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Handwritten draft of Beatles' 'Lovely Rita' lyrics to be auctioned

Published January 21,2024

San Francisco is a city with frustratingly expensive parking tickets. But next month, residents may clamour for a chance to spend $650,000 on some kind words written about a parking enforcement officer.

A notebook page of handwritten lyrics for the Beatles' "Lovely Rita" will be available for sale in February at the 56th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, which will take place on .

The track, which is from the B-side of the Beatles' most famous album, "Sgt. Pepper's ," is a cheery love song about a fictional "meter maid" whom the speaker encounters doling out tickets.

The rare slice of Beatles' history is priced at well over half a million dollars. It's the very first draft of the song's lyrics, according to the website of , the company selling the page. (An especially eager fan could purchase the sheet directly from the Biblioctopus website before the exhibition.)

The handwritten lyrics are scrawled in pen on a sheet of lined paper torn out of a spiral-bound notebook. The sheet shows crossed-out words, comments and alternative phrasings. It is sold framed, alongside the "Sgt. Pepper" album art and a small plaque.

"These types of things don't come onto the market that often, and when they do they're not always this significant," , who heads the organization behind February's event, the .

The California International Antiquarian Book Fair is an annual exhibition of rare and antique books, maps, manuscripts and photographs. Other rare items include the original cover art of "The Left Hand of Darkness" by speculative fiction legend , as well as a map of from 1911.