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Next month, the biggest name in popular music over the last half century will be performing in Brisbane.

Paul McCartney, the droopy-eyed Beatle who sang with John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr to make up The Beatles, is coming to town!

And NOT seated in the audience will be one of the iconic group’s biggest Aussie fans, Sheryl Kounakoff.

Sheryl is well known to islanders for her work with the Girls Day Out Group that raises money for the Animal Welfare League.

What is not known about Sheryl is her love of music and her ‘love affair’ with The Beatles and music ‘way back when’.

It led to her obtaining one of the greatest prizes in music memorabilia; the signature of all FOUR of the ‘Mop Tops’ at the height of their Beatlemania fame.

The Beatles came to Australia only once as the most famous pop group of all time. It was in February 1964.

Sheryl was then known as Sheryl O’Neil, a star-struck Beatles fan who attended Star of the Sea school at Southport on the Gold Coast.

“I was just 15 years of age and all of us at school were in love with The Beatles.

“I tried every trick in the book to get my mother to let me go to the Brisbane concert, but she would not relent.

“Fortunately my school friend, Virginia Gerahty, was allowed to go and she promised she would do all she could to ‘get signatures’ for me from the concert,” Sheryl remembers.

What Virginia was able to obtain was one of the greatest prizes of all - the signature of all four of the Beatles.

“I can’t quite remember how she did it, but she did; and I was so excited and grateful.”

They are still the pride of Sheryl’s possessions and in the 50 years since she has been able to verify that the signatures of all four Beatles are ‘genuine’.

As most music fans and Baby Boomers know, all four Beatles went on to legendary status. Paul McCartney has had music in the popular charts for 35 continuous years and today Beatles music still tops the sales charts; and it invariably stands head-and-shoulders in quality above any music since.

Sheryl herself became a pianist and played professionally for several years as well as working in the Gold Coast real estate industry. She even got to meet famous and flamboyant US pianist and entertainer Liberace on the Gold Coast many years ago!

She met and married Bob Kounakoff in the early 1980’s, settling on Karragarra Island several years ago.

Whilst Sheryl can’t make Paul McCartney’s December concert, we can assure you that the author of this article will definitely be there!


• Sheryl Kunakoff with her precious autograph book.