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Meet Stan Panenka, owner of the 'ultimate' Beatles collection

Stan Panenka wears a lot of hats these days. He’s an author, a caregiver and an entrepreneur. And, oh yeah, there’s that little thing about his one-of-a-kind Beatles collection.

By Susan Sliwicki

Stan Panenka wears a lot of hats these days. He’s an author, a caregiver for his mom and an entrepreneur who just opened an auction house. And, oh yeah, there’s that little thing about his one-of-a-kind Beatles collection — and a title he proclaims with pride on his web site, Goldmine caught up with Stan to get the scoop on his collection.

Beatles Collector Stan Panenka

Stan Panenka of Rancho Cordova, Calif., has been collecting Beatles records for decades.

What do you do for a living?
Stan Panenka: I am now retired from working for the state of California as a computer programmer analyst. I currently am a caregiver for my mom. I thank God every day that my mom is still alive. She took good care of me when I was small, so now I don’t mind one bit doing the same for her.
I recently opened an auction house called Fab Four Auctions. The function of the auction house is to buy, sell and take in quality consignments for an auction. I plan on having two auctions a year. The house mainly deals in Beatle records and Beatle memorabilia, but we are willing to take good quality items from other artists. All profits are going to go toward buying that special house for my mom.
I hope that all who read this article will consider participating in my auctions by either consigning items with the auction house and/or put in some serious bids when you see stuff in the auction that you want.

What was the very first record that you bought as a kid? Do you still enjoy it?
SP: The very first record that I ever bought was the Beatles “Hey Jude” album in 1970. Yes, I still have it in my personal collection, though it is not in the condition that I accept a record or a picture sleeve to be in. For a record or a picture sleeve to be added to my personal collection, it must be in my Near Mint or better condition. I grade a bit tougher then most collectors/dealers do. One well-known dealer had told me the following and has probably told numerous collectors the same thing, too: “There is Near Mint condition and then there is Stanified Near Mint condition.” I only keep it because it was the first record that I ever bought.

Beatles Hey Jude record

The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” was the first record Stan Panenka ever bought. He still has the record. Photo courtesy Heritage Auctions.

Given that your website is and you’ve stated your goal has been to become the No. 1 Beatles fan of all time, we’re going to hazard a guess that The Beatles are probably your favorite group. Which musical act would win runner-up status with you?
SP: Jolly good guess! The Beatles is my favorite artist of all-time! The runner-up would be The Rolling Stones. The reason why I like the Stones so much is because of their great music.

Have you had any challenges to your title as owner of the absolute finest quality American Beatles record collection? If so, how many? And how did those challenges pan out?
SP: First off, I want to say that the only reason why I had issued the challenge to anyone in the first place is because my attorney had told me that I had made several statements on my website stating that my copy of whatever titles we were discussing was the best one, and I had told him that everyone who knew about my collection had told me that my example of that title and also that my collection was the best one for American Beatle records. He kept on telling me that I had to remove that info. So I had decided that was enough.

I know that not all of my pieces are the best examples. However, I do have many records and sleeves that are known to be the best example of that title, and that as a collection, it is the finest-quality American Beatles record collection that is known that exists.
No, I have had no challengers to my crown yet. I was told by some very well-known dealers that there would be no challengers. These dealers know most of the longtime collectors who have really good Beatle record collections.

I have had several longtime collectors ring me up and tell me that they have a good collection or thought that they had a good collection until they had seen my website. They all told me that their collection is nowhere near as good as mine is. Several years ago, one longtime collector had told me that he had never dreamed that such a collection would have existed. He estimated the odds to be billions to one. I have since added several pieces to my collection! Some of those pieces are significant, including the Lennon Butcher album.

My entire collection is not showcased on my website. I have many records and sleeves that are not there. Many of these were taken down a year ago or so. I wanted to change my website a bit. I added John Lennon’s personal Butcher album just for show. I had asked numerous dealers and longtime collectors to get their opinion to see if they would agree with me that this is the most valuable record in the hobby. All of them didn’t hesitate when they gave their emphatic “Yes!” responses.

