- Title: One of largest Beatles collections in France to go on auction
- Date: 23rd December 2016
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (French) BEATLES SPECIALIST JACQUES VOLCOUVE SAYING: "Starting from 1967, I gave myself an absolutely impossible mission: own everything concerning the Beatles. It was not just albums, but objects, books, photographs, posters, everything that I could find. When I would see a newspaper with three lines on the Beatles, I would buy the newspaper. Then I would cut out just the three lines. And then I changed-- I cut out only the page. And then I kept the page, and eventually I kept the whole newspaper."
- Embargoed: 7th January 2017 17:31
- Keywords: Beatles collection auction records memorabilia
- Location: PARIS AND ROISSY, FRANCE
- City: PARIS AND ROISSY, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA0035E3TWEX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Jacques Volcouve was six years old when he first listened to A Hard Day's Night.
The Beatles album from 1964 launched a collection that has grown into shelves of nearly 15,000 vinyl records, one of the largest in France.
Statuettes of the Fab Four, a metallic John Lennon figurine, rare album editions and black and white photos are among the objects he has accumulated over four decades, in addition to books, photographs, clippings, compact and laser discs, tapes and other memorabilia.
"Starting from 1967, I gave myself an absolutely impossible mission: own everything concerning the Beatles," he said as he sorted through his trove.
He travelled around Europe to buy records, some editions manufactured from as far away as Thailand and Japan.
"When I would see a newspaper with three lines on the Beatles, I would buy the newspaper. Then I would cut out just the three lines. And then I changed-- I cut out only the page. And then I kept the page, and eventually I kept the whole newspaper," said Volcouve, who has met every Beatle except for John Lennon.
His Beatles collection occupies 68 square meters of storage space and a good part of his Paris apartment.
It reached a point wherein he could no longer invite guests to his home, and the dust from the records triggered asthma attacks.
"I pose the question, is it me possessing the collection or is it the collection possessing me?" Volcouve told Reuters.
After having spent all his life nurturing his love for the Beatles, the 60-year-old has decided to auction off his collection to fund his retirement.
"I don't have a monthly income, I'm not employed. I must think of my self-preservation, and at the same psychological balance. And a little financial balance as well. So, I tell myself- this collection, I have it. But I don't spend my time keeping it," he said.
Vinyl experts have spent weeks sifting through Volcouve's collection, after which they will appraise each item's value and construct a catalogue. It will be divided by theme, into 350 lots for the auction.
With a concert to kick it off, the sale will take place on March 18 at the L'Hotel Drouot auction house in Paris, and bids can also be done from anywhere over the phone and the internet.
"The interest behind Jacques' collection is that it gathers the Beatles albums, but a mass of other objects. And a lot of these objects have a history, it talks, so it becomes doubly attractive," vinyl expert from Art-Richelieu, David Jalloux, said.
Volcouve, who has written or co-authored nine books on the Beatles and who along with his brother founded the 'Le club des Quatre de Liverpool' ('Liverpool 4 Club'), will introduce the items during the auction, and will be weaving in some Beatles history and personal anecdotes.
The 60-year-old said he is happy to let go of his life's work, but he will keep some favorite records, personal letters from George Harrison and Ringo Starr and a belt buckle bought from Harrison's label, Dark Horse Records.
"I tell myself to, to console myself - all these objects that I adore, which have given me a lot of pleasure for 40 years, if I part with them, and they are going to people who have the same passion as me, I continue to give life to these objects, which in any case wouldn't have followed me to the grave."
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