Lost Beach Boys Memorabilia Up for Auction

Collection includes band's first royalty check, handwritten scores for hits

Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys performs in London, England.
Matt Kent/WireImage
April 19, 2013 3:40 PM ET

A massive collection of Beach Boys memorabilia is up for auction, with goodies including what seems to be the band's first royalty check for $990, handwritten scores for hits like "Good Vibrations," personal photos and letters and dozens of signed contracts. The collection was discovered at a Florida storage facility and was sold unopened to a buyer after a long run of missed storage payments, the The Associated Press reports. The buyer found quite the surprise upon opening the boxes.

The items are being sold as one unit and are expected to bring in several million dollars. "We thought it would be a crime to break it up," said Ted Owen of the Fame Bureau, the London-based firm leading the auction. Owen touts the collection as unique because of the handwritten scores that showcase Brian Wilson's arranging and songwriting talents.

Beach Boys Releasing 50th Anniversary Tour Compilation

"What's striking is just how creative and detailed it is," Owen said. "You get the notes, then you move into the music sheets, he does the horn construction, the violin construction, you see the song development. This is right from the beginning – well thought-out melodies, well thought-out harmonies. It's an inside view of the construction of songs, and his genius, really."

The items appear to have been placed in the storage unit for safekeeping in the mid-Seventies by a relative of a band member. The Beach Boys attempted to secure legal ownership of the memorabilia, but Owen said the archives were ruled a fair find and the rights are all clear for sale. The band is not too thrilled about the situation. "I can confirm that the band is aware of the auction," Beach Boys representative Jay Jones said. "The band will not be available for interviews in regards to this matter." The auction ends May 15th.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »