It was 50 years ago today... give or take six months or so.
A concert programme signed by all four Beatles at their first Sheffield show has been uncovered – selling at auction for £4,200.
The programme for one of two City Hall gigs on Saturday March 16, 1963 wasn’t even in mint condition.
True, the item had been signed not once but three times by John Lennon, together with signatures from John, Paul and Ringo all on the same double page spread – a collector’s dream.
But the rest of the programme had been cut up to remove two further individual signatures by Harrison and Starr.
It seems the snips had been made to share the precious scribbles between the group of friends who had clubbed together to buy the programme – and who presumably waited patiently for the band after the show.
The two separate signatures fetched £820 when put up for sale by Derbyshire auctioneers Hansons. Both lots came from a family member of the fan who went to the show.
At the time the Beatles were on their second nationwide package tour, with American co-headliners Chris Montez and Tommy Roe.
The City Hall show was two weeks before the famous Azena Ballroom gig in Gleadless promoted by a young Peter Stringfellow.
The band had already hit the top of the charts but first album Please Please Me was still six days away from release.
Hansons music and memorabilia consultant Claire Howell explained the circumstances behind the find.
“Our client’s father and friends went along to the concert and were fortunate enough to meet the boys. Having just the one programme to sign between them they politely asked John to sign three times, so they could each have an autograph.
“He kindly obliged, as did the other members of the band. As it happens one lucky fan was left with the programme signed and the other parts of the programme were cut up and divided amongst them.
“They included signatures of Ringo and George which were offered as a separate lot.”