April 20, 2013 at 9:43 AM ET
A massive collection of Beach Boys memorabilia is up for auction, with goodies including what seems to be the band's first royalty check for $990, handwritten scores for hits like "Good Vibrations," personal photos and letters and dozens of signed contracts. The collection was discovered at a Florida storage facility and was sold unopened to a buyer after a long run of missed storage payments, the The Associated Press reports. The buyer found quite the surprise upon opening the boxes.
The items are being sold as one unit and are expected to bring in several million dollars. "We thought it would be a crime to break it up," said Ted Owen of the Fame Bureau, the London-based firm leading the auction. Owen touts the collection as unique because of the handwritten scores that showcase Brian Wilson's arranging and songwriting talents.
"What's striking is just how creative and detailed it is," Owen said. "You get the notes, then you move into the music sheets, he does the horn construction, the violin construction, you see the song development. This is right from the beginning -- well thought-out melodies, well thought-out harmonies. It's an inside view of the construction of songs, and his genius, really."
The items appear to have been placed in the storage unit for safekeeping in the mid-Seventies by a relative of a band member. The Beach Boys attempted to secure legal ownership of the memorabilia, but Owen said the archives were ruled a fair find and the rights are all clear for sale. The band is not too thrilled about the situation.
"I can confirm that the band is aware of the auction," Beach Boys representative Jay Jones said. "The band will not be available for interviews in regards to this matter." The auction ends May 15th.