The Fab Four’s enduring fame has helped make a special Tayside piece of Beatles memorabilia a smash hit at auction.
Worldwide interest meant the hammer fell at £7,500 on caricatures of John, Paul, George and Ringo which the Liverpool lads autographed ahead of a Dundee Caird Hall gig in 1963 at the start of their meteoric rise to fame.
It was drawn by then D C Thomson artist Fraser Elder, who recalled the autograph session and being asked to put his own signature to personal copies for the Fab Four.
“When I drew the caricature they said they would like one each and I went along to the Salutation Hotel in Perth, where they were staying, and signed them there,” said Fraser, now 83.
“They were yet to hit the big time and were really just laddies at that point.
“This is the third one of these which I know to have been sold, after others in 2004 and 2008.
“At a combined value of £22,500 it would have taken me 10 years to earn that as a £15-per-week artist when I started out,” he added.
“The Beatles were actually on the undercard for the concert in 1963, but a year later I met them again and toured around Scotland with them.
“They appeared at the Odeon in Glasgow, and at the Caird Hall before staying at St Fillans and it was a completely different situation because of their fame.”
Fraser’s original artwork for the caricatures is now on display at a Beatles museum in Liverpool, but he doesn’t know of any other copies which have popped up for sale.
As local Beatles fans scour attics to try and hunt down one of the remaining People’s Journal prize pieces, the fate of the four artist-signed originals which went to Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr is also unknown.
Fraser, who is the Craigie quiz master in The Courier, also recalls the Fab Four signing an extra copy which was given to youngsters at Dundee’s Carolina House children’s home.
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