Who would've known that such an important item of Beatles memorabilia would be found folded inside of a book at a car boot sale? The item was a letter, handwritten by Paul McCartney, that invited a drummer to audition for The Beatles just before a tour to Hamburg. Unfortunately, the drummer never got the job and pretty much missed out on the greatest opportunity of his life.
In reply to your advertisement in Echo, Wed. night, we would like to offer you an audition for the position of drummer in the group. You will, however, need to be free soon for a trip to Hamburg (expenses paid £18 per week (approx.) for 2 months.) If interested, ring Jacaranda club, Slater St. [ROYAL 65’64] and ask for either a member of the ’BEATLES’ Alan Williams [sic], or else leave a message, stating when you will be available.
Paul McCartney of THE BEATLES."
The find has excited Beatles historians because it is one of the earliest occasions that the band referred to itself as The Beatles. It also reveals that the boys knew more about their forthcoming trip than previously believed.
At the time the band consisted of McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and bassist Stuart Sutcliffe. They desperately needed a drummer, as the tour to Germany began days after the letter was written on August 15 and the group had agreed that they’d go as a five-piece band. We don't know what happened after that, but we do know that Pete Best ended up joining the group and went to Hamburg. He was, of course, replaced by Ringo Starr in 1962. It’s clear now that they were still deliberating over who should fill the post.
The letter, from an anonymous seller, will be auctioned at Christie’s South Kensington office on November 15 and is expected to earn around £9,000.