I am a colllector of Beatle bootlegs. I don’t have the largest collection, but it’s certainly not the smallest. I have read tomes on bootlegs (Beatle related and not). The thought occured to me yesterday while reading this news. It would make a fascinating story to trace the history of these tapes. You know, chronicle them from date recorded, to how they got released to the “public,” or in this case stolen and sold. It reminds me of that documentary that follows the day in the life of a dollar bill and follows it around. Oh the stories that these tapes would have. Anyway, here’s some news on the 504 missing Get Back/Let it Be tapes….
A man was yesterday convicted of attempting to sell “lost” tapes of the Beatles’ final recording sessions for about £250,000.
Nigel Oliver, 55, from Slough, was accused of selling 504 tapes made during the historic Get Back sessions for the Beatles’ final album, Let It Be.
A jury found that Oliver, who was charged with two counts of handling stolen goods, committed the acts as charged. Oliver had previously been found unfit to plead to the charges.
During the trial, the court heard how Oliver had been caught during an undercover sting in 2003, set up by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry in order to recover the tapes, which had gone missing at the end of the recordings in 1969.
The jury was told Oliver was the “middle man” in the operation, organising the sale of the tapes from two unknown men in Amsterdam to two undercover officers named “Sammy” and “Billy”.
He was arrested by police in a forest near Windsor Park, Slough, on 10 January, 2003 while he was waiting for his payment. His cut was thought to be about £150,000.
The jury also heard from Neil Aspinall, the original Beatles road manager. Mr Aspinall, who is now the managing director of the Beatles’ Apple company, told the court the tapes contained more than 200 one-off performances including cover versions of songs such as Rod Stewart’s Maggie May and Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ In The Wind.
He said: “These tapes have a huge commercial value. They’ve got over 80 hours of sound footage of the Beatles recording and chatting about stuff.”
The case was adjourned until today.
Source: New Scotsman