The Lennon Butcher album, which is signed by three of the Beatles, is the famous Butcher album that Dave Morrell got from John on Dec. 7, 1971, and is one “ace in the hole” that I had in my collection. Before I had put it up on my website, very few people knew I owned this piece. I have many more “aces in the hole,” just in case someone wants to challenge me. Those “aces in the hole” are significant pieces, as you might suspect! I will not divulge what those significant pieces are. I am sure that longtime collectors and dealers can “imagine” what some of them could be ...

What comprises your collection? Is it Beatles American pressings only, or do you enjoy collecting imports, picture sleeves, etc.? How many Beatles LPs, singles and picture sleeves? What role, if any, does Beatles-related memorabilia play in your collection?
SP: I mainly collect American pressings. I am not much interested in foreign records, with the exception that if I was offered a Near Mint to Mint very first pressing of the British album “Please Please Me,” I would be interested in buying it at the right price. I am interested in obtaining both the mono and the stereo versions.

I have never counted how many albums, singles, picture sleeves and EPs I have in my personal collection. I would give a good educated guess that I have around 450 pieces. My collection mainly focuses on 1960s records, where I have most titles and variations of a certain title where appropriate. I have some records from the 1970s and beyond.

Ninety-seven percent of the records and picture sleeves that are in my personal collection range from my Near Mint condition to Mint condition.

I collect some Beatles memorabilia. It consists of mostly original record surveys. I do have some complete Billboard and Cashbox magazines. I am interested in purchasing certain issues that are complete and in good condition of Billboard and Cashbox magazines.
I collect 1960s music surveys. I have approximately 100. My main interest is in 1964, especially February 1964. I do have a number of sealed albums from the 1960s of some of my favorite artists.

What do you enjoy the most about your collection? What, if anything, do you find least enjoyable about having the collection (i.e. dusting it, taking inventory, etc.)?
SP: I enjoy having the best condition of the rarest American Beatles records and picture sleeves. Each record and picture sleeve that I have purchased has provided me with a thrill. Some pieces gave more of a thrill than others. I store my personal collection in bank vaults located at various banks. By doing this, I don’t have to worry about dust, theft, fire, floods, etc. I don’t like to handle my records. Even though I am very careful with them, I can still damage them by dropping them. I have a real good memory of what they look like, so I don’t really need to handle them. I never handle them just to look at them.

When I go through my records and picture sleeves in my mind, they bring back such great memories of my childhood. To me, records should be collected for historical purposes rather than just looking to make a buck off of them. Of course, some records have more historical value than others. For example, the commercial “My Bonnie” on the Decca label is historically significant in the fact that this is The Beatles’ first single that was issued in the states. It bombed, and so there are now so very few copies that exist.
I can’t think of anything that I least enjoy.

What is the most unusual item in your collection?
SP: To me the most unusual item that I have in my collection is a mono Butcher album where the front cover appears to be a First State cover and the back of the cover is a trunk cover instead of the regular back, which showed what songs are on the album and photos of other Beatles albums. Included is a butcher cover on stock paper that appears to have been steamed off. It appears that they were done this way and glued into one piece at the factory. Very interesting and unusual!

Which item in your collection would be the most difficult to part with, and why?
SP: Taking into consideration only the records and picture sleeves that are in my collection that the general collecting public has knowledge of it would easily be John Lennon’s personal Butcher album. John is my favorite Beatle. Can you imagine holding in your hands “the holy grail” of all the records in the world, and it so happens to be a record that your favorite artist owned at one time and it was autographed by three of the Beatles?! I remember the first time when I held it in my hands and I looked at it. I actually had a few tears in my eyes. I just could not believe what I was holding in my hands! FAB INDEED AT THE TOPOFPOPOFMOST!!!!

