DescriptionBeatles Signed A Hard Day's Night Train Luncheon Menu dated March 4, 1964. A 4.5" x 7" printed menu on cardstock bearing a bold and gorgeous set of Fab Four signatures on the reverse in blue ink: "George Harrison", "Paul McCartney", "John Lennon", and "Ringo Starr" (top to bottom). The menu (with braised steak as the main course) is dated "Wednesday, 4th March, 1964," the third day of filming for this landmark full-length motion picture. The menu is in excellent condition with two original small food stains, one on each side. There are four small strips of a white mounting tape in the corners of the menu side; we did not attempt their removal. A wonderful set of signatures from the height of Beatlemania.
Included with the lot is a creatively-framed display containing high quality color copies of both sides of the menu, a period color pinup photo from a PYX publication (balance of magazine included), and the UK EP sleeve and 45 RPM record from the film. This is a perfect arrangement; the lucky winning bidder can ensconce this valuable and historical collectible in a safe deposit box and still have a terrific wall display with which to impress their friends.
The background story of these autographs is very interesting. The film opens with the Beatles on their way from Liverpool to London by train for a TV show performance. These scenes were the first ones filmed for the movie, starting on March 2, 1964. The rented train left Paddington Station in the morning heading to Minehead, and returned in the evening. It was normal for long distance trains to have a restaurant car, where meals and snacks could be purchased. There are scenes in the film taken in the restaurant car. The Beatles also ate their meals in the car while filming. The movie's publicity director Tony Howard was quoted as saying: "Everything was laid on by the film company to make The Beatles' filming as comfortable as possible. Excellent menus were prepared by the chefs on the train..." (Keith Badman: The Beatles Off the Record- Outrageous Opinions & Unrehearsed Interviews, 2002). The Beatles signed this particular menu at the request of the railway marketing manager required to be present during filming.
The current owner continues the story (copy of letter included): "The menu is not visible in the actual film but can be seen in the extra recorded material provided with the DVD of the film. There is a live scene where the train has stopped at a railway station, which is crowded with mainly female fans. The camera moves from the fans to show the Beatles seated at a restaurant car dining table. The table is set for a meal and what looks like the menu is stood, in its usual position for the period, behind the salt and pepper shakers."
"The menu was raffled amongst railway office workers on behalf of the railway's benevolent fund, a charitable organization, which provides financial aid to railway workers and their families in need. The menu has been in the possession of the same family since it was won in the raffle in 1964. The menu was won in the raffle by the owners' brother-in-law, Lyn Chadwick, who worked for the railway company's marketing division in Cardiff, Wales, in the UK. Soon after the raffle, in 1964, Lyn and the current owners sister, Viv, (Lyn's wife), gave the menu to me, her brother. I was seventeen at that time and an avid Beatles fan, whereas Viv and Lyn were older and not so enchanted with the Beatles. The menu has been in my possession since that time, and arrived in the US, when I immigrated to the US in 2000."
By the way, this particular day of filming produced the hilarious scene where the Beatles run alongside the train as seen out the window of a grumpy passenger and they shout: "Hey mister! Can we have our ball back?" COA from Heritage Auctions. Requires Third Party Shipping.
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