Missing Tablecloth, With Doodles By The Beatles, Returned After 55 Years

Missing Tablecloth, With Doodles By The Beatles, Returned After 55 Years
Fecha de publicación: 
25 October 2022
Imagen principal: 

Los Angeles: A tablecloth that all four members of The Beatles doodled on before a 1966 show has been returned to its California owners -- more than five decades after it was stolen.

The one-of-a-kind souvenir was created by the Fab Four as they feasted on steak ahead of a concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco -- their last ticketed performance.

The food had been provided by local caterer Joe Vilardi, whose tablecloth got defaced by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, along with folk singer Joan Baez.

But instead of washing his white linen, Vilardi put it on display in his shop window -- from where it was swiped in an overnight burglary less than a week later.

Over 50 years of not-so-magical mystery ended in 2021 when Vilardi's grandson, Michael Vilardi, received a phone call from Texas.

"It was a lady... asking if our family had a catering business in San Francisco, and I had a feeling she was going to know something about the tablecloth," he told AFP.

"Her brother had the tablecloth and didn't know what to do with it and just held it for all these years," he said.

This man had received it as payment of a debt from someone who told him it was valuable, Vilardi said.

"He tried to sell it but since it was stolen he might have run into problems, so his sister convinced him to return it."

The tablecloth, well preserved during its long absence, was soon back in Vilardi's hands.

"It was quite an emotional moment because we never knew we'd ever see this thing again, and we'd all grown up hearing the story. But none of us had ever seen the tablecloth."

Now the unique piece of Beatles history, which features Lennon's drawing of a sunset in yellow crayon and a series of sketched portraits by McCartney and Baez, as well as signatures of Starr and Harrison, is going under the hammer in an online auction.

Auctioneers Bonhams estimate it could fetch up to $25,000 by the time the auction closes on October 19.

The Candlestick Park gig came at the end of a summer tour of North America and marked the final time the British megastars would play a concert, all apparently having tired of the "Beatlemania" they endured wherever they travelled.

Despite having broken up more than half a century ago, The Beatles continue to cast a long shadow over music and culture.

Memorabilia attracts interest from a fan base that spans generations.

In 2015, the first recording contract signed by The Beatles was sold at a New York auction for $75,000.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.