Thursday, November 20, 2014

Artifact: Beatles signed admission ticket for Royal Variety Performance, 1963

Up for bid at Heritage Auctions.


The Beatles' set at the annual Royal Variety Performance (informally known as the Royal Command Performance) in early November 1963 is certainly one of the most important gigs in their entire history.
Just three weeks earlier had seen their breakout television performance on the important television program Sunday Night At The London Palladium, after which the UK press coined the term "Beatlemania" for the fervor that the group was generating in their home country.

Thus the group was riding high when they took the stage at the Prince of Wales Theatre for an audience including the Queen <NOTE: Actually, the Queen Mother. The Queen was not present> and other members of the royal family.

Not missing an opportunity to project the cheeky humor that the group was becoming known for, John Lennon closed the performance with this introduction to 'Twist and Shout': "For our last number I'd like to ask your help. The people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you'd just rattle your jewelry!"

This admission ticket from that historic evening was for artists and staff, and has the name "Mr. Baker" typed at the top. The Beatles have all signed beautifully on the back, Ringo and John in black ink, and Paul and George in blue ink. In addition, Marlene Dietrich (also a performer that evening) has signed the front in blue ink.

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