Beatles 45/EP PROMO "BLACK & WHITE" Sleeve ONLY: "ASK ME WHY" issued as Vee Jay catalog # EPI-903 in June of 1964.
WHITE title sleeve with BLACK PRINT (on one side only - back is blank WHITE). Issued with some later PROMOTIONAL copies of the EP (VJEP 903.DJ2 on a WHITE LABEL with BLUE LOGO and LINEAGE with LARGE HEAVY BLACK PRINT for the song title "ASK ME WHY" on the "B-Side" manufactured by MONARCH), this creation was intended to be part of a marketing campaign promoting the EP's new lower pricing. Wow! What in the world was Vee Jay thinking when they made this? Unlike standard 45 rpm sleeves, this one opens in unique fashion FROM THE BOTTOM and is cut similarly to other Vee Jay sleeves. Although known counterfeits do exist (most being OFF WHITE or CREAM COLOR), ORIGINAL COPIES like this are on a flat white stock with somewhat shiny black ink and printed clearly (AS SHOWN IN PHOTO). You will also note from the photos provided, that in the lower FRONT LEFT and RIGHT corners, the sleeve opening is cut with the familiar Vee Jay rounded tab as were their other sleeves. Also the left and right sides on the front show a small spacing between the edge and constructed facing all the way from top to bottom (doesn't show very well in the photo because the colors are WHITE on WHITE). NO COUNTERFEIT has this particular feature and in many but not all cases, a 7" record will NOT fit into it comfortably.
Needless to say because of this failed endeavor, a highly collectible item was born. This unique sleeve was issued in extremely limited and unknown quantities (exact numbers have never been available) for the purpose of focusing on a single song, "ASK ME WHY" and described the record as "AN E.P. THAT IS SELLING LIKE A SINGLE ... AT SINGLE RECORD PRICES". The sleeve also states: "HERE IS YOUR SPECIAL D.J. PROMOTION COPY" and also "[VJ] ... STILL ONLY #8 IN SALES". Another interesting fact is that supposedly a record that was to be associated with this sleeve (the so-called "SPEC. DJ No. 8") which if is indeed real, is even rarer than the sleeve. We have never actually come across a legitimate copy of this record nor can we confirm that any exist, but with the manner in which Vee Jay operated, we understand that it could, but then again who knows! This is yet another case of Vee Jay not following through on an idea (crazy as it was), cutting the ad campaign short before it had any kind of chance for success (not that their idea would have caught on, but we will never know). It is also important to point out that contrary to what you may have been told or heard, this sleeve was NEVER RE-ISSUED by Vee Jay Records.
For the record, what we do know about the history of this particular PROMOTIONAL sleeve is that it was obtained by a Disc Jockey at a local radio station (WSAY) in Rochester, New York in 1964 at a time when only a small number of them existed nationally, and certainly prior to the appearance of any fakes, which appeared much later. The biggest problem with this particular item is that it is so pristine (no bends, wrinkles, or writing with crisp corners), it's hard to believe that it's actually a legitimate copy because most of the ones that usually appear in the current collector's market, have either yellowed or are somewhat soiled, appearing a little gray, or have folds, creases, tears or writing on them. Based upon its specific history and the fact that we can establish when, where and from whom it was obtained, there should be no questioning its authenticity. However we welcome anyone's comments and invite anyone to come forward at anytime. A combination of proper storage and tender loving care has preserved its overall integrity.
IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO NOTE that we happen to be in the unique position of having first hand knowledge pertaining to this and other Vee Jay items along with many interesting facts about the company (much of which would never have been made available to the general public) and its history, due to the fact that one of our relatives actually worked for Vee Jay during those hectic times. The information about Vee Jay that he has passed on, has been incredibly invaluable and a great deal more informative than anything we had ever previously read or heard including information from the "so-called" experts who claim to have known everything there is to know about this disorganized company and the also, the BEATLES!
(IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT Vee Jay FEEL FREE TO INQUIRE AT YOUR CONVENIENCE).
As for CONDITION, we can tell you that it is extremely clean with no evidence of yellowing in any way, nor are there any soiling or graying issues anywhere (which are normally noticeable with a WHITE background). Also there are no stains, no writing, no bends, and no creases with all four corners crisp and intact as well. The only flaw (if you want to call it a flaw) is the fact that it has the very slightest round impression from where a record was obviously present at one time (hardly noticeable but we felt necessary to point out to be fair to all potential buyers spending this kind of money). This impression is so very slight that it does not show up when photographed from any angle. Otherwise the sleeve is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS in every way and as about as perfect as you will ever find anywhere. We have NEVER seen one better! This beautiful condition has been maintained over the years due to the fact that it has been carefully stored in a SMOKE FREE, CLIMATE CONTROLLED environment and always in a CLEAR PLASTIC SLEEVE on ACID FREE RIGID BOARD as are many of the rare records in our collection. Needless to say it's value is based not only on it's CONDITION but also upon it's EXTREME SCARCITY & RARITY!
