Courtesy of Sotheby’s
The original management contract that The Beatles signed with Brian Epstein in January 1962 is going up for bid at an online-only auction hosted by Sotheby’s in London that’s scheduled to run from July 1 to July 9.
The document, which was signed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and original Beatles drummer Pete Best, is estimated to sell for between 200,000 and 300,000 pounds, or $256,000 to $385,000 USD.
The contract gave Epstein the responsibility of finding gigs for the band, as well as handling the group’s publicity and managing its schedule. The agreement also tasked Brian with advising the band “on all matters concerning clothes, make-up and the presentation and construction of the [group’s] acts.”
Epstein’s fee was set at 10 percent, rising to 15 percent if the band began earning more than 120 pounds a week — a figure that McCartney had negotiated down from 20 percent.
The contract was signed less than three months after Brian first went to watch The Beatles perform at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, U.K. Epstein had been running his family’s popular record shop in the city, but was so impressed with the group’s performance and charisma that he decided offer the band his services as manager.
Interestingly, Brian never signed the contract himself, explaining in his biography that he wasn’t completely confident that he’d do a good job managing the band, and “wanted to free the Beatles of their obligations if I felt they would be better off.”
After Best was replaced by Ringo Starr, The Beatles signed a new contract with Epstein. That document sold at a 2015 Sotheby’s auction for more than $550,000.
Brain managed The Beatles until his death in 1967 from an overdose of sleeping pills.
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