Before There Were Beatles
updated 09/19/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 09/19/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Molyneux, now a 53-year-old retired policeman, knew Lennon because they both belonged to the St. Peter's Youth Club. Lennon, he recalls, "was getting on the bus all the time—in his leathers," and though a bit loud, was "good fun." After the Beatles became stars, Molyneux spotted Ringo Starr at a Liverpool club in 1963 and told him Lennon could have a copy of the tape if he wanted. "He never got in touch," says Molyneux, "and that was the end of it."
Molyneux had thought of selling the recording—the first ever of Lennon's music—on its 40th anniversary, in 1997, until Sotheby's of London learned of the tape and suggested he sell it at their Sept. 15 rock memorabilia auction. Molyneux, who lives near Southampton with wife Sarah and daughter Kate, 19, thought he might be onto a windfall (the tape could fetch $250,000) all these years. "I knew," he says, "that one day it would be worth quite a bit."