The Beatles' 250k contract

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney of the Beatles

The Beatles' historic first record contract is up for auction.

The contract, signed in 1962 by the 'Fab Four' - John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, real name Richard Starkey, and George Harrison - tied them to manger Brian Epstein and promises the group one old English penny each for every record they sold.

In addition to the signatures of the band members, fathers James McCartney and Harold Hargreaves Harrison also had to sign their consent, as their sons were under 21 at the time.

The contract is being sold by a private collector at the 'It's More Than Rock 'n' Roll' auction at the Idea Generation gallery in London on September 4.

Manager Epstein didn't sign the contract himself until eight months later, as he didn't want to tie the group down if he couldn't deliver on his promise to get them to number one.

He eventually put his signature on the document - dated January 24 1962 - after clinching a deal with record company EMI to release the band's single 'Love Me Do'.

Under the contract, Epstein was entitled to a quarter of the band's earnings if they made over £200 a week. If the figure dropped below £100, he would only take 15 per cent.

Epstein remained the Beatles manager as their worldwide fame increased and 'Beatlemania' gripped the US and Europe until his accidental death in 1967 from an overdose of sleeping pills.

The contract originally sold for £125,000 when first sold by Epstein's estate around seven years ago.


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