Two handwritten setlists from the early Beatles have officially gone under the hammer thanks to auction house Bonhams.
The setlists, of only eight that still exist, come from concerts the band performed in 1960 and 1963 respectively. The first was written by Paul McCartney and dates from when the band performed at Liscard’s Grosvenor Ballroom shortly before changing their name from The Silver Beetles to simply The Beatles. McCartney was the band’s drummer at the time.
The latter, meanwhile, comes from the first of two sets played by the group at the Majestic Ballroom in Luton. It is also written by McCartney, although it is written in all caps unlike the 1960s setlist, which is written in cursive. At this point, the band’s classic lineup was established and their debut album, “Please Please Me” was released.
Setlists are expected to be in the $ 150,000 to $ 250,000 range when they go under the hammer on October 28.
Bonhams senior music specialist for their popular culture department, Howard Kramer, explained the importance of both setlists in a statement to Rolling stone.
“At this point the Beatles were on the verge of becoming a band in the truest sense of the word,” he said of the 1960 setlist. “Pete Best hadn’t joined the band yet and the first engagement in Hamburg was expected in about two months. Very quickly, there was no turning back.
Kramer also noted the scarcity of setlists. “There are very few tangible physical objects directly used by the group that become available to the public,” he said. “The Beatles are still the most collectable music group, and these two documents reveal their inner workings.”
Other Beatles memorabilia recently come under the hammer include letters, work permits, and other documents from the Fab Four days in Hamburg, as well as a handwritten letter from Macca happily settling a long-standing “debt.” on a blanket.
In other Beatles news, the docuseries McCartney 3.2.1 will air in the UK on Disney + later this month. In the six-part series, McCartney will interrupt his career with blockbuster Rick Rubin.