What’s the secret to having an ultra-successful garage sale? Well, apparently it doesn’t hurt to be the former drummer for what was arguably the most influential band in history. Ringo Starr‘s personal copy of The Beatles, their revered 1968 double album, sold yesterday for a world record $US790,000 at the Julien’s auction of trinkets from his and wife Barbara Bach‘s estate. The album was projected to sell for between $40,000 and $60,000.
“We used to play the vinyl in those days,” says Ringo. “We didn’t think, ‘We’ll keep it for fifty years and it will be in pristine condition.’ Whoever gets it will have my fingerprints on it.”
The Beatles pressings were numbered in sequence. Ringo’s copy was numbered 0000001, although it’s not strictly unique; in the UK, four sets of the first 20 numbers were produced, and were ostensibly given to the band members and their associates. In North America, as many as thirteen were made, which means it might be worth your while to have a look through any boxes of LPs which may be lurking around your house.
Other items up for grabs at the auction included Ringo’s 1963 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl three piece drum kit, which he played on I Want To Hold Your Hand, She Loves You, Can’t Buy Me Love and many other early Beatles tunes. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay bought the kit, which hadn’t been seen in public for half a century, for $2.2 million. Irsay is something of a rock collectibles afficianado, having previously acquired Bob Dylan‘s 1965 Newport Folk Festival guitar, Les Paul‘s Black Beauty and John Lennon‘s 1966 Gretsch guitar.
Other items sold include a drum kit used in the Hello Goodbye video ($112,000), Ringo’s Hoffner bass ($22,500), his A Hard Day’s Night suit ($50,000) and a Rickenbacker guitar given to Ringo by John Lennon ($910,000, also bought by Irsay).