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    Description

    THE BEATLES AT THEIR COMPASSIONATE BEST

    The Beatles-to-The Family Dog (San Francisco) 1968 Western Union Telegram. A very unusual, unique and super-collectible item from November 19, 1968, three days before the Beatles' White Album was released in the U.K.: a telegram from the Fab Four to San Francisco concert promoter Chet Helms, whose Family Dog enterprise was faltering financially and about to go under.

    "We hear you are having difficulty," the telegram reads. "You know you have our support and our love for what you and yours represent. [Signed] John Paul George Ringo (The Beatles)." Above that a light-purple-ink diagonal stamp reads, "1968 NOV 19 PM 4 19".

    It's a touching outreach by the Beatles, who were obviously aware of the importance of the Bay-Area music scene thousands of miles away, and everything it stood for. George Harrison had been the only group member to immerse himself in the scene personally, for one day, and reportedly didn't have that good a time. It's nice to see this telegram temper that impression a bit.

    As with many other items in this auction, this telegram comes from the personal archives of Bob Cohen, the man who co-owned the Family Dog and ran it with Chet Helms from early 1966 until the firm's demise in late 1968. Measures 8 ½" x 5 ½" and grades to Very Good condition. COAs from Bob Cohen and from Heritage Auctions.

    To view Bob Cohen's biography, "A Patriarch of the San Francisco Scene," please click here.


    More Information: Telegram was folded several times back in the day, but the folds are singular, fortuitously placed, and break no color. One horizontal crease goes across the telegram right above the line "We hear you are having difficulty" and finally touches a letter at the "T" in "Support." Vertical crease on the telegram's left half is the lightest of all, barely discernable. Then there's one down the middle, touching the "N" in "Western" and "G" in "Telegram," and down through the last parentheses in "(Beatles)." Next one goes through the "I" in "Union" but then misses all letters on its way down. And the far-right crease goes between the "I" and "S" in "Francisco."


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    8th-9th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 38
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