Guitar Aficionado

Beatles’ Help! Jackets Could Bring $117,000 at Auction

George Harrison and Ringo Starr's coats are among the top items in the March event.
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By Christopher Scapelliti

A pair of Beatles coats shown on their Help! album cover will be among the highlights of a March 20 auction of Fab Four memorabilia.

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The garments, worn by George Harrison and Ringo Starr, are expected to fetch as much as $115,000.

The coats come from the private collection of American film director Richard Lester. Lester directed the group in Help! as well as their 1964 film debut, A Hard Day’s Night. The coats have remained in his private collection since filming of Help! concluded in 1965. The Beatles can be seen wearing them during scenes shot in the Austrian Alps.

The items are an iconic part of the Beatles’ look from this period, thanks largely to the distinctive images on the album and movie posters.

Harrison’s coat is a particularly stylish modified trench with large shoulder “wings.” He was reportedly rather taken with the coat and top hat he wore for the Alps scenes.

“Wearing a cape and a top hat,” Harrison told Melody Maker in March 1965. “Shazam! I’m Captain Marvel!”

Serious bidders should remember that Harrison’s leather jacket from the Beatles’ earliest days sold for £110,000 — about $183,000 — at auction in 2012. The same event saw his 1964 custom-made leather “Beatle” boots sell for £61,000 — approximately $100,000 — which was six times their estimated value.

The auction will be presented by Omega Auctions at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool.