Over the years, I have come across records in my travels that have some strange labels attached to them. These stickers were used to name and identify the owner of the record. These stand out for me because in 99% of cases the owner usually wrote their name on the back or front cover of the album jacket in the case of an LP or on the actual record label in the case of a 45. The stickers discussed here are fairly rare and I have been meaning to write a short article in praise of them for some time.
Like many Beatles fans of my age, I started collecting Beatles records in 1965 or so. I did not buy too many singles as I could hear those on the radio, but I started collecting their albums as they came out... as soon as I could. Really this period covered the Capitol albums Something New, Beatles VI, Help, Rubber Soul, Yesterday And Today, Revolver, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine and Very Together (oops… Polydor !). I never thought that I needed to write my name on each album or album cover and those original 1960s albums are still with me. Perhaps it was that I chose not to lend my albums or that I had no younger siblings... in any event I was not even aware that you could buy special stickers to stick on your records to signify ownership. This was a phenomena I discovered much later.
To date I have come across two types of cool stickers used on records in the 1960s; album stickers and Beatles single stickers.
Some album stickers are fairly generic in that they only state the album owner's name. The two colour stickers seen on the back covers of the albums below clearly indicate that "THIS ALBUM PROPERTY OF:" and interestingly they have been found on Lps in both England and Canada.
1. The Yardbirds UK mono LP - Columbia SX 6063 (UK, 1966)
Affixed by a record buyer in London, England (Michael Fishberg, 1966).
2. Crispian St. Peters "The Pied Piper" LP - Canadian mono LL.3488 (1966)
Affixed by a record buyer in Willowdale (suburb of Toronto), Ontario, Canada (Gaye Wadham, 1966).
The above stickers were large colourful rectangular affairs featuring a mod 1960s musician design and were very similar in purpose to the "Ex Libris" stickers used by book collectors that were affixed to the inside page of a book.
The more interesting stickers I have come across are Beatles specific and identify the fact that the original owner of the record was indeed a "Beatlemanic"… and not to be confused with a "Beatlemaniac"
These cool coloured semi-circular paper stickers were most probably included in a Beatles fan magazine that appeared in a March 1964 or slightly late issue. I am guessing right now that the magazine was from Britain or the USA, but more information would be very much appreciated. Beatles fans in 1964 carefully cut these stickers out of the magazine using scissors (hopefully !) and then glued them to the label of one of their Beatles 45 RPM records. I have yet to see one of these stickers applied to a Beatles album ! Possible sources of the Beatlemanic stickers would include the fan magazines that were being published in early to mid 1964. These would include:
UK - RAVE (monthly) - RAVE number 1 was published in February 1964 (one issue is possibly number 4 from May 1964)
UK - FABULOUS (weekly)
USA - "16" (monthly) (Note - The Beatles first appeared on the cover of 16 in the May 1964 issue)
At the height of Beatlemania (February through August 1964), a number of one-off fan magazines appeared on magazine racks across North America. These usually included pin-up photos that fans could put up in their bedrooms.
Now which one of these magazines might have the special cut-out Beatlemanic stickers inside ? I also remember that Beatles fans cut up many of these magazines to use the cool pictures in their very own Beatles scrapbooks (that is another great aspect of Beatlemania).
Most of the records I have come across with these labels attached were for records issued in the early months of 1964 when Beatlemania was at its zenith.
The following records have been located with these stickers attached to them:
England - Parlophone GEP 8891 - All My Loving Ep WPS (see the purple / pink sticker in the image above right)Canada - Capitol 72144 - All My Loving / This Boy (see the yellow sticker in the image above left) USA - Vee Jay VJ 587 - Do You Want To Know A Secret ? / Thank You Girl (see image below) ￼
The stickers were a great way for Beatles fans to affix their names to their own Beatles records. They also were meant to indicate to anyone going near the record that the owner of the record was a completely besotted Beatles fan. I am not sure that I would have applied these stickers to my own Beatles records during the mid 1960s… perhaps then I was NOT a true Beatlemanic???
To date I have only come across two colours: purple / pink and yellow.
Well the answer to that question is "probably yes". In most cases I have see, the record sells for less than un-labelled copies.
No and I would not bother... as removing them will result in some sort of attempt at revisionist history.
And besides, they are very cool.
The stickers are very interesting from a sociolgical and anthropological perpsective as they often help to identify who originally bought the record and where they lived at the time the record was originally purchased. The album stickers appear to have originated sometime during 1966 while the Beatlemanic 45 stickers are most certainly from the heady days of Beatlemania in early 1964. I would also want to assume that these stickers were used by the more affluent record buyers of the day !
If you know which 1964 magazine the stickers originated from and can send a scan of same, you will receive a special BEATLEMANIC prize! Just email email@example.com to claim it ! My own very best guess would be one of the special Beatles Fan magazines produced at the height of Beatlemania in 1964... but which one ? This may take a year or so to solve but the prize will be held for the winner for as long as it takes ! But maybe the answer is indeed very simple and we will hear the answer "any time at all".
So perhaps dig out your old magzines and solve this mystery for us ? The answer is out there !
The contest winner will have a choice of:
1. An original hardcover copy of the EMI 50 Years book from 1999 (with original dust jacket).
2. LP A Hard Day's Night - rare blue United Artists (Compo) label 1964 LP.
3. Capitol 72101 - From Me To You - original swirl 45.
NOTE - special thanks to unknown contributors Michael Fishberg, Gaye Wadham, Marion Palmer, Carolyn (initials CJC) and Roman (?) Reid. Thanks also to The Beatles Virtual Museum for some of the cool magazine images (http://beatlesite.blogspot.com/).
Félicitations et / and Congratulations to Gilles Pépin of Québec City who has solved the mystery of the Beatlemanic Sticker ! Gilles emailed the solution to the mystery on March 12th, 2012 by stating that he found the page with the "Beatlemanic" Sticker in (the) Beatle Fun Kit magazine at page 29." Well done Gilles and "merci bien" for solving this mystery !
Believe it or not, just a few hours later on March 13th. I received an email from Andrew Croft of Toronto who provided the same scans of page 28 and 29 of the "Beatle Fun Kit" magazine from 1964.
Gilles has already claimed his prize and there will be a second prize awarded to Andrew as well.
So the mystery has been solved. The "Beatlemanic Stickers" were indeed paper cut-outs and here are pages 28 and 29 along with the front cover of the issue. Way back in 1964, this book er magazine cost the princely sum of $1.00 and was published in the USA by DIG.￼ ￼ ￼
And here below is the all important text from page 28 of that cool Beatles fan magazine from way back in 1964:
"BEATLE PLATTER STICKERS ! RECORD-BREAKING WAY TO BRIGHTEN UP YOUR COLLECTION !
Now you can stop Beatle-platter prowlers dead in their tracks ! Label your records with your own special Beatle-platter stickers. These stickers are designed to fit right over the label in the center of the record. Just clip them out, tape them right on. Guaranteed protection for your Beatle collection."
And many thanks once again to Gilles Pepin and Andrew Croft !￼
Michael S. Fishberg of London, England writes the following:
"I purchased the album stickers at a Hallmark Card shop in downtown San Francisco in the summer of 1966 when I was travelling around the USA with my friend Graham. The stickers were sold in a sealed package and each sticker inside was pre-gummed on the back. So basically, you licked the back of the sticker and pasted it onto the back of your album cover."
So for that mystery solved ... many thanks Michael. A special prize will also be awarded to Michael.
So we have identified two sets of record stickers from the 1960s and both of these were intended to protect the owner of the record from unwanted "platter-prowlers". Very cool !
The Beatlemanic 45 stickers issued in 1964 had to be taped on but in some of the examples I have come across over the years they were glued on. The Lp stickers from 1966 were gummed so they could simply be licked and then stick on. Thanks again to all who helped solve these mysteries from 1964 and 1966 !
March 15, 2012