You’ve mentioned that your quest is to buy the best of the best. What Beatles record have you bought (and sold and re-bought) the most times in your efforts to find the finest quality recording possible? Or did you choose not to buy anything until you found “the one”?
SP: I did not do what most collectors do and/or did, and that is to upgrade. I waited until the right piece came along. Of course, I am still waiting for the rest that I need! Some I probably won’t see in my lifetime. I only buy records that are in my Near Mint or better condition. In my collecting career, I have had numerous collectors and dealers attempt to sell me less than Near Mint pieces. This occurred especially in the late 1990s when collectors found out who I was and what I was doing. I had many of the rarest records and picture sleeves offered to me, but they were not in the condition that I wanted them to be in, so they did not “pass the audition.” Any record or sleeve that I buy that is in my top 40 MUST be in at least my Near Mint condition and it MUST be the best condition piece known that exists. NO EXCEPTIONS.

The other records and picture sleeves that I have bought that are in my personal collection which are not in my top 40 did not have to be the best one. Just as long as it is in at least my Near Mint condition that would “pass the audition,” but I still wanted them to be in Mint condition, if possible. It just happened that I got lucky and obtained many Mint examples.
One of my main goals in collecting is to obtain the example that is verifiable the best example of a title or variation of that title that is in my Top 40. The Top 40 is where the “power” lies in a Beatle record collection.

The Beatles and Frank Ifield

“The Beatles and Frank Ifield” album is one Stanley Panenka is still seeking for his collection — in top condition, of course. This NM copy sold for $19,120 in October 2005 via Heritage Auction Galleries.

Which, if any, Beatles 45, picture sleeve or LP was your “white whale” when it came to not only finding it, but also obtaining it for your collection?
SP: There isn’t any one item that I am still looking for or any one item that I have obtained that I must have. My goal was to get every title and every variation of that title — if there are any variations — in at least Near Mint condition. I am still looking for a verified best copy of the following:
• “Hear The Beatles Tell All” promotional album;
• “Introducing The Beatles” Version 1, stereo, Blank Back album;
• “The Beatles & Frank Ifield On Stage” (Portrait cover), mono.

I have been looking to obtain them since Day One. They are very important to me because these are in my top 40.

I know that I will probably not be able to achieve my goal in this life. Some titles and variations of those titles are very hard to find in my Near Mint condition. If I were to accept the rest of the records that I am missing in at least VG++ condition, then I would probably have all of them within the next year or two. But that is not acceptable to me.

What’s your favorite collecting-related memory?
SP: My favorite collecting-related memory is when I held John Lennon’s personal butcher album in my hands for the first time.

The Beatles and Murray The K As It Happened

Murray The K would be Stan Panenka’s ideal time traveling companion, because he always had the inside scoop. This EX/VG-condition disc and picture sleeve copy of “As It Happened” sold for $334.60 at auction. Photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries.

If you could go back in time to spend a day with any (or all of) The Beatles, who would you choose to visit, and when and why? What do you hope to be able to see/do/observe that day?
SP: That is easy. Feb. 9, 1964! I would hang around with Murray The K. As you know, he was able to get complete access to all of The Beatles and their events. By hanging with Murray, I would be able to meet and have conversations with all of The Beatles, George Martin and Brian Epstein, and get their autographs on both “Introducing The Beatles” and “Meet The Beatles!” (yep, both mono and stereo versions for both albums), along with the “I Want To Hold Your Hand” commercial picture sleeve. I am sure that he could also arrange for me to meet Ed Sullivan that day. Of course, I would get lucky and get a ticket to ride to see them perform at the Ed Sullivan Theater later that night!

During the day, I would be walking the streets, observing what Beatlemania was like in New York City, and I would visit WMCA and 1010 WINS radio stations so that I could meet and talk to the deejays who were there. Of course, I would get their autographs, as well! I would be observing how Beatlemania affected these two radio stations. I would ask the deejays at WMCA if I can get one of those special sleeves that they give out to winners of a contest and have them autograph that sleeve. (What I am referring to here is the very rare WMCA Good Guys picture sleeve). Of course, I would visit some good record stores to buy what else — all of the Beatles albums that I could get my hands on!

