New York – Artist Paul McCartney handwritten lyrics to the Beatles’ hit song Hey Jude sold for US$910,000 on Friday, nine times its original estimate, auction house Julien’s Auction said. A vintage bass drumhead with The Beatles’ logo that was used during the English band’s first North American tour in 1964 was another top item, selling for $200,000.
According to Julien’s Auction, Vocalist and bassist Paul McCartney scrawled the lyrics with a black felt pen to use during the recording of “Hey Jude” in July 1968 at a London recording studio.
“Hey Jude,” reportedly written by McCartney to console John Lennon‘s son Julian after his parents’ divorce, was The Beatles’ first released on their own Apple Records label and went on to be nominated for three Grammy awards in 1969.
The items were among more than 250 items of Beatles memorabilia offered in an online auction by Julien’s Auction to mark the 50th anniversary of the band’s breakup. A drawing by John Lennon and Wife Yoko Ono called Bagism, a term they coined to satirize stereotyping, sold for $93,750, while an ashtray used by the Fab Four’s drummer Ringo Starr at the Abbey Road recording studios in London fetched $32,500
The wooden stage of the small Liverpool venue Where the band performed before they rocked to fame went for $25,600. Before the sale, Julien’s Auction music specialist Jason Watkins had described McCartney’s hastily scribbled notes for a 1968 studio recording of Hey Jude as very rare and valuable.
“It’s obviously a very iconic song that everyone’s familiar with,” said watkins. “These Handwritten lyrics were used in the studio as a guide When they were recording it.”
The sale had been due to take place online and the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, New York, but it was made online-only due to the coronavirus pandemic, the auction house said.