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For Sale: One Pair Of Leather Trousers Owned By Sir Paul McCartney
John Lennon and Paul McCartney in Hamburg, in 1961 (AP
Let’s take a quick poll:
Who wants to buy a pair of leather trousers? OK, now of the people who just
said yes, who wants to buy a pair of leather trousers that are over 50 years
old, and have been worn by two previous owners? And what if you find out one of
those owners used to wear his leather trousers to play sweaty rock ‘n’ roll
concerts every night? Does anyone out there still have a hand up?
This is the situation in which a Bridlington man finds himself, having
gathered his belongings together to move house and come across his old stage
leathers. Mike Hoggard does have an ace up his… well it’s not
exactly a sleeve… in that he claims that the whiffy old leathers used to belong
to Paul McCartney, and all of that sweat occurred because he
was gigging with the Beatles.
It’s too late to put your hands back up now.
Mike says that he was given the trousers by the band’s manager Brian
Epstein, after a gig with his jazz band at the Cavern Club in
Liverpool, probably late in 1961. He’d found them in the band’s dressing room
after the Beatles set, with the name “Paul” written just below the waistband,
and Brian said to keep them.
“The trousers were in a bag hanging up. Epstein said to take them because he
wanted to get them out of the leather and into these suits. So I took them and I
wore them. At the time they [The Beatles] weren’t famous at all, so
there was no sort of thought about ‘I’ve got something that’s massively
invaluable’ or anything like that, just I fancied a pair of leather
Now, it would be very easy to find an old handkerchief, write the name
Ringo on it and claim it as a Beatle artifact, but Mike’s son
in law Paul Bennett-Todd, initially a sceptic, has put the
pants through some rigorous tests to determine their provenance, not the least
of which is examining photos of Paul in 1961, to see if there are common creases
and marks that would identify the right pair:
“We can see creases that are indicative of the way that a person might wear
those trousers – it’s like a fingerprint, almost. They’re exactly the right
inside leg measurement and they’re exactly the right waist measurement.
“They [the Beatles] went to a small independent tailor in St Paul’s district
of Hamburg and commissioned the trousers to be made. That’s what makes these
trousers so very individual.”
Now both men are hoping to sell the trousers to a museum, possibly motivated
by the £110,450 a leather jacket of George Harrison’s fetched
at auction last December.
Sir Paul, who could conceivably just ask for his pants back, has not
commented on whether he wants them. He didn’t even put his hand up just now.