Beatles Hamburg live tapes set for £100,000 auction
A rare recording of The Beatles playing live in Hamburg is heading to auction next month.
Auctioneer Ted Owen & Co will offer the set of master tapes in an online sale with a reserve price of around $150,000.
The tape dates from December 1963, and the band's fifth and final residency in the German port town. It was recorded between December 25 and December 31 at the Star Club, a strip club where the band had honed their sound during all-night performances.
In total, the tapes include 33 songs with just two original compositions: 'I Saw Her Standing There' and 'Ask Me Why'. The rest of the tracks are covers, including Chuck Berry's 'Roll Over Beethoven' and 'Twist and Shout', along with other classic rock 'n' roll and blues numbers that once made up the band's sets.
The songs were recorded on a reel-to-reel tape machine using a single microphone, and feature some of the earliest performances of Ringo Starr who had joined the band just four months earlier.
Disputes have surrounded the tapes for years, as John Lennon had originally agreed to the recording in return for beer money on the night. George Harrison later argued in court that "one drunken person recording another bunch of drunks does not constitute a business deal", but the tapes eventually fell into the hands of Larry Grossberg, the former manager of Muhammad Ali and Andy Warhol.
Grossberg spent around $150,000 having the tapes cleaned up and remastered, then released them as the top selling 1977 LP 'Live At The Star Club'. Now Goldberg is selling the tapes, along with the remastered version, as a piece of 'music memorabilia' that does not include the copyright.
"I'm 74 and it's time to sell," Goldberg told The Guardian. "I don't want my family to have the burden of going through my things and liquidating everything." The Ted Owen & Co sale begins online on March 27.
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