Unreleased demo of Beatles song with different singer, lyrics sells for over $13k

A rare early demo version from 1963 of a song by The Beatles not released until two years later with a different singer and lyrics sold for £10,200 or roughly $13,649 U.S. dollars Oct, 1 on eBay, the auction dealer Parlogram, who sold the record, announced Sunday. The auction dealer told AXS.com that the buyer was a private collector based in Europe.

The song on the demo, “What Goes On,” was released by the Beatles in 1965 both on a single with “Nowhere Man” and also on the “Rubber Soul” album. The released version featured a lead vocal by Ringo Starr and a somewhat country-western style rhythm. The 1963 demo version sold in the auction didn't include Ringo Starr, but John Lennon singing lead vocal with different lyrics and acoustic guitar played by Paul McCartney. Some piano was also heard on the demo version. An excerpt featured on the internet (and included with this story) showed that it was markedly different from the later version. .

The auction, which lasted 10 days, had 38 different bids which began with an opening bid of £1,000. The final bid was made in the last minutes of the auction, according to the auction timeline.

The Beatles had originally considered recording the song in 1963, but it was passed on for lack of time, according to various reports. Ringo was given a co-writer credit for the version that he sang. Lennon said about the song, “That was an early Lennon, written before the Beatles when we were the Quarrymen or something like that. And resurrected with a middle eight thrown in, probably with Paul's help, to give Ringo a song. And also to use the bits because I never liked to waste anything.”