Oh, I forgot to mention this: If I ever went back there, I am NOT coming back here. I belong in the 1960s. For me, most of the best of times were in the 1960s. Best music, best sports (better players and they played for the love of the game, not for the love of the money) best TV programs, all of my relatives and friends were living; I had literally TONS OF FUN. The 1960s is what’s happening, baby!

What’s your all-time favorite Beatles song, and why?
SP: That is an easy one! “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Before the Beatles came along, I liked many artists and many songs, but I never had a favorite song and/or artist. One day in December 1963, I was listening to radio station KXOA here in Sacramento when I first heard the song “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” After I heard that song, it became my favorite song and the Beatles became my favorite artist. I remember telling my mom after I first heard that song that The Beatles are going to be the greatest — better than Elvis. Later on, I found out that Brian Epstein had said the same thing. Even today, that song and The Beatles are still my favorite song/artist of all-time. This of course will NEVER CHANGE. Great song!

In my opinion, that song is the most important song in rock history. The songs “Please Please Me,” “From Me To You” and “She Loves You” are all great songs, yet they all flopped. That song gave the Beatles their first No. 1 hit here in America. It was especially handy, since they were coming here on Feb. 7, 1964. It opened the doors for The Beatles, who then conquered America. They then went on to change music for the best forever. The Beatles opened the doors for countless artists!

What’s your system for organizing, storing and insuring your collection? Is there a certain “must-have” storage product you simply can’t do without? If so, what is it, and why do you like it?
SP: I keep all of my records in an upright position and in rice paper sleeves. The covers are also stored in an upright position and in the Japanese outer plastic sleeves. I have all of my collection in various banks in the vaults.

I like rice paper sleeves because they won’t scratch a record when you put it in and take it out of the sleeve which of course is unlike the regular paper sleeves that were used.

Have you ever suffered a loss to your collection? If yes, how did you deal with it? How did you change your collecting or storage methods? And what do you wish you could’ve done differently, if anything, to avoid the problem?
SP: Thank God that there was only one occurrence where one record that I had was either “borrowed” by someone or misplaced by me. I have never found it. However, I found a replacement this year. It was not a significant title, and it is worth less than $1,000, but it was one of the rarer variations of a title. I have read and heard about some really sad stories about what had happened to some people’s collections. Believe me, I thank my lucky stars that this happened just once and that I could find a replacement.

I would say that you have to watch people a little closer. It is hard to trust anyone these days.

Do you ever actually play any of the records that are in your collection? Or are they simply to enjoy as artifacts, and you have CDs or “playing only” records that you enjoy when you want to listen to the music?
SP: No, I never play a record that is in my personal collection. I do own a set of albums that go from “Introducing The Beatles” (both mono and stereo) through “Hey Jude.” I have all of the Capitol albums in both mono and stereo. Yes, they are first pressings, too! They are in VG++ condition, so they still sound really good, and I don’t have to worry about damaging them in anyway. If I happen to drop a disc and it cracks or breaks, that album can easily be replaced.

In addition to that I have TONS of Beatle CDs that I listen to.

The Beatles Record Price Guide by Stanley Panenka

Stan Panenka, author of this Beatles record price guide published in 2011, is already making plans for another book to be released on Feb. 7, 2014 — the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ arrival in the United States.

What lessons or tips would you offer to anyone seeking to build a collection like yours?
SP: I don’t think that there will ever be another collection like mine, and neither do any of the other vast number of dealers and collectors who know about me. There can only be one best collection, and I have it. However, I will gladly offer tips and lessons on how to build a pretty good collection.

For starters, you need to have a large bankroll. It has now become a rich man’s game and will continue to be in the future. Rare records and rare picture sleeves that cost a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars in the 1990s have skyrocketed to be worth tens of thousands of dollars in today’s market. A very good Beatles record collection should have many if not most of the records and picture sleeves that are in my top 40.

