Folks, it is a great time to be a Beatles fan. More specifically, it is a great time to be a collector of Beatles memorabilia and those grey market recordings. Historical artifacts such as these seem to keep popping up all over the place.
I certainly hope it eventually makes the rounds on the bootleg collecting circuit once it, hopefully, is available. Time will tell. For now, though, another historical concert from your favorite moptops is hopefully being liberated.
Here’s what we’ve read.
Unauthorized recording of Gardens performance to be auctioned on eBay
A bootleg recording of The Beatles’ last ever concert in Toronto – and Canada – is being auctioned live on eBay Canada tomorrow.
“This is definitely a one-of-a-kind thing. It is very rare,” said Piers Hemmingsen, a long-time “Beatle-ologist” and author of two books on the Fab Four, who was consulted by the National Archives of Canada to determine the authenticity of the recording of the Aug. 17, 1966, concert.
The two-hour-and-20-minute recording – along with the reel-to-reel recorder and carrying case – includes the entire concert, with opening acts like The Ronettes and Bobby Hebb. Beatles song include “Yesterday,” “Nowhere Man” and “Paperback Writer.”
The opening bid is $10,000 and the lot’s auction estimate is between $20,000 and $30,000 (U.S.).
Hemmingsen said the recording is special in a number of ways; it was one of the last live concerts The Beatles ever performed, coming at the end of the band’s final tour.
While The Beatles recorded some of their greatest work afterward and before their breakup in 1970 – including Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The White Album and Abbey Road – they never went on the road again after their North American tour.
“They stopped performing live in August of 1966, literally days after the Toronto concert. They were sick of playing to … screaming people. As Ringo said, the only way he could play was to read the bums of the three guys in front of him, because he couldn’t hear anything,” Hemmingsen said.
The recording is also rare because of tough restrictions imposed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein, he added.
“Brian Epstein just did not want his artists recorded, for obvious reasons, and they went to great pains when they contracted with each venue to make sure that (a concert) wasn’t recorded,” Hemmingsen said.
In fact, the recording is clearly unauthorized, with the source identified by eBay only as an unnamed “corporate attorney” who brought his family to the concert and interviewed numerous other concert-goers before and after the event.
Hemmingsen said the National Archives, which contacted him just more than a year ago, very nearly acquired the recording as a “national historic artifact,” but the original recorder’s son sold it to a private buyer in the U.S., who is now offering it for sale again.
The concert – along with a press conference at the now-closed Gardens’ Hot Stove Lounge – came at a time when The Beatles were both hot and controversial. At the time, John Lennon was still living through the uproar caused when he suggested the band was “bigger than Jesus.”
Hemmingsen said he’d like to see the recording return to Canadian ownership. “It’s a piece of Canadian history that belongs here,” he said.
Source: The Star