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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Wall adorned with Beatles' autographs up for auction

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NEW YORK -- A large piece of stage backdrop autographed by the Beatles during their first live U.S. concert 50 years ago is headed to auction, where it could draw as much as $1 million.

Face caricatures accompany the signatures that the Fab Four penned between sets of their historic Ed Sullivan appearance on Feb. 9, 1964.

The current owner of the plastic wall section just over a metre wide is Andy Geller, a longtime Beatles collector and television and film voice-over artist.

It is being sold in New York City on April 26 through the Dallas-based auction house Heritage Auctions.

A stagehand is responsible for getting the band members to sign the back of the wall section which is rolled back and forth to reveal the next act; it's believed to be the largest Beatles autograph,

Stagehand Jerry Gort, now 81, says it was a "spur-of-the-moment thing."

He says the Beatles came down from their dressing rooms and he gave them a marker and asked them to sign the wall.

At the end of the season, the wall was destined for the trash heap but was saved by another carpenter for a young disabled Beatles fan.

Geller says he bought the wall privately for over $100,000 in 2002.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 7, 2014 D2

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