Buy only records and picture sleeves that are in at least Near Mint condition. You can make some exceptions if you want, but stick pretty much with Near Mint or better-condition items. Condition is and will continue to be PARAMOUNT. I can’t emphasize enough about condition. Buying Beatle records is like buying real estate. When it comes to real estate, it is location, location, location. When it comes to Beatle records it is condition, condition, condition. Near Mint or better-condition Beatles records will keep going up in value. This especially holds true for the rarest ones. Records and picture sleeves that are in VG++ condition or are in lesser condition are going down in value and will continue to do so. The rarest ones will probably hold their value or go up some, but the rest will continue to go down in value. This especially holds true for the common titles. Most collectors these days are condition conscientious. There are literally TONS of Beatle records in VG+ or lesser condition! Beatle records were meant to be played and not collected! That is why Beatle records in my Near Mint or better condition are truly rare to see, even with the common titles. There is nothing common about finding an original 1960s Beatle record in my Near Mint or better condition!

Buy only from well-known collectors and dealers. I can think of two right off the bat here. John Tefteller and I have been in the hobby for well over 20 years. We are honest people who have the collector’s interest at heart. We also know how to properly grade records and picture sleeves. That is very important. I recently opened up an auction house named Fab Four Auctions. Fab Four Auctions buys, sells and accepts consignments. I am the front man there. I have numerous connections in the hobby. If you are looking for certain records and picture sleeves, I probably can assist you.
Learn how to properly grade records and picture sleeves. I can’t emphasize this enough! Collectors need to know how to properly grade records and picture sleeves so that when they buy them, they know what the true condition of that item is. Grading is subjective, and I can tell you that I have rejected more than 80 percent of the items that have been offered to me. The seller tells me that a certain item is Near Mint, but when I get it and I examine it, usually it is in lesser condition. There is no sense in paying for over-graded records. That especially holds true when you pay thousands of dollars for a record. People over-grade their stuff for a variety of reasons. The main reason why it is so important that you learn how to properly grade a record and you stick to dealers and collectors who do is because chances are one day you are going to sell your collection for whatever reason. When you go to sell your collection, if it is over-graded, you are going to get a lot less money for your collection because you bought over-graded records.

You need to protect and store your records properly. All records and sleeves need to be stored in an upright position, not flat. All discs (records) need to be stored in a rice paper sleeve. That way, when you take out a disc and put it back in, you don’t have to worry about scuffing or scratching it. Rice paper sleeves don’t scuff or scratch a disc, unlike the regular paper sleeves, which can if you are not careful. For albums, the disc needs to be outside of the cover. The reason is that over time, the disc can cause a record impression or even slight ring wear. It is best to put the disc behind the album cover, and both should be in one of those outer plastic covers. Bags Unlimited is probably the best place to buy what you need to protect your records (see their ads on pages 4 and 76). I am sure that they would be happy to assist you.

Some words of advice: It is best not to handle your records unless you need to. That way, you avoid damaging them. Never play your records. Playing your records over time will cause the sheen to wear away. Also, it is possible that you can accidentally drop the needle on the disc, or the needle will all of a sudden go across the record while the record is playing — I have seen this happen first hand — or you can drop the disc.

I think that this hobby really needs someone who is an expert and who knows how to grade records and sleeves properly to offer this service. That being stated, I am going to start a grading service in hopes that I can standardize things. When people who don’t know how to properly grade records buy records that are over graded and then go to sell them and lose money because of that, it gives the hobby a black mark. It hurts all of us. They then broadcast to their friends that they got ripped off. We could — and I believe that we do — lose potential collectors because of this every day. Contact me if you want an expert who knows how to properly grade stuff. I will charge a low fee for my service, but it will be worth every penny of it.

