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Friday, December 2, 2011

Rich Beatles Fans Will Pay Buttloads of Cash For Questionable Memorabilia

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Later this month, an amplifier used by George Harrison when he was recording Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with the rest of The Beatles is going under the hammer in London. And it's expected to sell for somewhere between $80,000 and $110,000. We wouldn't be that surprised if it went for even more, because people pay insane amounts for Beatles memorabilia -- even for gross household appliances and musical instruments that had, at best, a very thin association with any Beatle. Look at this stuff and the ludicrous prices paid:

John Lennon's Toilet -- $14,800
click to enlarge Probably not the guitar that later sold for $439,000. - MIKE MITCHELL
  • Mike Mitchell
  • Probably not the guitar that later sold for $439,000.

Once you get past the fact that someone paid almost $15,000 (the exact figure was £9,500) for a toilet (a pretty toilet, but still), you have to start thinking about (a), who thought to sell the thing at auction, and (b), who the hell wanted to buy it! Poo is poo, people -- even when it's coming out of a songwriting genius. And toilets are just poo receptacles. This poo receptacle was stored in a British builder's garden shed for forty years, after he was employed by Lennon in 1970 to remove it from his home in England. Only after the builder died did the toilet get sold. Probably by leechy relatives, we imagine. The purchaser remained anonymous, unsurprisingly. Who wants to own up to buying this?  

A Guitar Paul McCartney Played a Couple of Times -- $439,000

click to enlarge Probably not the guitar that later sold for $439,000. - MIKE MITCHELL
  • Mike Mitchell
  • Probably not the guitar that later sold for $439,000.

Now, this one is completely mental, because it all seems to be based around the word of one person. But Ian James claimed, when putting an old acoustic Rex guitar up for auction in 2006, that he had taught Paul McCartney how to play his first chords on it -- and that it was "present" on the day that McCartney first met John Lennon at a fair in Liverpool. James also said it was "possible" that Lennon and George Harrison also played the guitar that same day. Well, anything's possible, isn't it? We'd want a lot of photographic evidence and verbal confirmation from the actual Beatles if we were going to throw almost half a million bucks (
click to enlarge MIKE MITCHELL
  • Mike Mitchell

We love music photography. Heck, we love photographers, too. But is the above photo of The Beatles worth $68,500? Of course it isn't! It's a photo. Not that we don't think the image is wonderful. We do. But, you know, if we had to choose between a photo or a down payment on a home, then we know which one we'd choose. Luckily for Mike Mitchell, when he auctioned off the image at Christie's earlier this year, along with 49 other black-and-white prints of the Fab Four, someone wasn't thinking along those lines and threw a lot of cash at this. Mitchell's collection of photos ultimately went for $361,938. Lucky bastard.
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