Thursday, November 20, 2014

Artifacts: Legal documents related to Beatles at the Star Club tapes

Up for bid at Heritage Auctions.

This extraordinary collection of legal documents and news clippings documents the personal and legal involvement of Ted "Kingsize" Taylor in the recording and subsequent commercial release of a live Beatles performance from 1962. Taylor was the leader of the Liverpool group Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes, who in the early 1960s played on the same circuit of clubs in both Liverpool and Hamburg as the Beatles. During the Beatles' final visit to Hamburg in December 1962, Taylor captured one of their marathon sets on a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder. A decade later, he and the Beatles original manager Allan Williams began exploring options for the tape, which led to the 1977 release of the LIVE! at the Star-Club recording on Lingasong Records. The Beatles had sought to prevent the release, but at the time could not. Over the years various other legal actions were taken, and in the late 1990s it was ruled that the Beatles were the worldwide owners of the recordings, and they've been effectively off the market since then.

Among the documents here, many reproduced as photocopies: a 1973 receipt on Apple stationery (original) noting the delivery by Taylor of the Hamburg tape for forwarding to George Harrison; the 1975 agreement between Williams, Taylor, and Lingasong Records to release Star-Club; an undated and optimistic (original) handwritten note from Williams to Taylor stating "Dear Ted, Its looking very good Eh! I've booked a world trip out of the UK for one year Allan"; numerous newspaper clippings from the late 70s reporting on the Beatles efforts to stop the release; transcripts of lengthy depositions given by George Harrison and Paul McCartney in 1992 in an effort by Apple Corps to prevent Sony Music Entertainment's release of the performance; and late 1990s transcripts and high court judgements in the case of Harrison and Others v. Lingasong Music Limited.

The lot consists of several hundreds of pages, presented over dozens of individual documents. In mostly Very Good condition. Includes a CD copy and two cassette copies of the Lingasong release, and other ephemera.

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