Pick up a good price guide. This means not just any price guide. You need a price guide that is pretty accurate. I recently authored the new Beatles record price guide. It has 232 pages that have tons of large photos of records and picture sleeves (most of the rare records and rare picture sleeves have photos), and the printing is big enough so that it is very easy to read. There is a description and a price for most records and picture sleeves. It also includes my Top 40 records and picture sleeves. Please remember that it is a price guide. What you will pay for a given record or picture sleeve will be determined by many factors which are specified in the book. This also holds true when someone goes to sell their records. So far, from the many opinions that I or my publisher have received, all have been very positive. If you are interested in purchasing my Beatles record price guide book you can purchase a copy from my publisher (Osbourne Enterprises Publishing).

What was the first big-ticket item you purchased to add to your collection? How long had you been seeking it out, and how, when and where did you finally acquire it? It is still part of your collection, or have you since sold it off?
SP: I remember it as if it was yesterday. The very first big-ticket item that I purchased for my collection was the commercial “My Bonnie” single on the Decca label that is still in my collection today. I got it in October 1990, when a dealer mailed a list of the records that he had for sale to me. When I got home from work one day in October 1990, I had seen that I got the list of records that he had for sale, so I opened his letter and found that he had that record on his list. So I rang him up and acquired it! It is still the best-known copy. It does have a date stamp that was done at the factory. That stamp represents a very historic date. Yes, usually any kind of stamping or writing on the label does cause a record to lose some value, but in this case — and I told the person who I was buying it from — that to me this is an exception to the rule, because it is their very first record. I believe it adds a very nice premium to the value of the record. In my opinion, only a true Mint copy can beat it. It was on my “most wanted list” since Day One!

I NEVER will sell individual pieces from my collection. If I ever offer it again to anyone, they will have to buy the whole collection. In the past, I have received offers from collectors for some of my records and picture sleeves that were close to if not “sky is the limit.” They tried their best to get me to break up my collection, but I stood my ground and rejected their offers. If I was breaking up my collection I would have accepted those offers.

Recently, I received great offers for my Mint mono open “Sgt. Pepper’s” album for $1,700 and my Mint mono “Songs, Pictures and Stories” album for $3,600. I rejected both offers, because I am not ever going to break up the best ever American Beatle record collection. To me, it would be a crime to do so just for money. If my collection was just a good collection, I would probably be willing to break it up. Having the best American Beatle record collection is so special, you just don’t do that to it.

What’s your collecting motto/philosophy?
SP: You can always make the money, but not the records. When you see something that you need for your collection, don’t hesitate to spend the money that it takes to get that item. You will not regret it, especially if it is a rare record. Depending what it is, it is quite possible that you may not get another chance. Sure, it might cost a lot, and as long as it is not an insane price, get it, because you may never get another chance to buy it again. I have paid over market value numerous times to get the best of the best. You have to realize that there is a premium attached to buying the best of the best. I never hesitated to do so knowing that I may never get another chance at getting that particular copy, and if I did have another chance at getting it later on, it probably will cost me more money. My goal is to have the best, so I always spend what it takes to get that item — unless, of course it is such an insane price.

What are the two or three most-prized items in your collection?
SP: It is too tough to list just two or three prized items. I have to include on this list the commercial “My Bonnie” single on the Decca label and my factory sealed First State mono Butcher album. I consider my copy of the First State mono Butcher album, which is a Scranton pressing, (No. 3 on the back) the best condition copy that is known to exist since it is in perfect condition. Other highlights:
• John Lennon’s personal Butcher album;
• “Introducing The Beatles” stereo Ad Back album;
• “Anna”/“Ask Me Why” (Vee-Jay Special Deejay No. 8) promotional single;
• “My Bonnie” single on the Decca label; and
• Factory sealed First State mono Butcher album.

Who’s your favorite record store operator/dealer and why?
SP: I can think of several good record dealers, but the one guy who comes to mind is John Tefteller. He is a guy who is very easy to deal with, who is honest and has the collector’s interest at heart. John and I have become good friends over the years. We’ve known each other now for 15 years.

