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Yesterday For Montserrat

14 Jun 2001

Today, 36 years after the original recording at Abbey Road Studios of The Beatles' 'Yesterday', which became the most-recorded song in history, Sir George Martin and Sir Paul McCartney are launching a charity auction of 500 signed lithographs of George Martin's original 1965 score.

The aim of the auction, organised by Yahoo!, is to raise much needed funds for The Sir George Martin Music Foundation to aid the Caribbean island of Montserrat, devastated in June 1997 when the Soufriere Hills Volcano erupted, killing 19 people. All proceeds will go towards the planned building of a new cultural and community centre to help the re-generation of the island.

George Martin's connection to the island dates back to the late 1970s when he built AIR Studios Montserrat which for nearly 11 years was one of the most prolific studios in the world. Montserrat suffered greatly from Hurricane Hugo in 1989, then from a series of volcanic eruptions starting in 1995 which destroyed much of the island.

The first lithograph (copy number one) and a portion of the limited edition are being exclusively auctioned by Yahoo!, starting today. All even numbered prints will be auctioned via Yahoo! US and all odd numbers via Yahoo! UK.

Paul McCartney and George Martin have personally signed all 500 of the framed, double-sided lithographs along the bottom of the main page. Each copy is a faithful reproduction of the original, and is presented in a double sided frame of burr ash and walnut, 725 x 605 x 25 mm, specially designed by David Linley, the noted craftsman and nephew to HM Queen Elizabeth II. Speaking on BBC TV's Breakfast programme this morning, Sir George undertook to deliver copy number one of the edition to the winning bidder personally - even if the destination is in Outer Mongolia.

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