Elusive document on
the auction block today.
By Fred Mills
Everybody’s heard “Eleanor Rigby” – at the time of its
release in 1966, the song marked a major stylistic departure for the Fab Four,
and a groundbreaking moment for composer Paul McCartney. Over the years Macca
has claimed there was no biographical content to the tune, that it was entirely
fictional (although he also indicated he might have spotted the unusual name “Eleanor
Rigby” on a tombstone at some point).
Recently, however, a Liverpool hospital payroll sheet dating
back to 1911 and bearing the signature of a maid “E. Rigby” surfaced and it’s
being auctioned today in London.
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times the document was donated to a music charity by
McCartney back in 1990, and it’s expected to take as much as $750,000 at
auction for the Sunbeams Music Trust, a charity that helps people with special
needs receive music instruction. Tom Owen of the Fame Bureau auction house told
reporters that he believes the “E. Rigby” of the document was the same “Eleanor
Rigby” buried in 1939 at a Liverpool graveyard
known to both McCartney and John Lennon.
Said Owen, “I’ve spoken to the person who lived in the
house where she used to live, and they’ve confirmed that the signature is the
same signature of the person in the graveyard. It’s intriguing that McCartney
owned it because he says he created the song around a fictitious figure. And
yet, how did he have this document and why did he have it? When he was asked to
donate money, he sent this.”
No word from the Macca camp regarding how he got the
document and why he donated it.