BEATLES: Rare But Raw Hamburg Recordings on the Auction Block
Recorded after “Love Me Do,” it’s a (poorly recorded) glimpse at the Fab Four in concert before they knew they were stars.
Recordings of historically important Beatles concerts are going to auction. London’s Guardian newspaper reports that bids on a collection of tapes recorded at Hamburg’s Star Club, heard on a 1977 non-Apple album, are up for bids between February 27th and March 26th.
While of relatively poor quality, as anyone who bought the vinyl album will recall, the tapes capture The Beatles during the week between Christmas 1962 and New Year’s Day 1963 described by the Ted Owen company as “live and raw.” There are 28 songs in all, recorded on a single track in exchange for having their bar tab picked up, according to one source.
These tapes, cut after EMI singed a contract with the band, have long been in dispute. During one court case, George Harrison said that “one drunken person recording another bunch of drunks does not constitute a business deal.” Still, Larry Grossberg, the one-time business manager of Andy Warhol and Muhammad Ali came away with the rights to market them and did. Now, he wants to sell off the tapes, which the Owen company expects to sell for at least $150,000.
Although “Love Me Do” was released a couple months earlier, The Beatles were still very much a bar band. The tapes include such live favorites as “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Twist and Shout,” and just two Lennon-McCartney compositions, “Ask Me Why” and “I Saw Her Standing There.”