Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

2019 Beatlemania means spending $234,000 on their rarest record

Illustration for article titled 2019 Beatlemania means spending $234,000 on their rarest record
Photo: Tommaso Boddi (Getty Images)

As everyone knows, the only way to prove that you care about an artist is to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars collecting their memorabilia. In this post-truth world, there’s no way to know for sure that someone who says they love the Beatles, for example, really means it unless you can look around their home and see a square of lightly-used toilet paper from Ringo’s bathroom framed on the wall.


Luckily, would-be poseurs can shore up their reputation through a collection of super expensive Beatles stuff up for bid at “the billionaire’s Kmart,” Julien’s Auctions—though they’ll pale in comparison to the real fan who bought a signed copy of the band’s Yesterday And Today, the band’s rarest album, for almost £180,000 yesterday (around $234,000 in U.S. dollars).

Among a bunch of signed posters and guitars (and, uh, “a velvet jacket… used on Ringo Starr’s wax figure at Madame Tussauds”), the album managed to stand out as one of the most expensive items. Yesterday And Today—which, we should note, is a mix of mid-era Beatles tracks easily found on other releases—is notable mainly because of its incredible cover. On it, the fresh-faced boys are dressed in white jackets, draped with cuts of raw meat, and are holding an assortment of dismembered baby doll parts.

Probably because parents, already terrified of the Beatles shaggy hair, could not abide this image, the album was pulled from stores in 1966 and replaced with a different version. The one auctioned off yesterday was from this rare (fill in your own uncooked meat joke) run and included autographs by John, Paul, and Ringo. Lennon also owned it, had sketched on the back, and, according to the BBC, had it hung “on the wall of his New York apartment until he gave it to Dave Morrell, a Beatles fan and bootleg collector.”

Now, just as John would assuredly have wanted, the album belongs to an anonymous rich person who a Julien’s Auctions representative told the BBC “bought the record as an investment believing it will increase in value in the years to come.” The auction house’s president assures us all that “in the next five years this same record could bring $500,000-plus (£385,000) and that its now “the third-highest price paid for a vinyl.”

This is tough news for all of us fake Beatles-lovers with linty pockets to swallow. If we can’t save up enough in time, we’ll all be shown as the pretenders we are by not properly enjoying their music the way it’s intended: by purchasing it as an investment opportunity.


[via BBC News]

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.