Previously unheard tapes made by Sir Ringo Starr fetch £10,000 in Beatles memorabilia auction

  • Paul Crone reports from the auction

Three rediscovered cassette tapes containing recordings of The Beatles in 1966 have sold for £10,000 at auction.

They were made on Sir Ringo Starr’s personal tape recorder and include clips from the band’s tour of Germany, Japan and the Philippines.

Other highlights at the auction, held at Omega in Newton-le-willows, were a signed copy of the band's 'Please Please Me' LP, which sold for a whopping £24,000.

A belt buckle worn by John Lennon was also on offer, but didn't sell after bidders failed to reach its reserve price.

In Ringo's tapes, the group discuss the importance of their famously short and punchy song structures.There is also a demo of The Beatles’ song Don’t Pass Me By and the sound of Sir Ringo performing on the piano.

  • Listen to the words of Sir Ringo Starr, recorded in Japan in 1966

Another sound bite contains The Beatles manager Brian Epstein discussing how to import valuable goods from Japan to the UK without paying high import taxes

And one of the recordings is from the group’s first trip to India, where they experimented with traditional instruments.

Omega Auctions auction manager Dan Muscatelli-Hampson said: “These tapes are truly a remarkable discovery.

Hours of previously unheard material from such a pivotal period will be of huge interest to Beatles experts, fans and collectors and the fact that they were made by Ringo himself and contain such intimate scenes with the band from the tour is just incredible.

“Not only do we have Ringo figuring out Don’t Pass Me By at the piano, we also may well have the Fab Four experimenting with Indian classical instruments for the first time as well as simply messing around and having a laugh during what was a famously difficult tour. They have to be heard to be believed.”

Paul, John, Ringo and George pictured in 1963 Credit: PA Images

The famous foursome from Liverpool, who formed in 1960, embarked on their last tour in 1966.

The tapes from this period had not previously been published and the current owner only recently investigated their content after purchasing them during a sale several years ago, according to Omega Auctions.

Other Beatles collectables auctioned on Tuesday included photo negatives from the photographer Monte Fresco and film footage of the group in 1964.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...