Banned postcard released by 1960s band The Move with cartoon of Harold Wilson lying naked on a bed with his secretary that cost rockers millions in lost royalties after PM sued them for libel is unearthed 56 years later
- The postcard was used as a promotional stunt for Flowers in the Rain in 1967
- It inferred Mr Wilson was having an affair with his secretary Marcia Williams
A banned postcard that was released by the 1960s band The Move which shows a cartoon of Harold Wilson lying naked on a bed with his secretary has been unearthed after 56 years.
The incredibly rare postcard cost the band millions of pounds in lost royalties after it was used as a promotional stunt for their most famous record, Flowers in the Rain, after it was released in 1967.
It contained a satirical cartoon of the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson who was depicted naked on a bed with his secretary Marcia Williams.
The image strongly inferred the politician was having an affair with his secretary and was devised to attract attention to the band when the single came out.
But the stunt backfired when the former PM but successfully sued The Move for libel.
A banned postcard that was released by the 1960s band The Move which shows a cartoon of Harold Wilson lying naked on a bed with his secretary Marcia Williams
The Move lead singer Carl Wayne (third from right) when he was in the Vikings band in 1962
Prime Minister Harold Wilson with his secretary Marcia Williams leaving Euston Station, London on April 1 1966
A High Court judge ruled that all future royalties for the song had to be donated in perpetuity to a charity of Mr Wilson’s choosing.
The ruling still stands to this day, meaning songwriter Roy Wood and the rest of the band have missed out on millions of pounds over the past six decades.
About 500 of the postcards were printed and an order was made for them to be destroyed.
One has now emerged from the bottom of a chest of drawers belonging to Pauline Evans who dated The Move’s lead singer Carl Wayne in the 1960s.
She also ran the fan club for The Move and he gave her the card before the case reached court.
Pauline kept the controversial postcard along with a scrapbook of never-before-seen photos of the band taken by her as well as press cuttings documenting the controversial episode.
Court documents from when a High Court judge ruled that all future royalties for the single Flowers in the Rain had to be donated in perpetuity to a charity of Mr Wilson’s choosing
Lawyers notes on the court documents warning Carl Wayne to obey the court ruling
Pauline Evans (pictured) dated The Move’s lead singer Carl Wayne in the 1960s
Carl Wayne in an image from Ms Evans’ scrapbook
Now aged in her 70s, Pauline has decided the time is right to part with the archive and she has made it available for sale through Fieldings Auctioneers.
There is also Carl Wayne’s copy of the court injunction papers served on the band.
Will Farmer, director at Fieldings Auctioneers said: ‘This is such an exciting slice of pop history from the golden era in British music.
‘This rare and unique archive offers a fan of late 1960s music scene a chance to own the record of one of the most controversial news stories of the day.
‘The Move released this promotional postcard in 1967 as a piece of highly satirical art work that poked fun at Harold Wilson, who was Prime Minister at the time.
‘He took them to court and won and they lost the royalties to Flowers in the Rain. They have not received a penny from it even now.
‘We have got Carl Wayne’s own copy of that postcard. He gave it to Pauline and this is the only known copy to have survived as all the others were destroyed.
‘She is now in her early 70s and feels it is time to let a fan of the band or somebody who really wants it to enjoy it.
Ms Evans is now in her early 70s
The back of The Move postcard that was gvien to Pauline Evans by Carl Wayne
Carl Wayne (seated) with his 1962 band the Vikings
‘The Move are still very well respected and in 1967 the case was one of the biggest stories at the time. It was the equivalent of Rishi Sunak suing Harry Styles.
‘Flowers in the Rain was an iconic song from the 1960s. It was the very first song played on Radio One.’
The Move – Roy Wood, Carl Wayne, Bev Bevan, Trevor Burton and Christopher ‘Ace’ Kefford – came from Birmingham, where Ms Evans is from.
Dr Sally Hoban, a historian of Birmingham’s popular music culture, said: ‘This is a fantastic piece of never before seen British and Birmingham pop music history.
‘The Move were a highly influential band whose unique and iconic psychedelic songs helped to define the late 1960s sound of Britain’s popular music as a whole.
‘Birmingham has a thriving and vibrant history of music culture and this scrapbook is a wonderful and unique piece of this history.’
After leaving The Move, Roy Wood went on to form the Electric Light Orchestra and then Wizzard, cashing in on their most famous song, I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday.
The sale takes place on Thursday.
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