Beatles audition for drummer

A handwritten letter from the former Beatle Paul McCartney has raised £35,000 at auction. The letter dates to 1960 and is an invitation to an unnamed drummer to audition for the fledgling band.

The letter was sold at Christie’s to a telephone bidder from Europe for a sum substantially higher than the £9000 originally estimated. Beatles memorabilia is one of the few safe investments in the volatile economic climate, with auction prices soaring for any items connected with the Fab Four.

"It is exciting to be able to offer to market a newly discovered important item of Beatles memorabilia," Christie’s spokesman Neil Roberts said, no doubt while counting their hefty commission. The seller was a lucky person who found the letter folded up in a book at a car boot sale in Liverpool.

The letter was a follow-up to an ad placed in the Liverpool Echo in 1960, just before The Beatles departed to take up a residency in Hamburg. It implies that the drummer Pete Best was already on his way out. The auditions, if they ever took place, did not find a replacement, and it was to be three more years before Ringo Starr joined the band.

Recent Beatles memorabilia sold at auction has included a document stating their refusal to play to segregated crowds, and, in a less edifying instance, a tooth that once belonged to John Lennon.

Beatles collectors now just await the auction of Sir Paul’s secret hair dye formula that provides that rich oiled-mahogany shade.

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