Toys “R” Them

Bea­tles con­tract sells for £365,000 at auc­tion

The China Post - - ARTS -

The con­tract that launched the ca­reer of the Bea­tles was sold Tues­day in Lon­don for £365,000 ( US$553,000), auc­tion house Sotheby’s said.

The doc­u­ment was signed by John Len­non, Ge­orge Har­ri­son, Paul McCart­ney and Ringo Starr, along with their man­ager Brian Ep­stein on Oct. 1, 1962 — four days be­fore the re­lease of their first sin­gle “Love Me Do.”

It was the only deal signed by the four fi­nal Bea­tles mem­bers with Ep­stein, who died from an ac­ci­den­tal over­dose in 1967 and was dubbed the “fifth Bea­tle” by McCart­ney.

The band had first signed a con­tract with Ep­stein when Pete Best was still the drum­mer. Af­ter his re­place­ment by Starr less than nine months later, the two par­ties had to put pen to pa­per again.

“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,” said Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s spe­cial­ist in books and manuscripts.

“The pre­sen­ta­tion, di­rec­tion, and in­ter­nal har­mony of the Bea­tles all owed a huge amount to Brian Ep­stein.”

The new con­tract fea­tures the sig­na­tures of the mu­si­cians, with the fathers of McCart­ney and Har­ri­son act­ing as co-sig­na­to­ries be­cause their sons were younger than 21 at the time.

Un­der the con­tract, band mem­bers were re­quired to give one month’s no­tice be­fore leav­ing the group, while another clause stated that any mem­ber could be ex­pelled “should two or more of them de­sire.”


This un­dated photo pro­vided by the The Strong mu­seum, shows the 2015 fi­nal­ists for in­duc­tion into the Na­tional Toy Hall of Fame. The two win­ners will be in­ducted into hall of fame at The Strong mu­seum in Rochester, New York on Nov. 5.

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