A rare set of Beatles autographs, signed on one of the first Gold Label pressings of Please, Please Me, which was being used as a large coaster, during a card game with Freddie and the Dreamers will be sold by Worthing-based auctioneers Campbells
at their saleroom at 44-46 High Street on Tuesday, December 11, 2012. The sale will commence at 10am.
The Beatles were staying, along with the Freddie and the Dreamers at the Normandie House Hotel (96 Sussex Gardens, Paddington, London) in roughly July 1963 and the album was given to Arthur Collins, the owner of the hotel, who was playing cards too. They are being sold by his Son and Daughter, Chris Collins and Liz Chambers, who now live in Worthing and are expected to fetch in the region of £15,000.
As Liz Chambers explains: late one evening while my Father was drinking and playing cards with Freddie and the Dreamers. The Beatles returned to the Hotel in the early hours after attending some promotional events. In their possession was the record - one of the first Gold Label pressings of Please, Please Me, which had been given to them. All of the Beatles joined the card game and the record was placed in the middle of the table where it was used as a coaster for Whisky glasses. As the card game reached a drunken conclusion in the early hours, all of the Beatles signed their signatures and added short messages as a thank you for the hospitality they had been shown whilst staying at the Hotel.
At the time the number of Hotels in London willing to accommodate Pop Stars and their entourage was fairly limited due to some high profile incidents whereby damage and/or issues had arisen with fans trying to force entry. The Normandie House Hotel had an agreement with Music industry executives to safely accommodate Pop Stars in a 'low profile' manner. Consequently, The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Freddy and the Dreamers and bands of the time were guests at the Hotel.
On the Album, which came out in March 1963, John Lennon signs Blast for Hide (ie: God Damn You, or something along those lines), while George Harrison, puts in brackets G.P.O and Paul McCartney jokes that he was the lead in Freddie and the Dreamers!
An article appeared in Beat Monthly in September 1963 about Freddie and the Dreamers, which was written and photographs were taken at this time of the card game. Mr Collins can be seen in the background of the main photograph!
Auctioneer Paul Campbell, commented: We are delighted to have been asked to sell these autographs dating from almost 50 years ago. Not only do they have a great provenance and a wonderful story to accompany them, they are signed on a mono pressing of Please, Please Me, which has the rare gold label so has a value in its own right!