The ever-growing demand for rock and pop memorabilia

It’s hard to believe but it’s 50 years since The Beatles film ‘Help’ was released in this country.

By Allan Blackburn
Wednesday, 5th August 2015, 6:20 am
Beatles Fan Club memorabilia. Photo: Liverpool Beatles Shop/PA Wire
Beatles Fan Club memorabilia. Photo: Liverpool Beatles Shop/PA Wire

Released on July 29 1965 this was The Beatles’ second feature film and contained such classic tracks as Ticket to Ride, You’re Going to Lose That Girl and of course the title track Help.

The Beatles have a massive place in the heart of collectors and we get quite a lot of Fab Four memorabilia at the centre.

Pop and rock memorabilia has been collected by fans since the dawn of rock n roll in the 1950s.

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Allan Blackburn, Owner of GB Antiques Centre and Lancaster Leisure Park

But its boom did not begin until the early 1980s when Sotheby’s held their first ever auction dedicated to pop.

The auction sold items belonging to The Beatles and Beatles memorabilia is still the most popular and most costly of any items of this genre.

In fact, John Lennon’s name appears consistently at the top of lists of the most expensive items sold at auction. Just about anything ever touched by a popular rock celebrity eventually becomes collectable.

Programmes, concert tickets and photographs can all be valuable, especially if they are signed by the artist.

The most sought after signatures belong to dead rock stars like Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin.

Nonetheless, even relatively recent material can fetch high prices.

As would be expected, the most sought after rock memorabilia are song lyrics.

Hand written lyrics with crossings out and corrections are immensely popular with collectors.

These records of the spontaneity and thought processes of the adored artists were often discarded after a recording session and so are quite rare. (The increasing use of computers for composition is making them even rarer).

Sir Paul McCartney’s hand-written notes for “Getting Better” sold for £161,000 in 1995 – a world record!

There’s plenty to go at in this area of collecting so a few top tips: Is the item genuine? Is there any supporting documentation to verify its authenticity?

Is it signed? Is it anything to do with the Beatles? Is the artist dead?

Did the artist have a major effect on the music industry or one hit wonder?