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TORONTO (Reuters) - A Canadian businessman had the winning bid for a newly discovered mid-1960s recording of the Beatles singing at least one previously unreleased tune and joking around during the session.
Gino Olivieri of Montreal snapped up the 1/2-hour-long reel-to-reel tape in Cameo Auctioneers' Internet sale this week for 9,800 pounds ($19,000) plus tax and other costs.
The tape, recorded in 1964, was found recently in northern England by a man who was cleaning out his father's attic.
Among the tunes is a recording of "Don't Put Me Down Like This," which was not released on any Beatles records.
It also features a number of John Lennon and Paul McCartney songs of the era as well as the lads in a rambunctious mood, Olivieri said.
"Essentially, they were hamming it up. That's really what it was," he said. "They did some songs, which were supposed to be part of an interview that was to go on BBC."
His tape represents the first part of the session and the BBC has the second part, he said.
The British network has authenticated the recording, said Olivieri, who is founder of Premier Muzik International Corp., a firm that recovers royalties for recording artists.
He was six months old when the tape was recorded.
"The tape is in immaculate condition for its age," he said.
The price seems a bargain compared with two other pieces of Beatles and Lennon memorabilia that were auctioned off last month.
They included a painted drum skin that appeared on the sleeve of the 1967 album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." It sold for $1.1 million.
Lennon's handwritten lyrics for "Give Peace a Chance" fetched $834,000. The manuscript had been expected to sell for
"This should not have happened," Olivieri said of his tape. "This should have been way more expensive."
He has not decided how what he will do with it. Because of his business he is wary of bootleg recordings.
"We'd love to get some money for the people who actually record this, or perhaps even Sir Paul. Who knows?" Olivieri said. "But it's going to be really cool to have, that's for sure."
Editing by Rob Wilson