Paul McCartney’s Original, Handwritten ‘Lovely Rita’ Lyrics Are Headed to An Iconic NYC Book Fair

If you’re a fan of the Beatles (and who isn’t?) and have well over half-a-million dollars to spare (who doesn’t?!) you may want to grab a ticket to ride to the ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, which returns to Manhattan’s Park Avenue Armory from April 4-7.

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The 64th edition of this celebrated book fair boasts a rare piece of Beatles memorabilia that is up for sale: Paul McCartney’s handwritten rough draft of the Beatles classic “Lovely Rita” from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, one of the most acclaimed and influential rock albums of all time. On a piece of paper, torn from a spiral notebook, you can check out McCartney’s first go at the lyrics in black ink, as well as Macca’s later revisions in blue ink (he changed “writing all the numbers in her little black book” to “filling in a ticket with her little blue pen,” neither of which made it to the final product). Biblioctopus Rare Books brings the item to the fair with an asking price of $650,000. (And you thought renting a cottage on the Isle of Wight was too dear.)

That piece of Beatles history is far from the only bit of music memorabilia available for viewing (and purchase) at the book fair. Royal Books, Inc., is selling three alternate artwork proof designs for the Pixies’ 1989 cult classic Doolittle, designed by Vaughan Oliver with photography by Simon Larbalestier. Elsewhere at the fair, B&B Rare Books is set to host a collection of vintage Nirvana posters and flyers, including one from Dec. 1988, as well as an MTV guest book from the late ‘90s, signed by everyone from *NSYNC to TLC to Foo Fighters. And Schubertiade “B” Dry Goods has everything from a Bob Dylan paper dress from the ‘60s to a Nat “King” Cole Trio bowtie rack to a tank top signed by Miles Davis (the shirt is, in fact, a Kind of Blue).

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And if you’re a Beatles fanatic who can’t quite cover the “Lovely Rita” asking price, you can also check out an original artwork by Dutch art collective The Fool (Marijke Koger and Simon Posthuma) that the Beatles commissioned for Sgt. Pepper’s. The piece, available from Voewood Rare Books, is signed by Ringo Starr as “Billy S” (Billy Shears, his fictional Pepper persona).

Details about the ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair can be found here.

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