“To ‘Doc Gordon’ Thanks for the Jabs” from George Harrison Band-Signed “Meet the Beatles” Thanks Doctor Who
Treated Harrison Before Beatles U.S. Debut on Ed Sullivan.
Hidden away in a stack of records for 47 years, the Beatles album marking the most important event in rock and roll history is being auctioned October 1.
The “Meet the Beatles” album was signed by John, Paul, George and Ringo, with a special inscription added by George, the day before America met the Beatles on the “The Ed Sullivan Show,” February 9, 1964.
George’s inscription was a thank you to Dr. Jules Gordon, the house physician at The Plaza Hotel. Dr. Gordon treated Harrison’s 104-degree fever and raw throat that threatened to keep him from joining the Beatles for their historic Sunday American debut. George was so ill that Beatles’ manager Neil Aspinall had to stand in for him for most of Saturday’s rehearsals.
But Dr. Gordon’s shots and vaporizer treatments started working and George was able to join rehearsals later in the day. George’s sister, Louise, was charged with watching over him until the doctor came back Sunday to check on his recovery.
Knowing how excited his sons would be that he treated one of the Beatles, Dr. Gordon sent someone to get an album, hoping “the Boys” would sign it before he left Saturday. The Beatles were happy to oblige, with an especially grateful George writing:
To “Doc Gordon” Thanks for the Jabs … From George Harrison.
Authenticated by Frank Caiazzo, the world’s most respected Beatles autograph authenticator, it is the only personalized album known that was signed by all four Beatles while they were in New York for the “Ed Sullivan Show.”
While as many as seven “Meet the Beatles” are known to have been signed during this time, this is the only album that clearly commemorates the Beatles’ first American performance—and Dr. Gordon’s pivotal role.
Their appearance on Ed Sullivan was more than the Beatles’ American debut. It launched The British Invasion, which brought a flood of British bands to America, including the groundbreaking likes of The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and The Moody Blues. These top British artists inspired American musicians, much like Elvis, Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry had inspired the British Rockers in the 1950s. Their combined influences changed the sound of rock and roll music forever, making it the dominant music worldwide to this day.
Will it Break $100,000.00 on October 1?
This is only the 15th band-signed U.S. release Beatles album known to exist—and seven of them are “Meet the Beatles.” Dr. Gordon’s family consigned the album to Case Antiques for their October 1 auction, and while their estimate is $40,000 to $45,000, it could bring $100,000-plus. U.S. release Beatles albums generally sell for about $100,000 or more, and the importance of this personalized album means it will likely sell for a substantial premium—whether at the auction or later if the successful bidder offers it for sale.
Dr. Gordon’s family offered the other “Meet the Beatles” they had in Case’s Spring auction last May. That one, which Dr. Gordon had signed for one of his sons but was not inscribed or personalized, sold for $63,250 and is now being offered by the buyer at $125,000. Case is primarily an art and antique auction house, and many Beatles collectors didn’t now the album was being sold. So while it went for a good price, it didn’t bring as much as it likely would have at one of the traditional autograph auction houses.
That’s not likely to happen this time.
Lot 566: Signed Meet The Beatles Album, “Thanks for jabs”
The second of two “Meet the Beatles” albums, autographed by all four band members, from the estate of Dr. Jules Gordon and his direct heirs. Update – On 9/16/2011, Frank Caiazzo, world recognized Beatles autograph expert, inspected this album and verified its authenticity. A document of authenticity from Frank Caiazzo is included in the photographs and will be provided to the winning bidder in addition to an affidavit of authentication from the descendant. The first completely autographed “Meet the Beatles” album from the Gordon family sold in our May 22nd, 2011 auction (lot #281). This is the last remaining album from the Gordon family and is personally inscribed to Dr. Gordon by George Harrison. The inscription reads “To “Doc Gordon” thanks for the JABS from George Harrison” along with the signatures of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr. Original album and album cover. 12-1/4? H x 12-1/4? W. This signed album was given to Dr. Gordon, who treated George Harrison for a sore throat the day before the Beatles American television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. Thomas Buckley noted in the New York Times on Feb. 8, 1964: “Mr. Harrison, who is known as the quiet Beatle, awoke yesterday with a sore throat. He was treated by Dr. Jules Gordon, used a vaporizer and rejoined his colleagues at the studio late in the afternoon. ‘I should be perfect for tomorrow,’ he said.” According to George Harrison’s sister, Louise Caldwell, Harrison’s health was more serious than reported. In “The Beatles Off The Record” by Keith Badman, Caldwell recalled: “The doctor said he couldn’t do the Ed Sullivan Show because he had a temperature of 104. But they pumped him with everything. He was thinking about getting a nurse to administer the medicine, every hour on the hour. Then the doctor suddenly realized that I was there and was his sister and he said to me, ‘Would you see to it? It’s probably just as well that you’re here because I don’t think there’s a single female in the city that isn’t crazy about the Beatles! You’re probably the only one who could function around him normally.’” Dr. Jules Gordon of New York City was the house doctor at the Plaza Hotel from 1942 until 1985. This album, given to one of his direct heirs in 1964, has been with the family ever since and has never before been offered for sale. Condition: Slight overall toning to cover. Wear to upper spine. Some scratching to the album itself.
For more information, go to www.caseantiques.com, email Case Antiques at email@example.com or call them at 865-558-3033.