A factory-sealed First State copy of The Beatles’ famously banned “Butcher Cover” mono LP , Yesterday and Today, without a doubt the Holy Grail of vinyl, is expected to bring $30,000+ when it comes up as part of Heritage Auctions Feb. 18-19 Signature® Music & Entertainment Auction.
“There are likely less than 25 sealed copies of this record in existence,” said Garry Shrum, Consignment Director for Music & Entertainment Auctions at Heritage, “and that’s probably a generous estimate. More than that, we’ve never seen a copy in such great condition, and we sold a ‘Livingston Copy’ of the ‘Butcher Cover’ in 2006 for more than $38,000. That price is, to date, the highest amount ever realized for a piece of wide release, non-autographed vinyl. This may well exceed that.”
Many serious collectors of Fab Four memorabilia have diligently searched for even a tattered copy of this rarity, which was pulled from record store shelves in the US almost immediately after its release in 1966, ordered to be destroyed and replaced by the more subdued “Trunk Cover” version. Millions bought the second version, but few managed a copy of the infamous original, let alone one that remained sealed.
“This ‘Butcher Cover’ is rare enough in and of itself in good condition,” said Shrum, “but to have it sealed is mind-boggling. Who has ever bought a Beatles record and not opened it?”