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Thursday, 20 September, 2001, 18:14 GMT 19:14 UK
'Fifth Beatle' memorabilia to be sold
Backbeat poster
Sutcliffe was the subject of 1993 film Backbeat
Letters and other memorabilia belonging to Stuart Sutcliffe, who played a key role in the founding of The Beatles, are to be auctioned.

The Beatles
The Beatles: Sutcliffe played bass
The collection is being sold by his sister Pauline, in a sealed-bid auction by Fleetwood Owen in London later this year.

"This collection is full of wonderful things, wonderful artwork, fabulously interesting letters, poetry, sketch books, all delightful and beautiful things to look at," she said.

Sutcliffe - who was born in Edinburgh in 1940 - was an art college friend of John Lennon's.


He played bass with a Beatles prototype band and even suggested Beetles as the name of the band - a play on Buddy Holly's Crickets.

Lennon changed the name to the now-famous misspelling.

A gifted artist, Sutcliffe was not a noted musician.

It offers an insight into the very beginnings of one of the biggest and most revered bands in the world and into the man who helped shape them

Mick Fleetwood

When the band played a series of dates in Hamburg in 1960 Sutcliffe met Astrid Kirchherr and he stayed in Germany with her.

Loved ones

He died in 1961 at the age of 21, just as The Beatles were about to get their big break.

The collection for sale includes his private correspondence with the Beatles, together with letters to his family and loved ones.

Paintings, sketches and drawings also feature, as well as many of the photographs taken by Kirchherr of Sutcliffe and the band, his first guitar and other personal artefacts.

The auction will take place from 27 November to 7 December at the memorabilia house founded by Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac.

"It offers an insight into the very beginnings of one of the biggest and most revered bands in the world and into the man who helped shape them," said Fleetwood.

See also:

14 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Beatles album breaks world record
09 Feb 01 | Entertainment
'Missing Beatles tracks' found
13 Nov 00 | New Music Releases
CD Review: The Beatles
16 Sep 01 | Music
'Lost' Beatles show found
12 Jul 01 | Entertainment
Fab Four photographer's display
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