Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Roag Best to open museum with his collection of Beatles rarities in Liverpool
We spent some time on the phone Tuesday with Roag Best, who told us about his upcoming plans to open a multi-story Beatles attraction called "The Magical History Museum" in Liverpool. "We bought a four-story building on Mathew Street between the Cavern Club and the Hard Day's Night Hotel," he said. The building faces the Cavern Club "so our position I think is pretty wonderful."
The ground floor will have a bar-restaurant called "Sgt. Pepper's" and will be the first part of the building to open, which will happen on July 28. The museum will open later, he said.
The building will have displays of Beatles history going up through 1970 with memorabilia he inherited from his mother, Mona Best ("who was a hoarder") and from his father, Neil Aspinall (whose link to the Beatles should be known to anyone reading this) and stuff he has collected himself over a 30-year span. (Pete is not involved.)
"I only go after rare items," he said. Among ,the things he owns is the 1962 color silent film footage of the Beatles playing at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, believed to be the earliest known color footage of the group. You can see a short version of it on this page, but Roag said there is more that has never been made public. "I think the maximum we've put out is about 15 or 16 seconds, and it runs to just over a minute. It was a valentine's dance, but not on Valentine's Day. They were playing on a different night."
He said the gentleman who sold Roag the film wasn't there to film the Beatles, but for a family event. After learning of the film, Roag said it took him 18 months to track him down and finally he worked out a deal.