Does a 'Fab Fourology' degree confirm the value of Beatles memorabilia?
Here's why a Canadian student's new Beatles Master's Degree could be great news for collectors...
Her qualification has raised eyebrows in some quarters, but Canadian student Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy can apparently count herself among the "internationally recognised group of scholars of popular music studies" with her new Beatles MA.
Ms Zahalan-Kennedy's master's degree apparently required her to study the "significance of the music of the Beatles in the construction of identities, audiences, ethnicities and industries, and localities." The 53-year-old was awarded her qualification by Liverpool Hope University.
The field of "Fab Fourology" may sound barmy to some. But it does nevertheless confirm The Beatles' status as one of the 20th century's most important musical and cultural happenings, up there with the likes of Mozart or Beethoven.
Only last year, Sir Paul McCartney was awarded the Gershwin Prize, given to a composer or performer for their lifetime contributions to popular music, presented to him by none other than President Barack Obama in a specially-held ceremony at the White House.
Meanwhile, McCartney's deceased fellow Beatles continue to enjoy success on the collectors' markets. Most recently John Lennon, whose white suit worn on the cover of The Beatles' classic Abbey Road LP was recently sold for $46,000 by Braswell Galleries in Connecticut, US.
And George Harrison's autograph has shot up in value by an average of 1053.8% over the past 10 years. In other words, a Harrison autograph bought for £195 in the year 2000 could be worth closer to £2,250 today (according to the industry's PFC40 Autographs Index).
What's more, Beatles memorabilia is available to you whatever your budget; whether it's a $46,000 Lennon suit or a hair from the head of Paul McCartney for just £50 (believe it or not, celebrity hairs make for excellent alternative investments).
Both Lennon and Harrison's memorabilia prices have benefitted from significant anniversaries. 2010 was a big year for Lennon, marking both the 70th anniversary of his birth and the 30th of his death. And that isn't only 70th that Beatles collectors can look forward to...
The UK's Independent newspaper described Paul McCartney's 64th birthday as "a cultural milestone for a generation ... McCartney is one of those people who has represented the hopes and aspirations of those born in the baby-boom era, which had its awakening in the Sixties."
That was in reference to McCartney's famous Beatles song, When I'm Sixty-Four. But his 70th birthday in June 2012 will surely be another landmark for The Beatles' legacy - and could give a boost to McCartney's value on the collectors' markets.
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