt so he started his signature again and overwrote part of his Christian name.

This highly desirable set of autographs have been signed on what many consider to be The Beatles greatest work. Recording on the album began on 30th May 1968 and finished on 17th October later that year. The making of ‘The Beatles’ consumed more studio hours than the recording of any other Beatles album. Derek Taylor, the group’s press officer, writing at the time of the LP’s release saw the White Album as evidence of the fact that ‘...Lennon and McCartney are the greatest songwriters since Schubert...’ The album is an eclectic mix of styles and tunes which swoop and soar to heights unprecedented even by The Beatles exceptionally high standards. Back In The USSR, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Happiness Is A Warm Gun, I’m So Tired, Yer Blues, Helter Skelter, Why Don’t We Do It In The Road – recordings of sublime quality that would stand out in any musical era or within any genre of music. John Lennon had particularly fond memories of his input into the album. In his Rolling Stone interview, he commented. “I keep saying that I always preferred the double album, because my music is better on the double album ...I’m being myself on it”. The album also arguably contains George Harrison’s and Ringo Starr’s finest moments. Paul McCartney in an interview recorded for The Beatles Anthology video series gave his view on the ‘The Beatles’: “I think it’s a fine little album. I think the fact that it’s got so much on it... It’s one of the things that’s cool about it... very varied stuff – Rocky Raccoon, Piggies, Happiness Is A Warm Gun. I think it’s a fine album. I’m not a great one for that, you know, “Maybe it was too many of that...” What do you mean? It sold”, and with a magnanimous wave of his hands Paul humorously swept aside any possible criticism; “It’s the bloody Beatles White Album, shut up!”

Autographed Beatles albums are amongst the rarest types of signed Beatles items. During 1962/1963, the period in which The Beatles signed most frequently in order to please their fans, the most usual surface upon which the group’s signatures were obtained was on a page in an autograph book. Beatles LPs and photos etc were more unwieldy and less easy to carry to concerts. Hence, few were autographed. The most commonly signed album was the UK Please Please Me album, followed by the group’s second UK album, With The Beatles. Following these two 1963 releases autographed Beatles albums become increasingly scarce as John, Paul, George and Ringo generally became less interested in signing autographs. Mid-period albums such as Beatles For Sale, Help! and Rubber Soul are very rarely seen autographed by the group. During 1967 the group shunned the limelight, ensconcing themselves in the recording studio and were seldom contactable for signatures except by the girls waiting outside E.M.I’s Abbey Road studios. Only a handful of Sgt. Pepper L.P.s were autographed. Signed Beatles albums from ‘The Studio Years’ are becoming increasingly desirable because they are rising in value faster than any other type of collectively signed Beatles item. An attractively signed copy of Sgt. Peppers recently fetched $290,500.00 in a U.S.A. auction, double its prevailing retail value. However, it is the late period Beatles albums – the White Album, Abbey Road and Let It Be - which are the scarcest of all signed Beatle albums. (Incidentally, American albums autographed by the group are far rarer than their English counterparts. Only around 12 U.S.A. LPs bearing the autographs of John, Paul, George and Ringo are known to exist).

This autographed copy of the White Album number 2545889 was given to Kenny Smith whilst he was in the employment of Ringo and Maureen Starr. Kenny previously worked for Apple and then went on to work for Ringo in the early seventies. One Christmas, Ringo asked him what he would like as a present and Kenny replied, “a Ferrari”! Ringo politely declined the request and asked if there was anything else he might want. Kenny then asked for an album signed by all of the Beatles. Ringo and Maureen subsequently arranged for this album (and also another copy of the White Album which Tracks.co.uk sold through their auction in 2013) to be autographed by The Beatles. The album was autographed in 1973/1974, Kenny passed away recently and Paul Wane purchased this album directly from his widow.

To follow is a detailed description of the condition of the album. The John Lennon autograph measures approximately 13cm (5.25 inches) wide by 4cm (1.5 inches) high, the drawing and date in John Lennon’s hand measures approximately 4cm (1.75 inches) wide x 3cm (1.25 inches) high. The Paul McCartney signature measures approximately 9.5cm (3.75 inches) wide x 4.5cm 1.75 inches) high, the height has been measured from the top of the ‘P’ to the bottom of the ‘y’. The George Harrison autograph measures approximately 10cm (3.9 inches) wide x 3.5cm (1.25 inches) high. The Ringo Starr signature measures approximately 10.5cm wide x 4.75cm wide. The cover is damaged on the front and The overall condition of the sleeve is very good. The gatefold has retained much of its whiteness and back from previous mounting. The cardboard on the gatefold has kept its strength, although it is slightly yellowed from previous mounting. The ink has changed colour slightly over the years. The side opening sleeve is numbered 2545889 which makes it a Los Angeles Bert-Co 1968 second pressing. The vinyl is a Jacksonville pressing. The numbers on the run off groove are as follows: record 1 – Side 1, SWBO-1-101-J59 #2; record 1 – Side 2, SWBO-X2-101-J49 #3 2; record 2 – Side 3, SWBO-3-101-J55 #1; record 2 – Side 4, SWBO-X4-101-J48 #1. Each record is housed in a white inner sleeve. The vinyl itself is in very good condition, the record labels are in near mint condition. The poster and the photographs are in very good condition. An incredible one-of-a-kind item that is a must-have for any serious Beatles collector. Comes with a Tracks UK Letter of Authenticity, a Frank Caiazzo Letter of Authenticity and a Gotta Have Rock & Roll Certificate of Authenticity.
The Beatles Signed 1973 USA Pressing Of The White Album Caiazzo
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