Today in History... McCartney makes his live debut with Wings

For The Beatles, and their fans alike, the period following their break up was a difficult time. The early part of the decade saw several instances of "musical sniping" among the group members.  In July 1971, John Lennon recorded the single "How Do You Sleep?" featuring the line:

"The only thing you done was yesterday/ And since you've gone you're just another day"

This was a clear and belittling reference to McCartney's 'solo' production of the Beatles song "Yesterday" and his recent solo hit "Another Day".

However, in the same period, Paul McCartney recorded "Too Many People," released in August 1971. In a 1984 interview with Playboy, McCartney explained:

"[John had] been doing a lot of preaching, and it got up my nose a little bit. "Too many people preaching practices,' I think is the line. I mean, that was a little dig at John and Yoko...there was 'You took your lucky break and broke it in two.'"

While reconciliation was eventually reached between Lennon and McCartney, ultimately there was no way back for The Beatles as a group and on July 9, 1972, McCartney kicked off the first Wings tour, in France.

The band would experience relative success, with various line-up changes in a ten year career that never quite captured the imagination of the public in the same way The Beatles had.

Paul McCartney performing
with Wings in the 1970s

Meanwhile, John Lennon, beginning with the release of "Imagine" in 1971, recorded an album a year, up until 1975. Following a five year hiatus, he returned in 1980 with "Double Fantasy." However, it would be the final album he recorded.

Three weeks later, John Lennon was shot dead on December 8 outside his New York apartment building by Mark Chapman.

While Lennon and McCartney never had the chance to reunite the Fab Four, it is a true testament to the enduring legacy of the Beatles that the public's - and collectors' - adoration of the group continues to this day.

Since his death in 1980, John Lennon has become the fourth highest earning dead celebrity according to Forbes Magazine, with an estimated net worth of $24m and counting, thanks in no small part to the ever-popular Beatles memorabilia market.

In a December 2009, a special Christmas edition of the monthly Beatles Book, from the Mop Tops' heyday in 1963, sold for a remarkable $12,000 at Bonhams.

And in New York, an artefact which may have contributed to The Beatle's decision to quit touring, a 1966 issue of the magazine Datebook featuring Lennon's infamous "We're more popular than Jesus now" quote, went under the hammer.

The magazine, whose contents attracted death threats from some far-right Christian groups upon its release, sold to an orthopaedic surgeon for $12,713.

More recently, a rare South Pacific TEAL in-flight magazine, signed on the front cover by all four band members is currently available to buy. The magazine was signed on a flight during The Beatles 1964 tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Rare Postcards, individually signed on their reverse
(Images photographed by Astrid Kirchner)

Elsewhere, a look at the markets reveals that a set of three collectible early publicity postcards illustrated with individual black and white, head and shoulders length portraits of Lennon, McCartney and George Harrison, circa 1962, is for sale.

And a rare complete set of Beatles signatures on a single card is also on offer to collectors and investors.

The full set of undedicated Beatles signatures also features, small individual clipped, black and white, newspaper photographs of Fab Four.


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