The Beatles' first signed contract sells for a HUGE amount of money

10 July 2019, 18:41 | Updated: 15 January 2024, 10:54

Beatles Performing At The Cavern Club
Beatles Performing At The Cavern Club. Picture: Getty

The Beatles' first ever contract with manager Brian Epstein has sold for £275,000 at auction.

Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and their original drummer Pete Best, signed the document on January 24, 1962, before finding fame.

The contract gave Epstein responsibility for getting work for the band, and managing their daily schedule and publicity.

It was the first of two contracts drawn up between Epstein and The Beatles.

Gabriel Heaton, a specialist at Sotheby's, which organised the auction, said: "Epstein was just blown away by the passion, the energy, the charisma, the raw sexuality on stage.

"The Beatles had the stage energy but he instilled a sense of professionalism in them.

"Epstein stopped them eating on stage, made sure they played the songs properly and coherently, and he got them bowing at the end of a set."

The contract reveals that Epstein's fee would be 10%, rising to 15% if their earnings should exceed £120 a week. Which it clearly did. However, Paul McCartney had negotiated Epstein's fee down from 20%.

When Best left the band, another contract was signed on October 1, 1962 with Ringo Starr as the new drummer and Epstein taking an even bigger percentage.

The auction was staged to help raise money for the Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation.

Meanwhile, the surviving members of Lennon's first band The Quarry Men have reunited for a special film.

Last Played Songs