Project Description

Variations, Errors And Misprints

I have had literally hundreds of issues of the Monthly pass through my hands and from my experience variations or errors are rare. Particularly printing errors. Here are a few from my collection.

Letterpress Printing

The early Monthlies were produced using the “Letterpress” printing process, where the paper was pressed against an inked (usually just one colour) metal printing block, to produce a printed page. If a separate colour was required, for example a colour heading, this was applied with a “second pass” against a second plate inked with the required colour (see the separate page Original Printing Plates).
The covers of the Monthlies were first printed with the photo, then the colour banners, top and bottom, which would include “The Beatles Book” in white (actually just blank). Then a third pass would apply the black lettering – MONTHLY, issue no., date, etc.

Variation 1 – Issue #1

Variation #1

First up, an original print of Issue #1. This might be mistaken for a 1970s reprint, because the black print “AUGUST” touches the “s” of Beatles on the front (see separate page: “The Many Faces of Number One”). But this is a 1963 print. I think something shifted in the press, moving all the black print to the left. There is also black ink down the right edge.

Regular Issue (top) and Variation #1

Variation 2 – Issue #1

This second example, again with Issue #1, is a little more obvious. A book like this sold at auction a few years ago, described as a “Printer’s Proof”. Then this one turned up for me, “in the wild”. Extremely rare.

This book didn’t get the black printing on the front or the back covers. Was this an error, or possibly a test print / printer’s proof? My guess is that it was a pre-production print, not an error produced during the regular printing. However, I am quite certain that it was not intended for sale like this. Inside it’s identical to the regular issue.

Variation #2: Missing Black Text

Variation 3 – Issue #54

Here is an unusual edition of Issue #54. In January 1968, the front cover design of the magazine was changed. “BEATLES” was now in larger, more formal lettering, spread right across the top of the page. This meant that there was no longer room for the date on the same line, as it had been on Book 53, so it was moved to the top of the page. The “5th Year” wording was dispensed with and “MONTHLY” shifted to the left margin (centre photo).

Issue 53: Issue Year & Month on Right

Issue 54: Correct: “January” Moves to top

Issue 54: Incorrect: “Jan 1968” Overprints “S”

However, the book shown here (picture 3) is a hybrid of the two styles, a “crossover”, which ought to have been discarded but which found it’s way into the wild and then to me. I have never seen anything similar. Have you?

Variation 4 – Issue #54

This one is not a printing error; sometimes mistakes occur after printing. After the pages are collated and stapled, the book is folded and then trimmed to keep the edges even. Occasionally, a page may get folded-over before being cut, so that an extra piece of paper remains.
Here is one such example.

Issue 54: Mis-cut page

Issue 54: Mis-cut page

If you know of any other errors or variations I would love to see them and maybe show them here!