In a recent auction at Special Auction Services (SAS) in Newbury, Berkshire, a historic piece of music memorabilia found a new home. The item in question was an Epiphone acoustic guitar string believed to have been used by Sir Paul McCartney during The Beatles’ zenith. This piece, steeped in rock ‘n’ roll history, was won in a competition held in 1965 and subsequently sent to a lucky fan after The Beatles’ Rubber Soul recording sessions.
David Cardey, the fortunate winner of the guitar string, had secured his prize through a competition organized by the monthly fan magazine, The Beatles Book. The lot up for auction included not just the guitar string but also two letters from the magazine’s editor, Johnny Dean. The first letter, which came with a one guinea prize, contained a promise of a “piece of Beatles equipment” to follow. In the subsequent letter, Mr. Dean wrote, “This guitar string came from Paul’s acoustic Epiphone and was given to me by him after The Beatles’ last recording session.”
Although Mr. Cardey is no longer with us, the auction house described the guitar string as his “pride and joy,” which he had safely preserved for over 45 years. Alongside the string, the lot also included Mr. Cardey’s original fan club card.
Initially expected to fetch between £3,000 and £5,000, the total purchase price for the lot, including premiums, amounted to £2,080. Thomas Forrester, director of SAS, expressed his excitement about the sale, labeling the item as “wonderful.” He explained that what makes this piece so special is its connection to The Beatles and the fact that it was used to create music, having been strummed by Sir Paul McCartney himself.
For Beatles enthusiasts and music fans alike, this guitar string represents an affordable yet significant piece of music history. Mr. Forrester highlighted that while a full guitar associated with a Beatle, such as Sir Paul McCartney’s bass guitar, could command prices of up to £1 million, this guitar string allowed fans to own a tangible connection to the iconic band.
Speaking about The Beatles’ enduring influence on the music industry, Mr. Forrester noted, “The Beatles are seminal. Without The Beatles, we wouldn’t have The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, or Queen, and we wouldn’t have ended up with the music culture we have today. We love their music; it’s basically the beat of the soul of our county.”
The Beatles recorded their acclaimed album “Rubber Soul” primarily in the autumn of 1965, releasing it in December of the same year. This iconic album featured timeless classics like “Drive My Car,” “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown),” “Nowhere Man,” and “In My Life,” with Sir Paul McCartney believed to have played the acoustic guitar on “Michelle.” The sale of this guitar string serves as a reminder of The Beatles’ enduring impact on the world of music and their place in the hearts of fans worldwide.