March 19, 2010

"Here's the famous banned butcher cover. You can sell it for $11m dollars."

So wrote John Lennon. And now, the item is offered for sale, at $11 million, naturally.

(If John Lennon really wrote "$11m dollars," he made a common redundancy error.)

The photograph — which, btw, is offal — may top the list of the most expensive Beatles memorabilia, which currently looks like this:
#5, John Lennon's talisman necklace...

#4, Gibson SG guitar played by George Harrison and John Lennon...

#3, A hand painted Beatles Sgt. Pepper's drum skin...

#2, John Lennon's Steinway piano...

#1, John Lennon's hand painted Rolls Royce Phantom V...
Heavy on the John Lennon. Light on the Paul McCartney.

13 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

If I had unlimited funds, I am just not that into it and doubt I would buy any of it.

Fred4Pres said...

But hey, I am not Nancy Pelosi either.

EnigmatiCore said...

Paul got to live.

I think he comes out ahead in the deal.

virgil xenophon said...

Wonder what the copy *I* have is worth, then? Of course not an original proof, just the album cover revealed by steaming off the alternate one hastily pasted on over the original "butcher shop" cover when the controversial uproar began. Not in perfect condition, but hey....

elliot said...

Paul's still alive. His crap will get way more valuable after he's gone...except for anything from Wings. ;)

Albatross said...

I think the Beatles have always been overrated.

$11 million for a stupid album cover? (And by stupid, I mean the concept.)

Faugh.

Ron said...

hmmm...would a signed, printed copy of this entire blog count as a 'first edition'?

Which of the trolls would be 'Ringo'?

I've not seen RLC and Pete Best in the same image...maybe they're one and the same!

John said...

I know it is not for sale, but I would think eventually McCartney's Hofner base complete with taped in set list left over from the Hamburg days would top any of that. That base is truely a part of history. Much more valuable than a tacky Rolls Royce.

And if I wanted a guitar belonging to the Beatles, I would take one of George or John's Richenbachers. But like the Hofner, I don't think those have ever been put up for sale.

Kevin said...

Lennon was the force behind the early beatles, but from 1966 as he sank deeper in a drug haze, McCartney took over.

Post-Beatles, Lennon made a lot of dreadful music but was revered by the critics for his politics. He and Yoko were honored guests at Jimmy Carter's inauguration. McCartney continued to make Number Ones. (Lennon did finally get one but only by teaming up with then hyper-popular Elton John). Still, nothing he did deserved murder. I strike my own blow for the guy by deliberately forgetting the name of the worthless crumb who shot him.

I think that some of the rarest Beatles memorabilia very seldom changes hands. For instance, George Harrison's rosewood Telecaster from the rooftop concert was auctioned once by the guy he gave it to, the late Delaney Bramlett, and has never been sold again. Most of his other guitars remain in the hands of his inheritors. The "value" of these kinds of one-offs is hard to state. The Harrison connection increases the value of an ordinary mass-produced rosewood Tele by some amount; I'd guess about an order of magnitude over what it might have been.

One interesting thing, though: collectors' items in general are a lousy investment. They seem like they appreciate because there's usually a long interval between data points, but whether it's George's guitar, a Hemi Cuda, or a Picasso or Gainsborough, it just about keeps pace with inflation. Seriously. The only exception occurs for a limited time, when there's an euphoric bubble, a feature of markets with which we are all too painfully familiar these days.

And even tracking inflation has its limits. Your heirs have a dickens of time getting full value out of rare items, if they don't have a personal interest and just want the value. My stuff is all set up to be auctioned if I get whacked, all they have to do is find the files and hit send, and then they'll get what they want from the dead guy -- whatever it may be.

John said...

Lennon and McCartney both produced awful music post Beatles because without each other neither one had anyone to tell them no. Even though many of the Beatles songs were written primarily by one or the other, nearly every song was improved by the other one telling the writer that this or that part was crap. A good example of this is Revolution. Harrison and McCartney refused to release the first version as a single because they thought it was too slow. They made Lennon rework it and we end up with one of the greatest rock songs ever. Lennon never forgave McCartney and Harrison for making him rework the song. But anyone who listens to the two versions can see they were right. Who other than another Beatle or in John's case his talentless wife was in a position to tell one of the Beatles their idea was crap? No one. Thus post Beatles both McCartney and Lennon indulged their worst impulses.

Adventurer said...

You can say what you want about The Beatles' politics, personal lives or solo careers, but the indisputable fact is their music was revolutionary. A consistently high quality product, even when measured against their contemporaties -- and don't even try to sell me that today's overproduced pap is in the same league. Managing to merge the avante garde with the positively pleasing, as The Beatles consistently did, is not just workmanlike or competent, but genius; genius in the original sense, not today's watered down version. Lennon was the greatest songwriter of the 20th Century.

Gary said...

That's why this country is in the mess it's in. We went heavy with the John Lennon.

srfwotb said...

It's just a marketing ploy.