A sheet of paper with the handwritten lyrics of Paul McCartney to “Hey Jude” bearing them sold for $910,000 in an online auction held on Friday to mark the 50th anniversary of the dramatic split between the Beatles.
The text written by McCartney and used at Trident Studios during London’s 1968 recording of the classic album has been sold for more than five times its pre-sale estimate.
Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, California-based Julien’s Auctions moved the auction of some 250 Beatles memorabilia online, with fans around the world vying for guitars, rare records and autographs.
Friday marks precisely half a century since McCartney’s interview sealed the acrimonious end of “Fab Four,” generally considered one of history’s most influential bands.
Asked if he foresaw a day when he would resume his prolific songwriting relationship with former Beatle John Lennon, his straightforward reply—”no “— spoke for itself.
After an earlier split, McCartney wrote “Hey Jude”-Lennon’s divorce from first wife Cynthia following his affair with Japanese artist Yoko Ono.
The song was written during the separation of his parents to console Lennon’s son Julian, and was initially called “Hey Jules.”
The handwritten text that was sold Friday contains partial lyrics along with notes including the word “break” used to help record the album.
Other products included a drumhead with the Beatles logo used during their first US tour gig in 1964, sold for $200,000, and a handwritten shooting script page for the 1967 “Hello, Goodbye” music video, for $83,200.
A brass ashtray used by Ringo Starr during the 1960s recordings of the Abbey Road earned $32,500.