The Beatles 1963 _320
THE first management contract between The Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein was sold at auction in London for £240,000 last night, below its estimated selling price of £250,000.
The document, billed as the most important music contract of all time, belonged to Epstein, who helped launch the band after seeing them play at the Cavern Club.
He became their manager in 1961 but the contract was not signed by “John Winston Lennon”, “George Harrison”, “James Paul McCartney” and “Richard Starkey” (Ringo Starr) until January 24, 1962.
Epstein only inked his name on the document on October 1, 1962, after getting the Fab Four a deal with EMI for the release of the single Love Me Do.
He said he did not sign earlier because he wanted the band to be able to walk away if he could not deliver on his promise to get them a record deal and a number one.
The contract also bears the names of Harold Hargreaves Harrison and James McCartney, giving consent on behalf of their sons as they were under 21.
Another bidder at the Fame Bureau’s It’s More Than Rock and Roll auction – held in London – snapped up the lyrics for Sexy Sadie, a song which features on The Beatles' White Album.
The lyrics were carved into a wooden plaque by John Lennon and represent an attack on the Maharishi, the Indian guru much relied upon by the band.
Lennon changed the name of the song from Maharishi to Sexy Sadie in order to save fellow Beatle George Harrison from embarrassment as he still supported the man.
The hand-carved plaque sold for £32,000 - well below its estimated price of £45,000.