Paul McCartney’s Handwritten Lyrics for “Hey Jude” Just Sold for $910,000

Paul McCartney with John Lennon's son Julian, the inspiration for "Hey Jude," in Greece in the mid-1960s.
Paul McCartney with John Lennon's son Julian, the inspiration for "Hey Jude," in Greece in the mid-1960s.
Central Press/Getty Images

In July 1968, the Beatles convened at London’s Trident Studios to record their soon-to-be chart-topping single “Hey Jude.” Paul McCartney jotted down the lyrics on a sheet of paper, which he used during the session and later gave to a studio engineer. On April 10, that sheet of paper sold at auction for a staggering $910,000—several times more than its original estimate of $160,000 to $180,000.

According to Far Out Magazine, McCartney had begun writing the song earlier in the summer of 1968 on his way to visit John Lennon's first wife, Cynthia, and their son, Julian. Lennon had recently split from Cynthia after taking up with artist Yoko Ono, and the song was intended to reassure Julian, who was just 5 years old at the time, that things would turn out all right.

“It was optimistic, a hopeful message for Julian,” McCartney later explained in the TV docuseries The Beatles Anthology. “‘Come on, man, your parents got divorced. I know you’re not happy, but you’ll be OK.’”

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics from the 1968 recording session for "Hey Jude."Julien's Auctions

At its inception, the track was titled “Hey Jules,” but McCartney changed it to “Hey Jude,” a combination of Jules and Jud—a name that McCartney had liked after hearing it in the musical Oklahoma! The song resonated with Lennon, too, who interpreted the lyrics “Go out and get her” as a blessing from McCartney to pursue his new relationship, even if it came at the expense of their own creative partnership.

Considering the rich backstory, it’s perhaps unsurprising that McCartney’s handwritten lyrics were the top-selling item at last week’s “All Beatles” auction, a live online event hosted by Julien’s Auctions. Other lots included a Ludwig bass drumhead with The Beatles printed on it from the opening night of their first North American tour in August 1964 (which fetched $200,000), and a shooting script page for their 1967 “Hello, Goodbye” music video with handwritten sketches and notes by Lennon, George Harrison, and road manager Mal Evans (which sold for $83,200).

Find out what other Beatles memorabilia—from board games to bathroom products—was sold to lucky fans last Friday here.

The New Apple Watch SE Is Now Available on Amazon

Apple/Amazon
Apple/Amazon

Apple products are notorious for their high price tags. From AirPods to iPads to MacBooks, it can be difficult to find the perfect piece of tech on sale when you are ready to buy. Luckily, for those who have had their eye on a new Apple Watch, the Apple Watch SE is designed with all the features users want but at a lower starting price of $279— and they're available on Amazon right now.

The SE exists as a more affordable option when compared to Apple's new Series 6 line of watches. This less expensive version has many of the same functions of its pricier brethren, except for certain features like the blood oxygen sensor and electrical heart sensor. To make up for the truncated bells and whistles, the SE comes in at least $120 cheaper than the Series 6, which starts at $400 and goes up to $800. The SE comes with technical improvements on previous models as well, such as the fall detection, a faster processor, a larger screen, water resistance, and more.

Now available in 40mm ($279) and 44mm ($309), both SE models offer a variety of colors to choose from, such as sliver, space gray, and pink. If you want cellular connection, you’ll have to pay a bit more for the 40mm ($329) and the 44mm ($359).

For more, head to Amazon to see the full list of offerings from Apple.

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50 Years of Monday Night Football's Memorable Theme Music

iStock
iStock

Monday Night Football turns 50 years old today—notably on a Monday! And as the Raiders and Saints warm up for tonight's kickoff, fans will know it's game time when they hear four distinct, descending notes. But it wasn't always that way. The biggest game of the week has been soundtracked by a handful of theme songs, starting back on September 21, 1970.

When Monday Night Football premiered on ABC, it was accompanied by the thoroughly groovy, Hammond organ-heavy “Score” by Charles Fox. The composer had previously written the theme for ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and he would later make a name for himself doing the theme songs for Happy Days and The Love Boat, as well as composing Roberta Flack’s Grammy-winning “Killing Me Softly with His Song.”

“No network had ever programmed a regular sporting event in the evening in prime time,” Fox wrote in his autobiography, and though no one could know what a juggernaut the show would become, he set about writing a funky soul-jazz tune. The song was released under the alias “Bob’s Band”—presumably because Fox was employed at the time by Bob Israel’s Score Productions, a music company specializing in theme songs and background music.

Fox retained its rights over that song, but the show moved on to a new opener after a few years. “Monday Night Football is still on the air, but my theme was replaced after seven years by someone named … Bob Israel,” Fox wrote of his former boss. Well, almost. First, there was a version simply called “ABC – Monday Night Football Theme” that aired from 1976 to 1981. Then in 1982, Israel’s Score Productions was brought in to update that song. The three composers of the 1976 piece unsuccessfully sued for copyright infringement.

Then, in 1989, Johnny Pearson’s “Heavy Action” rang in a new era of watching live sports from the comfort of your La-Z-Boy. Though the company had retained the rights to the song a decade previously, they used it primarily as background music and didn't make it an official theme until '89. The first four notes of the British composer’s opener became synonymous with American football, and the song is likely one of the most widely and easily recognized themes in television history.

Also in 1989, country star Hank Williams Jr. reworked his earlier hit "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" into a bar-room blues rocker that spoke of "turning on [his] TV for some pigskin fun." The song was a huge success and ran in various forms on the program for over 20 years. Williams enthusiastically growling "Are you ready for some football?" became as identifiable to the show as the opening notes of "Heavy Action."

Unfortunately, in 2011, Monday Night Football (which in 2006 moved from ABC to ESPN) dropped Williams' theme after he made controversial statements about President Barack Obama on Fox News. The network reverted to featuring "Heavy Action" most prominently, and in 2015 they reworked the theme yet again. That intro, which ran before each of the season's games, featured archive videos and computer generated players to highlight some of the greatest plays and playmakers in the history of the broadcast.

In 2017, Hank Williams Jr. and all his "Rowdy Friends" made their way back to the top of the football broadcast, but they've been replaced again in 2020 for Monday Night Football's 50th anniversary season with a cover of Little Richard's "Rip It Up," courtesy of Butcher Brown.

Yeah, we're definitely ready for some football.