2638AB Edit Beatles Omega 1 CUTOUT

Mersey Beat newspaper with picture of the Beatles on the front page, £6500 at Omega.

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On January 1 the Fab Four auditioned for Decca Records but were rejected (‘guitar bands are on the way out’).
However, the Mersey Beat newspaper bosses and readership clearly believed in the band.
The front page of the fortnightly publication (‘heralded as Merseyside’s Own Entertainments Paper’), Vol 1, No 13, January 4-18, 1962, proclaimed ‘Beatles Top Poll’.
The copy offered at Omega (24% buyer’s premium) on March 26 in a sale titled The Beatles Collection took a hammer price of £6500 against an estimate of £3000-4000. It was described as being in very good condition overall.

Poll winners

As covered on page 4 (of eight), this was a ‘Mersey Beat Popularity Poll’ for which ‘there has been tremendous interest’ and the newspaper was ‘pleased at the response we received in voting forms’.
After the Beatles in first place followed Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Remo Four and Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.
Mersey Beat noted: ‘That the first four groups were most popular was a foregone conclusion – all signs have indicated their popularity; the crowds that flock to their performances, the regularity of thier bookings, the letters and requests for photographs and news concerning them. Of the four the Remo Four are acknowledged to be the best instrumental group on Merseyside, and the Beatles have been regarded as a top group throughout 1961.’

It has been suggested that some of the voting was perhaps not entirely unbiased, however.
The photo of the Beatles on the cover included Pete Best who was fired by manager Brian Epstein in August 1962 and Ringo Starr recruited. The band signed for Parlophone and first single Love Me Do released in October.

Contract makes headlines

2638AB Edit Beatles Omega 2 CUTOUT

Mersey Beat newspaper with news of the Beatles on the front page, £1400 at Omega.

Omega offered 12 individual issues of Mersey Beat with Beatles links. An earlier edition sold within estimate for £1400. Vol 1, No 2, dated July 20-August 1, featured a front cover story ‘Beatles sign recording contract!’ with a photo taken in Germany including Pete Best, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul MacArthy [sic] and Stuart Sutcliffe.
The story noted that ‘bass-guitarist Stuart Sutcliffe has remained in Hambourg [sic] and will shortly be marrying a German girl.’
The contract referred to a deal the Beatles signed with Polydor, ‘Germany’s top recording company’.

Fab Four exclusives

Mersey Beat was founded by Bill Harry, one of John Lennon’s classmates at Liverpool Art College, and included articles by Lennon plus plenty of Beatles exclusives. It lasted from 1961-64.