A sheet of paper bearing Paul McCartney’s handwritten lyrics to “Hey Jude” sold for $910,000 in an online auction held Friday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ historic split.
The document penned by McCartney and used during the 1968 London recording of the classic song at Trident Studios was sold for more than five times its pre-sale estimate.
California-based Julien’s Auctions shifted its sale of some 250 Beatles memorabilia items online due to the coronavirus pandemic, with fans around the world bidding for guitars, rare vinyl and autographed items.
Friday marks exactly half a century since an interview given by McCartney sealed the acrimonious end of the “Fab Four,” widely considered one of the most influential bands in history.
Asked if he foresaw a time when his prolific songwriting partnership with fellow Beatle John Lennon would restart, his blunt reply — “no” — spoke for itself.
McCartney wrote “Hey Jude” after an earlier split — Lennon’s divorce from first wife Cynthia following his affair with Japanese artist Yoko Ono.
The song was composed to comfort Lennon’s son Julian during his parents’ break-up, and was initially titled “Hey Jules.”
The handwritten document sold Friday contains partial lyrics along with annotations including the word “break” used to aid the song’s recording.
Other items included a drumhead with the Beatles’ logo used during their first US tour gig in 1964, which sold for $200,000, and a handwritten shooting script page for the “Hello, Goodbye” music video in 1967, fetching $83,200.
A brass ashtray used by Ringo Starr at the Abbey Road recordings in the 1960s earned $32,500.