Tuesday 29 September 2015


The contract that launched the Beatles, binding together John, George, Paul and Ringo with manager Brian Epstein, sold for £365,000

The contract that launched the Beatles as one of the most successful bands of all time has been sold for £365,000 at auction in London.
Signed almost 53 years ago to the day, just before the release of their first single Love Me Do, it was the only contract signed between manager Brian Epstein and the final line-up of John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
An anonymous buyer bought the contract at Sotheby's auction house, which was drawn up on October 1, 1962 in Epstein's Whitechapel office at North Ends Music Stores. 

Specialist at Sotheby's Gabriel Heaton, said: 'Without this contract, and the relationship it represents, it seems inconceivable that the Beatles could have achieved all that they did: it took more than inspired musicianship and song-writing to remake popular music.

'The presentation, direction, and internal harmony of the Beatles all owed a huge amount to Brian Epstein. He was, as Paul McCartney has acknowledged, the fifth Beatle,' added Heaton. 
The contract is between Brian Epstein and The Beatles, signed by John Winston Lennon, George Harrison, James Paul McCartney, and Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr).
As Paul and George were under 21, their fathers, Harold Hargreaves Harrison and James McCartney, were also summoned to co-sign the contract.
The contract states that The Beatles agree to 'appoint the Manager to act as such Manager throughout the world ... for a period of 5 years from the 1st day of October 1962', signed by Brian Epstein as company Director and Clive Epstein as company Secretary, then signed by all other parties including all four Beatles.
The contract is signed by John, George, Paul and Ringo,just days before they released the single Love Me Do

Fathers' support:As Paul and George were under 21,their fathers,Harold Hargreaves Harrison and James McCartney, were also summoned to co-sign the contract

The contract was part of with the Sotheby's 'Rock & Pop sale' in London today, and was expected to fetch as much as £500,000.
Highlights of the sale included the 'ABBA Grand' piano, used in almost all of ABBA's studio recordings 1973-1977, as well as instruments, clothing and manuscripts from the collection of the legendary bassist Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton's Fender Stratocaster in Daphne blue.
The sale also featured a strong selection of Bob Dylan material, including the revised typescript lyrics for 'It's a Hard Rain's Gonna Fall', a highly important working draft (lot 71).
This follows the success of our New York A Rock and Roll History sale last year, where Bob Dylan's autograph manuscript for 'Like a Rolling Stone' set a new record for not just material by Dylan but for any popular music lyrics sold at auction. 

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