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Friday, 16 November, 2001, 18:55 GMT
Beatles' stage to be auctioned
John Lennon and Paul McCartney
John and Paul's meeting would change the course of pop
The village hall stage where John Lennon first met Paul McCartney in 1957 is to be auctioned.

The stage from St Peter's Church Hall in Woolton is expected to fetch 50,000 in December's sale, according to auctioneers Fleetwood Owen.

Also going under the hammer is the Bechstein grand piano used to record 1968's White Album and Hey Jude.

Fleetwood Owen expect the Trident studios Bechstein grand - also used by Elton John, David Bowie, Queen and Supertramp - to fetch up to 350,000.

Renovation

The sale of the Woolton stage met protests from some Beatles fans who felt it should remain as it was.

But Canon John Roberts of St Peter's Church said the hall needed renovation.

"You cannot do 21st century work in a Victorian building any more. The money raised will be spent on the hall." he said.

The stage was where Lennon was playing with his group the Quarrymen on 6 July 1957 when he was first introduced to McCartney.

Together they became two of the 20th century's most influential composers and, with The Beatles, changed pop music forever. 'Impeccable'

Auctioneer Ted Owen said: "The stage is one of the most impeccable pieces to come up for auction because of the meeting between Lennon and McCartney.

"It is a piece of post-war history."

Another Beatle rarity which will be on offer at next month's auction is George Harrison's first guitar, expected to fetch up to 50,000.

Harrison described the guitar as "a real cheapo, a horrible little guitar - but it was okay at the time".

The high prices expected for the artifacts show that for some fans, Beatlemania shows no signs of flagging - more than three decades after the group split up.

See also:

13 Nov 01 | Music
Fifth Beatle's artwork on show
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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