Artist News

Paul McCartney ‘psychedelic piano’ designs saved from skip to be sold at auction

By | Published on Monday 16 March 2020

Paul McCartney

Sketches and designs for Paul McCartney’s psychedelic piano – commissioned by the Beatle for the 1967 ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ – are to go up for auction, 20 years after they were found in a skip.

Builder Andy Clynes rescued the discarded papers while working on a project in Manchester in 1999, before storing them in his attic and forgetting about them. Recently he decided to have them valued and the drawings are now expected to sell for £2000 at an auction in Liverpool later this month.

The piano’s decoration was designed by art collective BEV and painted by Dudley Edwards (the E in BEV), who lived with McCartney for a period in 1967. Originally used on the Beatles’ ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, McCartney has played the piano a number of times since, including for a performance at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

As well as the piano designs, Omega Auctions will sell other papers obtained by Clynes in his skip haul later this year, expected to raise more than £10,000 in total.

“I picked them out of the skip”, Clynes tells PA of finding the documents. “The case burst open as it was thrown in. It was raining and I just picked up what I could. I imagine there was a lot more there, but it was damaged”.

Auctioneer Paul Fairweather adds: “It’s fantastic that such an important archive was recovered and even better for our vendor that it should prove a lucrative decision to save them from the skip. The designs of BEV encapsulate the optimism, excitement and free spirit of collaboration that ensures that the late 1960s endure in the popular consciousness even to this day”.

The piano designs will be sold in a wider auction of Beatles memorabilia on 24 Mar. Find out more here.