A tablecloth decorated with a drawing of the Beatles before their last official concert in San Francisco has been returned to its owners more than 50 years after it was stolen.
The artefact, bearing a trace of each one of the famous quartets, was born on a table as they ate a meal before their last concert in Candlestick Park in 1966.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr all left their mark on the bedspread, as did singer Joan Baez. John Lennon painted the sunset, Paul McCartney and Joan Baez painted the band members’ faces, and George Harrison and Ringo Starr signed their autographs.
Restaurateur Joe Velardi immediately framed and displayed this unique souvenir, but the rare piece was stolen about a week later.
Then the fate of the precious mattress was unknown for 55 years… until some time ago, Velardi’s grandson received a phone call from Texas.
“The call was from a woman who asked me if our family owned a restaurant in San Francisco, and I immediately felt it was the mattress,” Michael Velardi told AFP. “The mattress was owned by her brother, and he did not know what to do with it, and he kept it all these years,” he added.
Velardi indicated that the man received the mattress as a way to pay off a debt to him, and “tried to sell it, but he was afraid that it would cause him trouble because it was stolen, so his sister convinced him to return it.”
“None of us thought we’d see this tablecloth, and we all grew up hearing my grandfather’s story,” he said. “But none of us had seen the tablecloth before.”
The piece will be put up for auction, and Bonhams Auctions expected its price to reach $25,000.
Candlestick Park made history as it was the last commercial gig for the group that announced their split after their North American tour.
However, interest in everything related to the Beatles continues despite the passage of 50 years since the band broke up, and its memorabilia continues to be sold at exorbitant prices. In 2015, her first recording contract was sold for $75,000 at auction.