After 52 years, one more Beatles mystery has been solved.
The original acetate demo of It’s For You, with Paul McCartney on vocals, has been discovered by the late Cilla Black’s relative. Lennon and McCartney wrote the song for their close friend Black, who released it to much success with It’s For You eventually peaking at a #7 chart position. Once Paul had tracked his own version of the song, which was much more like “a waltz” than the arrangement that Black ended up recording, the demo was delivered to London’s The Palladium in 1964, where Black was performing at the time. Then, for reasons unknown, it vanished and has long been thought lost or destroyed.
That is, until a member of Cilla Black’s family stumbled upon a brown envelope with “It’s For You Cilla Black” handwritten on the front. Inside was a 7-inch Dick James demo disc. At first, they assumed it was simply a copy of Black’s hit song as sung by her, and they took it (along with several other Cilla Black demo discs) to be valued by Stephen Bailey, world renowned Beatleshead and manager of The Beatles Shop in Liverpool. As soon as Bailey began to spin the record, he knew what he was hearing.
“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’.
“I was shaking with excitement and speechless. I realised that this was the long lost Beatles demo disc from 1964 and I was probably one of the few people to have seen and heard it in over 50 years. Apart from a few crackles, which you get with acetates, the quality is fine. It’s a wonderful recording.”
The demo is set to be a major attraction at the 25th Liverpool Beatles Memorabilia Auction on Saturday, August 27th, at the Paul McCartney Auditorium in the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Bailey asserts he expects it to fetch between £15,000 to £ 20,000 (~$26,228 – $34,970) at auction. In order to protect the demo’s value, you can’t listen to the whole thing, but you can tune in to a 20-second clip here.
Bailey also implored diehard fans to go on a treasure hunt, lest they be unknowingly harbouring anything as absolutely insane as this: “I urge all Beatles fans to search their bottom drawers and attics where they could have put Beatles memorabilia years ago and forgotten all about them – you just never know what you may find or what it is worth”.
At the very least, we reckon it’s more than worth a dig through your parents’ old stuff. Granted, we’re not all related to Cilla Black, but you never know.