Appraisal Video: (3:52)
Collectibles, Sports Memorabilia
GUEST: My dad was president of the Rickenbacker guitar company. And he, knowing that the Beatles had started to use the product in England, was prepared for their visit in February '64. Met them at the Savoy Hotel in New York City as they were getting ready to do the Ed Sullivan Show. He had the forethought to obtain this album, pulled it out and said, "Would you guys mind signing this for my son?" And they looked at it and they said, "Wow, we haven't seen this. "We've only seen the British copy. This is the American copy; we've never seen it." So they signed it, he brought it back to me, gave it to me at age 14, and I basically wore the record out playing it, not thinking about the cover, particularly.
APPRAISER: So this is the first signed copy of an American version.
GUEST: That's right. They hadn't seen it previously. Brian Epstein, their manager, was also present, and he hadn't seen it, either. Well, I didn't meet them on this trip in '64, but I did meet them in '65 when they visited to play the Hollywood Bowl. My dad and I went to their house, at which time I presented Paul McCartney with his Rickenbacker bass. I would say that they were some of the most levelheaded, just likeable guys you can imagine. There was no star mentality, none of that surrounding them at that time. Maybe naive might even be the word.
APPRAISER: On the front, we can see three signatures-- John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. And if I flip this over, we have two more signatures-- George Harrison again and Paul McCartney. This is an incredible story that you have because it's noted in books where your father presented them with their Rickenbacker guitars. Do you have the story of how you got this signed documented at all?
GUEST: A little bit. Of course there are a number of people that were there and saw it, But I, for instance, have the phone message slip from the Savoy Hotel operator to my dad saying something to the effect, "I'm bringing the boys over at 3:00," signed Brian Epstein.
APPRAISER: Oh, that's excellent.
GUEST: But the meeting itself is pretty well documented by a wide group of people.
APPRAISER: Well, the story that you've told me, I want you to document that, get it notarized, and then always keep that together with this album because without that documentation, this album just becomes another Beatles-signed album worth $8,000 to $10,000.
APPRAISER: As far as comparables on something like this, the best I can come up with is an album that Louise Harrison, George Harrison's sister, had signed back in 1964, '65.
GUEST: Actually, it was signed six days after this one.
APPRAISER: Now, that particular album sold a year and a half ago for about $115,000.
APPRAISER: That's a lot of money for a signed Beatles album.
APPRAISER: I think the provenance with this overrides that album. I think it's better.
APPRAISER: And if you're going to put this in auction, I believe this would bring about... $130,000.
APPRAISER: Probably more.
APPRAISER: I mean, it's off the charts. This could go for double that, even.
APPRAISER: It's incredible and I'm glad that you brought this to the show.
GUEST: Well, I have no intentions of selling it, but it's interesting to know that it's in that price range.
APPRAISER: Well, I think that you should insure this for at least $150,000. It's incredible, and I thank you for bringing this, John.
GUEST: It's certainly my pleasure.