Actually at this point in time, 50 plus years after it's creation, only a handful are known to currently exist, most of which are probably not in the GORGEOUS condition that this one is in. (Some experts have claimed that only 8 to 10 of these sleeves exist today, however no one knows for sure coupled with the fact that there is no official count on how many were actually produced by Vee Jay back in 1964).
(We do NOT use price guides such as GOLDMINE due to the fact that they are too general and grossly normally undervalue items like this especially when it comes to major artists and/or super groups such as "THE BEATLES". You just don't see items like this especially in this condition very often in today's collector's market, but when you do find something this unique, the serious collector needs to grab it while its still available).
IMPORTANT NOTE: We acknowledge that as far as BEATLE collectibles go, this sleeve is one of the RAREST items on the market. Its condition (AS ONLOOKERS CAN SEE FROM THE PHOTOS POSTED) is without question AS ADVERTISED, therefore based upon that fact alone, we must stress to all potential buyers that ALL SALES ARE FINAL - NO RETURNS! If or when you buy it, you need to understand these terms. So, we encourage all serious buyers to ask questions and/or request as many additional photos as necessary PRIOR TO MAKING ANY OFFER OR PURCHASE. Do not purchase until you are 100% confident that all your questions are answered. We wish to make certain that a buyer fully understands what he or she is buying and what our terms of purchase are. We can only assume that anyone showing serious interest in this item, obviously already is familiar with its history and specifically what it is as far as collectibles go. As is the case with ALL hi-end items, prior to packaging the item for shipment, photos are always taken from all angles to insure that the condition of the item is visually recorded and is "as advertised" in order to insure against any potential buyer fraud (Photos of the packaging are also taken prior to shipping). In other words we most definitely do not wish to hear that the item was received with a TEAR or a CREASE or some other defect. Unfortunately, because we live in a world where not everyone is as honest as they should be, based upon our past experiences, after being previously victimized by some unscrupulous buyers, we have felt that this step is a necessary seller's safeguard. And because shipping companies sometimes do not handle packages in a manner that we would prefer, if for some reason the item (box) does happen to be received in a damaged condition that no doubt occurred during shipping, the BUYER will need to alert the SHIPPER AS SOON AS IT IS RECEIVED and put in a claim to them without hesitation. Hopefully the item will be received in the same condition that it was in when it left here. Please feel confident that when items such as this are packaged, we take every precaution to insure against the possibility of damage. Professional packaging provided is purchased from vendors who produce containers made specifically for the recording industry to insure that items reach their destination without any damage.
BUY WITH CONFIDENCE from this ebay seller in good standing!
INSURANCE (if applicable by the country of destination) IS ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED FOR THIS ITEM. Please inquire about the cost of insurance BEFORE you make any offer. We thank you for your understanding.
INSURANCE: We do not typically provide insurance to any item due to the fact that this can amount to significant added cost. However, this added service is available to any buyer requesting it prior to invoicing. If items are not insured and are received damaged, immediately make the shipper aware of the damage. Once the item is packaged, inspected by, and leaves the seller, one can only hope that it is handled with care which is why insurance is always a good idea (if affordable and available in your country).
SHIPPING: Please note that at ADDITIONAL COST, the BUYER may request an alternative shipping method such as FedEx Overnight or USPS EXPRESS MAIL etc. Please state to the seller prior to being invoiced.
Great Beatles collectible! Very RARE and Quite SCARCE in today's market! Once in a LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY!
Our Catalog # AMW-PR-SL-I-903-714A.
Most of our auctions are "BUY IT NOW" or "MAKE BEST OFFER". We always encourage serious interested parties to at least "MAKE A REASONABLE OFFER". Who knows? You have nothing to lose! Don't lose out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
THIS ITEM WILL ONLY REMAIN ON EBAY
UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30, 2014
UPON THE OWNER'S REQUEST.
AFTER THAT DATE,
IT WILL GO BACK INTO STORAGE
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
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Please watch for SPECIAL SALES, or where it applies, please make your "BEST OFFER". Thanks for watching!