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George Harrison’s personal sitar from 1965, which was the year the Beatles recorded Norwegian Wood will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on September 28, 2017. Harrison purchased his first sitar from the shop Indiacraft on Oxford Street in London in 1965. Harrison was quoted in the Beatles Anthologies, “…we’d recorded the Norwegian Wood backing track and it needed something. We would usually start looking through the cupboard to see if we could come up with something, a new sound, and I picked the sitar up – it was just lying around; I hadn’t really figured out what to do with it. It was quite spontaneous: I found the notes that played the lick. It fitted and it worked.”

Norwegian Wood was recorded in October 1965, but the sitar string broke during the recording session. Harrison had no idea how to fix or replace the string. Producer George Martin suggested to Harrison that he contact Ayana Angadi, the Asian Music Circle (AMC) co-founder.

Ayana Angadi replaced the string and brought his family to the studio at Abbey Road to watch the Beatles record Norwegian Wood.

The song launched “The Great Sitar Explosion” in rock and roll, but for Harrison, it began a life-long relationship with Indian music, its culture and Hinduism. The AMC provided Indian musicians for Harrison’s next two Indian-style songs, Love you to and Within you without you. Harrison became the first Beatle to visit India and traveled to Mumbai to study the sitar with Ravi Shankar following the band’s final live concert in San Francisco in 1966.

Harrison married Pattie Boyd in January 1966. On their honeymoon in Barbados, Boyd’s friend George Drummond hosted the couple. Harrison gifted this sitar to Drummond. Steve Turner writes in his book, Beatles ’66: The Revolutionary Year, “During the days Pattie sunbathed and George practiced on his sitar. George even had a better sitar flown to Barbados for him, and when it arrived he gave his old one – probably the one he had bought from Indiacraft – to Drummond as a gift.”

Kanai Lal & Brother of Calcutta crafted the siftar, which comes with letters of authenticity from Harrison’s ex-wife Pattie Boyd and his friend George Drummond. Boyd wrote in the LOA that Harrison used the sitar to play Norwegian Wood to her on their honeymoon. Drummond’s LOA confirmed that Harrison gave him this sitar in February 1966 and it remained in his possession until he consigned it to Nate D. Sanders Auctions.

Bidding for the sitar begins at $50,000.



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On this day 7 September, 1936: Charles Hardin Holley (Buddy Holly) was born.
Buddy Holly’s band, the Crickets, inspired the Beatles own name. Buddy Holly who inspired John Lennon and Paul McCartney to play, sing, and write their own songs.

Quoting John Lennon: “Buddy Holly was the first one that we were really aware of in England who could play and sing at the same time – not just strum, but actually play the licks” .

Holly wrote original material, further inspiring the Beatles to do likewise.. Quoting Paul:”I still like Buddy’s vocal style. And his writing. One of the main things about The Beatles is that we started out writing our own material.

People these days take it for granted that you do, but nobody used to then. John I started to write because of Buddy Holly. It was like, ‘Wow! He writes and is a musician.





And throughout the Quarrymen/Beatles’ existence, they played a total of at least 13 Buddy Holly songs in live shows:

“Baby I Don’t Care (You’re So Square)”, 1960-61
“Crying, Waiting, Hoping”, 1960-62
“Everyday”, 1957-62
“It’s So Easy”, 1958-62
“Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues”, 1961-62
“Maybe Baby”, 1958-61
“Midnight Shift”, 1960-62
“Peggy Sue”, 1957-62
“Raining in My Heart”, 1959-62
“Reminiscing”, 1962-63
“That’ll Be the Day”, 1957-60
“Think it Over”, 1958-62
“Words of Love”, 1958-62

Recordings of the Beatles’ performances of these Buddy Holly songs exist for only 6 of the 13 listed above.

The first professional recording the Beatles (then the Quarrymen) ever made was their rendition of “That’ll Be The Day”, recorded  July 1958, but not commercially released until The Beatles Anthology 1.

The only other Buddy Holly song to date as far back as 1957 was “Peggy Sue”, which John Lennon recorded for his 1975 album Rock ‘n’ Roll. The Beatles first recorded “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” as part of their ill-fated Decca audition on New Year’s Day 1962.

They recorded it again on 16 July 1963 for the radio show Pop Goes the Beatles, the product of which was included on the album The Beatles: Live at the BBC.The Beatles played “Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues” in their live shows from 1961-62, but never recorded it until January 1969, during the Get Back sessions, which was included on The Beatles Anthology 3. The Beatles never recorded “Maybe Baby” until January 1969, when they jammed during the Get Back sessions. The A-side companion of “Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues” was the classic “Words of Love”, which the Beatles included on their 1964 album Beatles for Sale.The Beatles also recorded “Reminiscing” in Hamburg in 1962, which was released many years later on the album Live! At The Star-Club.
Though the Beatles never recorded “Raining in My Heart”, John Lennon paraphrased the opening lyrics (“The sun is out, the sky is blue”) in “Dear Prudence”. And although the Beatles themselves never recorded “It’s So Easy”, Paul McCartney has played it in his live shows. Lastly, though the Beatles never recorded “Think it Over”, Ringo Starr did perform the tune as part of the 2011 tribute album Listen to Me: Buddy Holly, issued in honor of what would have been Holly’s 75th birthday.


