Beatles and Stones signatures bring £3.5k

A set of notebooks containing Beatles autographs from February, 1963 has sold for £3,500, unsurprisingly trouncing their pre-sale estimate of just £200-300.

The autographs were collected by a cameraman working on ITV's legendary 1960s pop programme Thank Your Lucky Stars, and signed by the Fab Four a mere month after their first-ever UK TV performance.

John Rees, the cameraman, also collected the signatures of a host of other famous '60s names including Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Crickets, Rolf Harris and Cliff Richard & the Shadows.

Perhaps closest to the Beatles in terms of being sought-after was a set of signatures by their "bad boy" rivals, the Rolling Stones - including late member Brian Jones - on a sheet of notepaper.

It was signed in 1964, the same year as the Stones' first-ever British TV appearance on the show, performing Come On.

Fascinatingly, the notebooks were not consigned by Mr Rees but by the former owner of a local delicatessen, over the road from where Thank Your Lucky Stars was filmed.

Mr Rees apparently had a habit of running up debts at the eatery, and would use his prized autographs in place of cash payments.

The owner of the delicatessen also collected his own signatures directly from stars; either when they ate there, or when his company made deliveries to the studios throughout the show's legendary heyday as a rival to the BBC's Juke Box Jury. 

It's not known exactly how large a debt John Rees built-up in the '60s, but it was perhaps less than the £3,500 the signatures are worth today.

If you fancy getting in on some Fab Four autograph action, at Paul Fraser Collectibles we currently have another rare, fascinating and one-off autograph from the early days of the Beatles.

The letter is written and signed by the young Paul McCartney to a female friend during the recording of the Beatles' historic first-ever LP, and contains witty and self-deprecating references to the band's burgeoning songs.

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