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.
Months later, at the behest of Epstein, Ringo Starr replaced Best following the band’s first recording session at Abbey Road Studios in London.
It was the first of two contracts drawn up between Epstein and The Beatles.
The contract gave Epstein responsibility for getting work for the band, and managing their daily schedule and publicity.
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.