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Omega Auction’s forthcoming sale of the framed score, which is in Martin’s handwriting and is signed by Sir Paul McCartney, was initially billed by Warrington-based Omega Auctions as ‘the original’ version of the music sheet. The lot description has now been amended to ‘an original … one of only two known originals’ after a complaint by one of Martin’s four children that she possessed the original score.

Martin’s daughter Alexis Stratford read media coverage of the impending sale and instructed a lawyer to contact Omega Auctions to say she possessed the original, having been given it by her father 30 years ago.“[My father] knew it was of great historical value and even pointed out the coffee stains from John Lennon,” Stratford told.

‘Two known originals’

Omega Auctions stands by the authenticity of its lot. Karen Fairweather, director of Omega Auctions, told ATG: “We have had no row [with George Martin’s daughter]. Her score is an original and ours is an original, end of story. Our catalogue description states that the score we are selling is one of two known original scores. Fairweather added: “It’s a fantastic, historical piece and we are looking forward to selling it.”

The scores were prepared for the song’s recording, which included a string octet conducted by Martin, at Abbey Road studios in April 1966. The version owned by Stratford is an eight-page manuscript in pencil, whereas that being sold by Omega Auctions is four pages long, also containing musical notation for the string instrument parts and lyrics. Omega Auctions says the score consigned to its Warrington saleroom was one “most likely written out for the instrumentalists”.

George Martin provenance

According to the catalogue entry on, the score “was gifted to a gentleman who was well known in the music industry and was both a friend and business associate of George Martin. The signatures of George Martin and Paul McCartney are believed to have been added at a later date (circa late 1980s), most likely shortly before this was framed and gifted”. Stratford’s score, also mounted in a frame, is said to be worth £75,000 but is not for sale. The Omega Auctions lot, numbered 250 among other lots of Beatles memorabilia, also includes the deeds to the Liverpool grave of the real Eleanor Rigby, the song’s inspiration.

Ahead of the live auction on September 11-12, the most recent bid for the Omega Auctions lot on was £12,000 against an estimate of £15,000-25,000.


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Dave Grohl learned to “play guitar” thanks to The Beatles.

The Foo Fighters frontman was presented with the iconic group’s greatest hits collections, along with a book of their music, by his mother when he was younger, and spent hours honing his skills by playing along to the records.

He said: “That’s really where I learned to play guitar. I would put an album on, find the page with the song, try to play along according to this simple music sheet, almost like I was in a band in my bedroom, trying to follow along with these other players.

“I’d have to remember an arrangement, and changes and tempo and melody. So those two albums were my music teacher when I was young.”


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An English teacher in Spain might be responsible for convincing the band to include lyrics in the liner notes on their albums.That teacher’s name was Juan Carrión, and he died this week at 93. He was a huge Beatles fan, and he came up with the idea, which was novel at the time, of using Beatles lyrics to teach English.

“He didn’t always understand what was being said,” says Richard Torne, a reporter in Spain who met with Carrión, years later. Torne says Carrión wrote down what he heard as best he could in a notebook, leaving blank spots for the words he couldn’t decipher.

So, when he heard that John was coming to Spain to film the movie “How I Won the War,” he was determined to meet the singer to ask him to fill in those missing words. “He got it in his head that he was going to seek John out,” Torne says, “and he was going to find out whether or not he’d be willing to help him out with this.” By that point, Lennon was already a huge star. But that didn’t deter Carrión. He took a two-hour bus ride to the city where Lennon was filming and stayed there for a week, even though he didn’t have a lot of money. “He managed to meet a man named Les Anthony who was John Lennon’s bodyguard and chauffeur,” says Torne. “They struck up a very quick friendship, and he started passing on these lyrics sheets to him to give to John Lennon to correct.”

Eventually, he managed to meet John in person, and two men became friends. After that meeting, all Beatles albums, starting with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” included lyrics in their liner notes.


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An unreleased track by George Harrison is to be auctioned with a series of previously unseen images of the band.
The 1968 song, Hello Miss Mary Bee, comes on a reel-to-reel tape that also includes alternative recordings of several Beatles hits.
The track, influenced by Indian music, was written for George’s friend Mary Bee and produced at about the time that his first solo album, Wonderwall Music, was released.
It comes with letters from George to Ms Bee while he was in India with his first wife, Pattie Boyd. In one, Boyd wrote that Harrison had “just come into the kitchen singing Mary Bee, Mary Bee about to make a lovely cup of tea”.