Beatles integrated audience pact sells for $23,000

Posted Sept. 21, 2011, at 7:37 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 21, 2011, at 8:12 p.m.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — A contract for a 1965 Beatles concert that states the group will not perform before a segregated audience has sold for more than $23,000.

The Nate D. Sanders auction house of Santa Monica says the contract was auctioned in online bidding that closed Tuesday. The buyer’s name was not disclosed.

Sanders had expected the contract to fetch $3,000 to $5,000.

The document lays out the terms for the Beatles’ 1965 appearance at San Francisco’s Cow Palace.

Among other things, it demands that 150 police officers be brought in to provide security.

The year before, the Beatles threatened to cancel a concert at Florida’s Gator Bowl after the band learned the audience was to be segregated. Band members agreed to perform only after officials assured them the crowd would be integrated.

The end of the world: R.E.M. calling it quits

NEW YORK — R.I.P. to R.E.M.

The alternative rock group that shook up the music world with its experimental, edgy sound and then earned multiplatinum success and a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced on its website Wednesday that it has “decided to call it a day as a band.”

“A wise man once said — ‘the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave.’ We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we’re going to walk away from it,” frontman Michael Stipe (photo) said in a statement on the website.

“I hope our fans realize this wasn’t an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.”

The Grammy-winning group, now composed of Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills, released its debut album “Murmur” in 1983; at the time it was a quartet, with drummer Bill Berry. He left the group in 1997, two years after he suffered symptoms of an aneurysm onstage.

The group got its start in Athens, Ga., coming out of the region’s flourishing indie-rock scene. The band was credited for helping launch college radio with songs such as “Radio Free Europe.”

Later, the mainstream caught on, and R.E.M. became chart-topping rockers, selling millions of albums with hits like “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” “Losing My Religion” and “Everybody Hurts.”

Stipe, the band’s chief songwriter, crafted songs that were atypical of the standard rock fare. “Man on the Moon” was about the late comic Andy Kaufman. “Losing My Religion” was not about religion at all, but about trying to relay the feelings of a crush.

The band’s videos also became staples on MTV in the 1990s, including the eye-catching “Losing My Religion” and the stark “Everybody Hurts,” which had Stipe walking through a highway traffic jam.

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