Rockaway Records - Sept 2005

Here is an amazing archive of a very important day in the history of the early Beatles, namely December 7, 1963. On that day, the Beatles filmed two shows for the BBC, an edition of Juke Box Jury (which they hosted); and a live concert special called "It's The Beatles." These shows were shot back to back in their hometown of Liverpool in front of fans from their local fan club.

Included in this archive, first and formost, is the signed original script title page for "It's The Beatles," from the collection of the director, Barney Colehan. The title page was signed by the Beatles for him in pencil, and the signatures are very large and bold indeed. Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney's signatures measure well over 5", with Ringo and George just slightly smaller. These are unusually large for Beatles signatures. The signed title page has been archivally framed with a photograph of the Beatles filming in a television studio at the time (I had this framed myself and the frame has only been removed from the framer's wrapping to take the photographs you see above--the frame is in perfect condition.)

Next, we have Colehan's blue vinyl BBC script folio, which contains the rest of the script pages for both shows (31 pages !) with Coleman's handwritten notes as to camera angles, the songs they were to perform, etc. The script is filled with fascinating details as to the programs. Also in the folio is a 2 page memo from Coleman to the head of the BBC television (his boss) that at length apologizes for the low quality of the program. Colehan explains that the fan club audience just went crazy when the Beatles showed up, and "when the actual recording started it was obvious from the wild behaviour and frantic screaming of the fans, that this sadly under-rehearsed programme would not go according to plan. The noise in the theatre was so deafening that The Beatles could not hear their own internal balance, and were therefore singing out of tune for some of the time. The camera crew could not hear my instructions due to the ear splitting noise during "It's The Beatles," and the pre-arranged shots were useless. I had to resort to bellowing down my microphone in order to convey any instructions whatsoever."

In response to Colehan's memo, we have two memos from BBC higher-ups. The first is from the Head of Light Entertainment Group, Television who says "I do not think that you should be depressed over this. The conditions under which you had to work were obviously most difficult...since I do not believe any of us had any idea of the disorganized frenzy that could take place during such a performance. I still think that in its way this was an instant documentary showing a slice of life which, whether we like it or not, exists." Second is a memo from the Secretary to HNRP (BBC head) which says "HNRP asked me to send you the following extract from the minutes of CP Tel's weekly programme meeting "HLEG.Tel described the difficulties under which both programmes were mounted. Barney Colehan's direction commended particularly in view of the difficulties." These memos quite simply document the birth of Beatlemania. Two months to the day from the Beatles first US appearance, on the Ed Sullivan Show, even the BBC didn't realize the complete chaos ANY appearance by the Beatles would generate.

Also included is the original 30" x 40" blueprint of the Empire Theatre, Liverpool (where the shows were filmed,) customized with the layout for the two shows. It details the running order of the shows, the furniture & props necessary, seating, sets, and camera positions, etc.

Finally, included is a framed front cover of BBC Radio Times Magazine for the week the show was broadcast, with an ad for the two shows taking up the full cover. This too came from Barney Colehan's collection

This is a truly historic archive and a GREAT set of Beatles autographs. They were originally sold at Christies London, and were vetted by world Beatles autograph expert Frank Caiazzo. While he authenticates everything Christies sells, I discussed these with him before I purchased them. Of course, the entire archive comes with our lifetime guarantee of authenticity.