A Frenchman known as the “Beatles specialist” is selling a lifetime’s worth of Beatles memorabilia to fund his retirement.
Jacques Volcouve has collected over 15,000 pieces of memorabilia during his 60-plus years of life, but he’s never held a real job, currently lacks any income, and does not have a pension. To reconcile his financial woes and fund his retirement, Volcouve will put his collection of “15,000 records, signed books, posters, autographs, figurines and memorabilia” on sale at the famed Drouot auction house in Paris on March 18th.
Volcouve gained recognition during the 1970s by frequently calling into a French radio station to correct misinformation on a Beatles series run on the BBC. He would soon be invited onto the show.
“I took in some of the recordings I had and the radio station had its archives, and we added material to the BBC series [The Beatles Story] so that the 12 hours that was broadcast in the UK became 18 hours of material in France. It was so successful that it was re-broadcast twice in the same year,” says Volcouve.
Volcouve had the opportunity to meet Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr during his lifetime, with Harrison allegedly telling him, “if just one person appreciates your work then it hasn’t been a waste of time.” But it does appear that Volcouve bears some resentment, telling the Guardian, “I don’t want to sound bitter but I gave my life to them [the band] and I’ve never had any recognition or help, not even a free ticket to a concert …For many years I was insufferable because all I talked about was the Beatles. I tried to find a professional job but in the end I was always the ‘Beatles historian,’ and every time I had any money I spent it on Beatles stuff.”