A reel-to-reel tape of a Beatles recording which features group members cracking jokes and breaking into giggles has sold for £9,800, an auction house said today.
The half-hour tape, believed to have been recorded in 1964, went under the hammer during a music and entertainment sale at Cameo Auctioneers in Midgham, Berkshire.
The recording, which had been hidden away for 40 years, contains John Lennon and Paul McCartney-composed songs as well as versions of other artists' compositions.
A spokeswoman for the auctioneers said an internet user had made the successful bid online. It had been expected to raise between £8,000 and £12,000.
The item was unearthed in the attic of a man who had worked in the music industry when his son was clearing it out.
The auction house said the son wished to remain anonymous and would only say that the tape was found in the north of England.
A track which starts on the first side of the tape and goes into the second called I'll Follow The Sun is broken by false starts, conversation and banter.
Lennon and Sir Paul are clearly audible on a number of occasions during their attempt to record this track, the auction house said.
Lennon can be heard saying: "I'm not looking at you," and Sir Paul says: "You were".
Lennon says: "It's just going to get funnier and funnier as the evening goes on," and "It's 11 o'clock you know." Sir Paul says: "Let's just try this once more and if it's the last one that's hard lines."
They then start the track again before more laughter and chat, continuing along the same unsuccessful lines for further attempts.
Happily, the band managed to record the track without interruption later on the second side of the tape.
The first side of the tape features the songs Don't Put Me Down Like This; I Feel Fine; She's A Woman; Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby; Honey Don't and I'll Follow The Sun. On side two the Fab Four perform I'll Follow The Sun, I'm A Loser, I'll Follow The Sun again, Too Much Monkey Business, Nitty Gritty, Something's Gotta Hold Of Me and I Shall Not Be Moved.