SOLD – The Beatles / George Harrison – Extraordinary 1966 Letter With Stax Records, George Martin Revelations
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An important handwritten letter sent by George Harrison to Atlanta DJ Paul Drew, who traveled with the Beatles during their 1964 and 1965 U.S. tours. The letter provides an intimate glimpse into the life of a Beatle during the group’s most productive period, and finishes with a historic revelation.
Paul Drew accompanied The Beatles on their chartered plane during their first two U.S. tours, interviewing the group many times, and introducing them at their August 18, 1965 concert at Atlanta Stadium. Drew went on to become one of the most important radio programmers in the America, and interviewed the individual Beatles numerous times after the group split.
Harrison wrote this three page letter to Drew on May 6, 1966 while The Beatles were in the midst of recording sessions for their album Revolver (ranked by Rolling Stone as #3 in the magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.)
He begins by thanking Drew for sending some albums, including ones by soul singer Edwin Starr and another by Mrs. Miller (an American grandmother who gained fame in the late 60’s for her off-key renditions of then-popular songs like “Monday, Monday” and “Downtown.”) Harrison writes “Mrs. Miller is really ‘too much’ especially “Gonna Be Like That” which has a set of lyrics that Paul and John could never top !”
Harrison continues “We have been writing and recording for the last few weeks, and I will let you have copies as soon as they are available. The single is “Paperback Writer” c/w “Rain” and is issued in the States on about 4th or 5th of June. The album we are making should be out about August, but I hear Capitol will have an intermediate album, with unused tracks from ‘Rubber Soul’ and a few old singles and about 2 or 3 of the new tracks we have just cut” (this was to become the U.S. only Yesterday and Today.) I just remembered Mal’s wife just had a baby girl so Mal (Evans, the Beatles assistant) is really knocked out about that !”
Harrison continues “Well I am off to the studio any minute, as soon as John & Ringo arrive for me, so thanks again for sending all the records you have been sending—say hello to everyone from us. Best Wishes, George.”
But it’s in his post script where Harrison makes an extraordinary revelation. He writes “Did you hear that we nearly recorded in Memphis with Jim Stuart (misspelling the name of Stax Records co-founder and producer Jim Stewart.) We would all like it a lot, but too many people get insane with money ideas at the mention of the word ‘Beatles’, so it fell through ! I’ll keep in touch, G.”
Here Harrison confirms for the first time that The Beatles seriously contemplated recording Revolver at Memphis’s Stax Records, with Stax co-owner and producer Jim Stewart (and presumably not George Martin, who had produced every previous Beatles record).
Over the years Stax insiders have claimed the Beatles were booked to record at there, but cancelled because of “security concerns.” While it’s known that Beatles manager Brian Epstein came to Memphis to check out Stax (home of soul giants Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, Carla Thomas, etc.), there has never been any real evidence that the Beatles wanted to record there. This letter provides the first confirmation that the group indeed wanted to record at Stax, and that it almost happened–but the real reason they didn’t was money.
Harrison has written his home address on the first page, and signed “best wishes, George (H.)” on the third; he has also addressed the accompanying envelope, which is postmarked May 7, 1966.
The letter and envelope have been authenticated by Frank Caiazzo, the world’s foremost expert in Beatles autographs and handwriting, who notes in his letter of authenticity “Drew befriended George, who wrote this fabulous letter to him…The content of this letter is extraordinary and revealing, touching on many things that were happening around George Harrison and The Beatles at the time it as written.
Three pages, each 5 3/8” x 7”, envelope 5 ½” x 3 ¾”, all in excellent unfaded condition. Drew glued the pages to a cardboard backing, which he later removed. Bits of the backing paper are adhered to the back of the pages of each page. On the second page, parts of the words “with,” “Rubber Soul” and “about” are not entirely clear, a result of pages two and three having stuck together at some point. The “missing” bits of each word are visibly stuck to the back of the third page. It may be possible to restore this, but as Harrison’s meaning is clear, we have done nothing.
We are proud to offer this extraordinary (and previously unknown) George Harrison/Beatles collectible.
With Frank Caiazzo’s letter of authenticity, appraisal, and Recordmecca’s written lifetime guarantee of authenticity.
Let us know if you have any questions about this particular item.