The famous rejected Beatles audition tape has finally sold after a last-minute legal battle with the band's record company.
EMI has now withdrawn its legal challenge, allowing the tape to be sold to a Japanese collector, who paid £35,000 ($56,394) on November 27. The price represents a 75% increase on the £20,000 high estimate.
The tape was recorded on New Year's Day 1962, as a 10-track demo that hoped to attract a contract from Decca Records. However, Dick Rowe - the executive that heard their efforts - told band manager Brian Epstein that "guitar groups are on the way out" and that "the Beatles have no future in showbusiness".
The legendary rejection has since gone down in pop history, with the band signing to EMI just a few weeks later and going on to become the most successful band the world has ever seen.
There are a number of bootleg versions of the session known to exist, however the safety master is unique and presents the tracks in far superior quality. It was kept by Epstein following the session - which he had secretly paid for - and was first sold in 2002 to an unnamed music memorabilia collector.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has an extraordinary selection of Beatles memorabilia for sale, including artefacts from their early days such as a Pete Best autograph and Stuart Sutcliffe's original drawings.