Ringo Starr to auction Beatles White Album No 0000001
It’s the ultimate rock’n’roll souvenir. Ringo Starr is to auction off the first ever copy of the band’s1968 album, The Beatles, more commonly known as the White Album.
Each unit of the record, which acquired its name due to its minimalist packaging, came with its own serial number stamped on the cover. White Album No 0000001 will be sold at Julien’s, the Beverly Hills auction house that specialises in celebrity memorabilia, on 3 to 5 December.
The first four pressings of the LP were all in possession of the Beatles. It was assumed that No 0000001 belonged to John Lennon, who Paul McCartney once said “shouted loudest” for it. But it turns out the drummer has had the record all along, and kept it locked away in a London bank vault for more than 35 years.
Bidding on the record starts at $20,000 (£13,276), but it is estimated to fetch up to $60,000. Copy No 0000005 of the album sold at an auction in 2008 for around $30,000.
Starr is also auctioning off many items of jewellery, as well as art, clothes and instruments, including George Harrison’s Gretsch Tennessean guitar, which is expected to fetch up to $200,000.
All proceeds of the auction will go to the Lotus Foundation, founded by Starr and his wife, Barbara Bach, to “fund, support, participate in and promote charitable projects aimed at advancing social welfare in diverse areas”.
The auction will be the second time in two months that Beatles memorabilia has been sold at Julien’s. Earlier this month, a guitar once stolen from Lennon in the 1960s sold for $2.4m at the auction house, and a Beatles drum head went for $2.1m, fetching some of the highest prices ever for rock’n’roll memorabilia.
The price for Lennon’s guitar far surpassed the $965,000 paid at a 2013 Christie’sauction for Bob Dylan’s Sunburst Fender Stratocaster, which Dylan played at the 1965 Newport folk festival, where he shocked folk traditionalists with a set of rock songs.
According to Guinness World Records, a Fender Stratocaster sold for a record $2.7m at a 2005 charity event in Qatar. The instrument had been signed by Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney.
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