Talk about a magical mystery tour! How loo roll heiress Davinia ended up with a £1million notebook that reveals secrets of The Beatles’ best songs
- Handwritten lyrics of The Beatles’ song Hey Jude are to go on public view
- Words scribbled by Paul McCartney in book owned by band’s personal assistant
- Now valued at more than £1million, jotter also features drawings by Sir Paul
For many music lovers, Hey Jude remains one of the most iconic recordings in the canon of popular song.
Now, more than five decades after its release, the handwritten lyrics of The Beatles’ 1968 classic are to go on public view for the first time.
The words were scribbled down by Paul McCartney in a notebook owned by the band’s personal assistant, Mal Evans.
Now valued at more than £1million, the jotter – which also features drawings by Sir Paul – was given to actress-turned-author Davinia Taylor as a 21st birthday present.
The notebook, which is valued at more than £1million, was given to actress-turned-author Davinia Taylor as a 21st birthday present
The notebook has been lent to The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool, where it will go on display from February 22
It was bought by her tycoon father Alan Murphy at a Sotheby’s auction for £100,000 in 1998 because at the time she played a character called Jude in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks.
Now Ms Taylor has lent it to The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool, where it will go on display from Tuesday, February 22.
Among the other entries, there are also partial lyrics for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, recording notes by George Harrison for All You Need Is Love, as well as lyrics for a number of other songs, including Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!, Good Morning Good Morning and All Together Now.
There is also an early draft of the design for the bass drum featured on the Sgt Pepper album cover, and a small sketch by Sir Paul of Ringo Starr with a beard and long hair.
Described as the ‘ultimate memento’, the item was put up at a Sotheby’s rock and pop memorabilia auction by Mr Evans’s widow in 1998.
Depressed and taking prescription medication, he was shot dead by Los Angeles police in 1976 after brandishing an air rifle.
It was subsequently purchased by Liverpool toilet roll tycoon Mr Murphy for his daughter.
Recalling the moment her father called to tell her about her milestone present, Ms Taylor said: ‘My dad was bidding on a phone auction and there was someone from America also trying to buy it.
The words were scribbled down by Paul McCartney in a notebook owned by the band’s personal assistant, Mal Evans
The lyrics to the The Beatles’ 1968 classic were scribbled down by Paul McCartney
The bass drum design (left) to feature on the Sgt Pepper album cover and the drum that was used (right)
‘There was no way he would let this leave Liverpool and go overseas, so my dad started increasing his bid and it eventually went up to £100,000.
‘He called me to tell me he had bought it for me for my 21st birthday present, the link being that I was playing a character called Jude Cunningham in Hollyoaks.
‘My birthday was a few weeks away and I was doing a night shoot.
‘My dad was a couple of bottles of wine in and he rang to explain what he had bought. I couldn’t believe it.’ The song was written by Sir Paul to comfort John Lennon’s young son Julian after his father left home to move in with future wife Yoko Ono.
Ms Taylor, 44, explained that she was forbidden from touching the book, with her late mother telling her it was a ‘priceless piece of art’ and that it had to remain under lock and key for insurance purposes.
If it was ever opened, gloves had to be worn to ensure it wasn’t damaged.
There is also a small sketch by Sir Paul of Ringo Starr with a beard and long hair
Ms Taylor said her friend Jude Law – a fellow member of the notorious Primrose Hill celebrity set in the Nineties – was envious of the book and admitted to her that he would like to buy it because of the connection with his own name.
The page featuring McCartney’s Hey Jude lyrics in red will be on show at the museum at Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock, with the rest of the book in a digitised form allowing fans to turn the pages.
The book also featured a page where Evans wrote down the equipment needed for the Sgt Pepper song, including a painted piano for John Lennon, a tea trolley, a harpsichord, a ‘Burt Lancaster rifle’ and ‘Sergeant Pepper buttons’.
Ms Taylor, who named one of her four sons Jude, added: ‘This is a piece of rock’n’roll history which needs to be returned to its home city… to be seen by Beatles fans. I also want to support the tourism industry in the North West, which has suffered so badly due to Covid.’
Go to beatlesstory.com to buy tickets.
Mal Evan’s notebook will be on display at The Beatles Story Liverpool at Royal Albert Dock Liverpool from 22nd February 2022. For more information and to book a ticket, please visit https://www.beatlesstory.com/
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