To our astonishment, Cilla Black’s “It’s For You,” which hit UK Top 10 in 1964, was actually a Beatles original given to Black a year earlier, the demo for which is now selling high at the Beatles Memorabilia Auction in Liverpool.
Surfing through his father’s treasured record collection on a casual day, Cilla Black’s nephew Simon White rallied about 21 discs for appraisal at the Liverpool Beatles Shop. All 21 carried Black (or so it was believed) until White and store owner Stephen Bailey reached the final disk, which miraculously disseminated the familiar voice of Paul McCartney. “We got to the last one and as soon as I heard it I thought: Oh God, that’s not Cilla Black it’s Paul McCartney,” exclaimed an amazed Bailey according to BBC. The two shook with superb excitement as they came to terms with being the first to have heard the original demo in 52 years and holding in hand the only copy of its kind. It was an accidental excavation that disclosed unknown content from a band that stopped producing together ever since its breakup in 1970. Co-written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it was a cordial gift to Black bearing the band’s passion and talent at the height of its career.
Buyers everywhere convened and competed for the seven-inch Dick James acetates, pushing it to a sky rocketing price of £18,000, or £21,060 including commission. To make “It’s For You” really belong to you certainly cost the lucky winner much shot in bucking down an old rendition under two minutes. That being said, there is legitimate reason behind the announced value. For one thing, it is extremely rare to find a unique recording that had not been released and to possess it singlehandedly, apart from the courtesy copy sent to Sir Paul himself. It is another thing that the item comes in perfect condition despite age and wear, and apart from a few scratches, the quality is still very decent. Therefore, the disk not only encapsulates five decades worth of history in memory of the dismembered band, but also serves useful purpose simply as a music encoder, which upon plugging lets flow the melodious “It’s For You” as McCartney accompanies himself on the piano.
Amongst 300 exclusive items biddable, the demo became a highlight for the 25th annual auction hosted by the Beatles Shop on Matthew Street. Along with a signed Parlophone promotional card capped at £30,000, it set the bar for “17 rare, valuable or just plain wacky lots you could bid for at the auction on Saturday”. Other quirky items included Paul’s teenage pencil sketches (£6-7,000), Rory’s six-string acoustic guitar (£5- 6,000), Ringo’s Comme Des Garcons jacket (£3,000-£3,750), a signed autograph package (£1,900-£2,200), Ringo’s sick notes and employment records (£900-£1,500), and the list cheapened from there.
Above all, the newly discovered property incorporated a snippet of the 1960s Beatles frenzy, in addition to paying tribute to the recently deceased Cilla Black, as if proudly proclaiming that her legacy will live in light of the good old Beatle days.