George Harrison/ The Beatles: An acetate demo recording of 'What Goes On' by the Beatles,
Lot 301
George Harrison / The Beatles: An acetate demo recording of 'What Goes On' by the Beatles,
Sold for £6,250 (US$ 10,494) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
The Harrison Family Collection: Lots 300 to 313 are all items given by George Harrison to his brother, Harry, and other members of his family. The collection dates from the 1960s and 1970s and three items, in particular, represent important stages in George's career as one of the leading rock musicians of the 20th Century. Firstly, a black leather jacket comes from the period when the newly-named, and little-known, Beatles honed their skills in the clubs of Hamburg and Merseyside. The many hours they spent onstage, from the latter half of 1960 through to 1962, helped hone their musical skills and transformed them into a group poised on the brink of unimagined international fame. Acquired in Hamburg, George wore this jacket both on and offstage and it appears in many of the photographs taken of the group in those formative years. Early in 1962, manager Brian Espstein managed to persuade the group that the only way to progress in the music business was to 'smarten' themselves up, both in their choice of wardrobe and conduct onstage. Out went the leather jackets and trousers and rather sober, tailored suits became the new image. Following the group's phenomenal rise to stardom in 1963, their new look of Pierre Cardin-inspired suits with collarless jackets, worn with black Chelsea boots, widely influenced the clothing adopted by the teenagers of the day. The pair of 'Beatle' boots included in this collection are from the time when Beatlemania was at it height and, whilst various suits worn by the Beatles in 1963-1964 have been preserved, a pair of boots from this period are a rare survivor. After the Beatles broke up in 1970, George embarked on a new stage in his life as a solo artist. He got off to a flying start with the release, in 1971, of several hit singles and the triple-album 'All Things Must Pass'. This year also saw him, along with Ravi Shankar, organising the Concert For Bangladesh, the first rock concert staged to raise funds for humanitarian causes. Since the mid-1960s, George had become deeply interested in Eastern religion and music and this was his response to the suffering of the people of Bangladesh caused by both a devastating tropical cyclone and the effects of civil war. The Concert For Bangladesh was held at New York's Madison Square Garden and an orange shirt identical to that worn by George onstage is another highlight of the sale. Made by Nudie's of Hollywood, suppliers of Western-style clothing to the stars, the shirt bears a label with George's name and features the Hindu 'Om' symbol, to match those on the white suit George also wore for the concert. Other items in the collection reflect daily life as a Beatle, including demo recordings, Fan Club records given away at Christmas, a camera to record the madness surrounding the group from an insider's perspective and publicity photographs signed by George and with signatures of the other Beatles forged by him in an effort to keep up with the overwhelming demand for autographs. George Harrison/The Beatles: An acetate demo recording of 'What Goes On' by the Beatles,
a single-sided, 45rpm 7inch disc, with Dick James Music Limited Demo Disc label with typewritten recording details; together with a single, 'My Bonnie'/'The Saints', Polydor NH 24673, German pressing, missing centre

Footnotes

  • Provenance: The Harrison Family Collection.

    This track was due to be recorded on 5th March 1963 but the group ran out of time. They revisited the track during a recording session on 4th November, when they were just a month away from the release of the next album, 'Rubber Soul', and had only completed half of the tracks for it. The acetate offered here is a demo with vocals and guitars only.

    Literature: LEWISOHN, Mark Op. cit, 1992 pps. 102-205
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Contacts
  1. Katherine Schofield nee Williams
    Specialist - Entertainment Memorabilia
    Bonhams
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    Montpelier Street
    London, SW7 1HH
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 207 393 3871
    FaxFax: +44 20 7393 3873
  2. Stephanie Connell
    Specialist - Entertainment Memorabilia
    Bonhams
    Work
    Montpelier Street
    London, SW7 1HH
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7393 3844
    FaxFax: +44 20 7393 3873
  3. Stephen Maycock
    Specialist - Entertainment Memorabilia
    Bonhams
    Work
    Montpelier Street
    London, SW7 1HH
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7393 3844
    FaxFax: + 44 8700 273625