Beatles in London: Memorabilia

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Beatles in London. British Liverpool. Photo Credit: Nic's events. C.C.licenseThe inevitable problem is that this connection with youth is bound to weaken the older the Beatles' story becomes. Over time, Beatles albums will become more available in museums and less available in record stores. Any who feel this to be slightly far-fetched need only visit the British Library near King's Cross underground station to see the transition in action.

The library's manuscript room contains a fabulous collection of British literary, musical, and philosophical accomplishments. One can listen to Sir Lawrence Olivier read an excerpt from Hamlet, view Jane Austin's writing desk, and try to decipher the genius-madness of James Joyce's personal notebook from Finnegan's Wake. And, just past the Mozart manuscripts, is a small, glassed display of Beatles memorabilia, the only example of pop music to be found in the entire exhibit.

One can listen to several Beatles songs that will forever be stored there, in national interest. One can also hear a very early recording of the band thanking their fan club members for their support. Each introduces himself and says which instrument he plays; Lennon's wit, sharp as ever, is on display, museum or otherwise: "Hi I'm John and I play a guitar; sometimes I play the fool."

Handwritten lyrics to no less than 10 Beatles songs are prominently displayed in the case, including an early version of All You Need Is Love, a later hand-written set of lyrics to which sold in 2005 at Cooper Owen's annual music legends auction for USD1.2 million.

At the 2006 Cooper Owen Auction, a 12-year-old John Lennon's notebook of drawings and poems was sold for UKP110,000. These pieces are treated as if they are sacred relics of a time long gone and never to return. If it was used, touched, seen, or in the same room as a Beatle, it would seem, it's worth a small ransom to quite a lot of people.

But why the clamor for the dining sets and napkins and belts of the Beatles now (all of which sold for hundreds, even thousands of pounds at Cooper Owen's 2006 auction), when such a large part of the band's appeal during their highest popularity was just how average and human they all seemed? They were, after all, considered regular kids from the north with a knack for cutesy melody for most of their careers.

The lengths people go to hold a piece of the Beatles reverts back to how personal a feeling it is to be one of their fans. For several literal, explainable reasons, there is great reason to believe that there will never be "another Beatles." But, inside, fans know the reason for this lies in the indescribable - in the wordless sense of joy and passion that this band and their music offer like no other has or could. To a true fan, they were the perfect band at the perfect time, and perfection is not repeated, for there is no need.

- Article by Patrick Allegri
- Photo Credit: Nic's events. C.C.license