Veteran DJ 'Uncle Ray' puts his prized piece of Beatles history up for auction
At the height of Beatlemania in 1964, Hong Kong DJ Ray Cordeiro famously interviewed the most famous band in the world three times in the space of a week.
During one of these sessions, the Fab Four signed his copy of a magazine called Fabulous that was devoted to the Beatles. The magazine has been one of the veteran DJ's most prized possessions ever since - but now he is putting it up for auction at Christie's in London in July with a reserve price of around GBP10,000 to GBP16,000 (HK$247,000).
'It's something that I've kept for over 40 years, and I've never dreamt of getting rid of it. I've had it since 1964. I have so many Beatle signatures on it, virtually on every page,' said Cordeiro, clasping the magazine in the RTHK Radio 3 studio in Kowloon Tong, where he presents All the Way with Ray from 10pm to 2am on weekdays. It has since been handed to the auctioneers for safekeeping.
Cordeiro interviewed the Beatles twice in London and then in Hong Kong when the Beatles arrived - minus drummer Ringo Starr, who was ill - for a concert here as part of an Asia-wide tour in 1964.
The 83-year-old recalls how EMI organised one of the interviews in London. On the way, he stopped off at a newspaper stand and bought the long-since-defunct magazine. This particular edition - bought for two shillings and sixpence (about HK$1 at today's exchange rate) - was all about the Beatles.
'On the way to the press conference, I came across a magazine stall and I saw this Fabulous magazine with Paul McCartney on the cover. One side was Paul McCartney and on the other side was all four Beatles. So when I arrived, Paul McCartney asked if he could see it as he hadn't seen it yet. I asked him to autograph it and he did so willingly, writing 'To Uncle Ray, Yours truly Paul McCartney' on the front, then he carried on flicking through and signed wherever he saw a photo of himself.
'When John Lennon saw what Paul had done, he followed suit, and so did the other two.'
The pictures show a fresh-faced McCartney looking young enough not to shave as the Beatles hit their heyday.
'It was the pride of my collection, having this magazine, plus the interview on tape. But at the tender age of 83, if I don't get rid of it now, I can't take it with me. So I thought I might as well have the cash and spend it some other way, maybe on a magazine of the Rolling Stones.'