Anything else you’d like to add?
SP: Collecting Beatle records can be fun and at the same time profitable. I collect for preserving the history and personal satisfaction rather than the opportunity to make a lot of money. You don’t have to be a serious collector if you don’t want to. If you want to buy lower-grade stuff just so you could have it, that is good, too. It is fun collecting Beatle records, and it gives you the opportunity to meet many people. However, you have to be careful, because there are some “bad apples” out there who try to ruin it for everyone else.

As long as you stick to well-known collectors and dealers, you should be OK.
I have been collecting Beatles records for 25 years now. The Beatles have been a BIG part of my life. I have made many sacrifices, including both personal as well as financial over the years, as I was building my incredible collection. I did not make that much money while I was working for the state. I still had bills to pay just like everyone else. Yet, that didn’t matter to me. I was so determined to build the best American Beatles record collection that there would ever be that I was willing to make those sacrifices. Nothing was going to stop me. Each purchase of a Beatle record that I have made over the years that went into my personal Beatle record collection has always been gratifying to me. Holding that record, which is in Near Mint or Mint condition in my hands and looking at it, thinking about the history of that record and that era, is so cool to me. It takes me back to where I want to be.

Some people ask me what is going to happen to my collection once the bubble burst (I pass away and go back to the 1960s). I tell them that I was told by someone that Paul McCartney was interested in my collection several years ago and that he wanted to see a website and a printed catalog. At that time, I had neither. That someone had told me that they had contacted Apple, and a manager at Apple told him that he was indeed interested. A year or so later when I did have my website and a printed catalog, I contacted Apple. I found out that Paul had fired everyone, including that manager, and when I explained to them who I was and what I had and that Paul was interested, nobody there believed who I was and what I was saying. I believe that someone was telling me the truth. I have also contacted a few people who know Paul and how to contact Paul, but they were not willing give out that info or tell Paul about me. Some of those people know who I am. Maybe one day Paul and I will “Come Together.” Another possibility is that my incredible collection could end up at the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. I was told by someone who knows someone there that they know who I am and that they have an interest in “borrowing” my amazing collection. So we shall see.

In my heart I have always thought that I am the Beatles No. 1 fan. What were the Beatles about? Singing and selling records. Well, that is a big part of it, anyway. Besides, with my Beatles record collection, I have my own “Beatlefest” that happens every February and goes until the end of April. What happens here is that I play TONS of Beatle CDs and DVDs that I have. I am a first-generation Beatles fan. I have seen all of the Ed Sullivan shows where The Beatles were part of the show when they first originally aired on TV. I remember watching the first Ed Sullivan show that aired on TV Sunday night, Feb. 9, 1964, and the very next day in school, many of my classmates were changing or were going to change the way they looked. Once Beatlemania bites you, there is no cure for it, and I certainly don’t want to be cured, anyway!

I am currently working on my next Beatles record price guide. It is due out on exactly Feb. 7, 2014. That is, of course, 50 years to the day that the Beatles arrived here in the U.S. My book is going to have a 1964 flavor to it. I am looking to get in touch with deejays and musicians who were there in that era. If you know any deejay or musician who was there, please pass the word. If you are a deejay and/or a musician who was there and you are reading this, please contact me. I would be interested in having you in my book.

The intention here is NOT to make money off of their name, but to educate people on Beatlemania and how it influenced their lives. I feel that the stories and the insight that these deejays and musicians have needs to be shared and passed down to the younger generations before it is too late — how the radio format of the Top 40-era was as compared to how it is today (apples and oranges) as well as how Beatlemania was and how it influenced their lives. We have already lost a vast number of these people who were there. I feel that it is very important that this gets done.

I am so glad that there are some air checks from the 1960s. I plan on getting some of them. Many collectors who buy my book really don’t know what Beatlemania was like. They were born in the 1970s and later. I thought that since 2014 is coming up and it is exactly 50 years ago, it would be the perfect time to do this (50-year reunion!). Let the collectors read the stories from the guys who were there. If I can get some of the more famous deejays and musicians to participate, that would even be better since many of these collectors know who some of them are. It sure would provide some very interesting reading!

I want to thank Goldmine for publishing this article about me and the readers for reading it.