Thursday, March 13, 2014

Beatles for Sale and another fan

The fan connections to the album, "Beatles for Sale" just amaze me.  We have already learned about how one fan named Margaret gave the album it's name (even if the Beatles didn't realize it) and now we will learn that a fan named Betty was the first fan to know about the name of the album well over a month before it was released!

On October 22, 1964 Betty Littlewood was one of many fans that attended a Beatles concert at the Odeon theater in Leeds, UK.      As we have seen time and time again, it was pretty typical for fans to hand over autograph books, photographs, John's book, or any scrap of paper in hopes of having one or more of the Beatles sign it.   These items would get collected and taken backstage and if the Beatles had time, they would sign the items and they would get returned to the fans after the concert.   And more often than you might think, a fan received a genuine Beatle autograph this way.  However, as you can imagine, if the Beatles did not have time, good ol' Neil or good ol' Mal would forge a Beatles signature on the item and it would get returned.  The fan would think that he or she had a real Beatles autograph until many, many years later when that fan would have the autograph authenticated and find out that something they cherished and believed for so long to be the real deal, was in deed a fake. 

However, Betty Littlewood would be one of the lucky ones and the signature she received was NOT a fake!  She turned over a Beatles fan club photograph.  This starpics photograph is something she most likely received through the Beatles fan club and she thought it would make for a great autographed item, as it was a pretty up to date (for the time) photo of the Fab 4.   Being a smart young girl, Betty put her first and last name along with her address on the back of the photograph.  This way the autograph could be returned to her without any issues.

Of course we don't know exactly what happened backstage with the Beatles before the Leeds performance, so this is just speculation.    During October of 1964, the guys weren't just touring the U.K., but they were also working on the "Beatles For Sale" album.   They had almost completed recording this album by the time of the Leeds show.   They must have been discussing the album cover.   We see that they definitely had the name picked out.    If they recall Margret's competition winning title will never be known.       The photo shoot for the album with photographer, Robert Freeman happened sometime on a "wintry day in late autumn of 1964 around 7:00 pm at Hyde Park near the Albert Memorial"  (I love how details can be given, but no one knows the exact date or even month of this photo shoot).

Anyhow, the boys are backstage discussing what they want the new album cover to look like, and John Lennon grabs the only paper that is around him and starts to doodle a few ideas for album covers.   He shows the other Beatles and they discuss them.   They think the last one looks pretty good (notice Ringo sketched in there...and who is the Beatles with the sad face?) and John signs his name of the back and puts it back into the stack to be returned to the fans after the show.

The Beatles perform their concert and the fans scream.  No one can hear the guys and the show was another Beatles success.   The guys would not return to Leeds again for a concert again, unfortunately.

Paul and John performing at Leeds

Betty Littlewood gets her photograph returned to her and there isn't anything written on the front.   But on the back she finds John Lennon's autograph and to her shock some drawings!    On October 22, 1964 she got a little sneak, peak into the next Beatles album before the rest of the world even heard of it!

1 comment:

  1. Unbelievable story!!!! And by that I don't mean that I don't believe it!!!! Way cool! She must have been perplexed until the album came out!

    See, this is why I MUST stop by this blog each and every day!!!! What if I had missed this? Then what?!! And all for less than the price of a Beatles book!

    What a story! And what hilarious drawings! I might not have caught the frowning face if you hadn't pointed it out! (I'd say it would have to be either John or George....through it could be Ringo too, he's not above a good frown! Definitely the one on the left is Paul!)