Brian Epstein‘s copy of his management contract with The Beatles is expected to fetch £250,000 ($470,000) at a London auction.
The four-page document was signed on 1 October 1962 by Epstein and all four members of the group. Ringo Starr signed the contract under his real name, Richard Starkey.
Under the terms of the contract, Epstein agreed to “undertake all necessary advertising and publicity for the Artists” and to “advise the Artists on all matters concerning clothes, make-up and the presentation and construction of the Artists’ acts” in return for 25% of the group’s earnings, as long as they made in excess of £200 per week each.
THIS AGREEMENT is made the 1st day of October 1962 BETWEEN NEMS ENTERPRISES LIMITED whose Registered Office is situate at 62/72 Walton Road in the City of Liverpool (hereinafter called “the Manager”) of the first part JOHN WINSTON LENNON of 251 Menlove Avenue GEORGE HARRISON of 25 Upton Green JAMES PAUL McCARTNEY of 20 Forthlin Road and RICHARD STARKEY of 10 Admiral Grove, all of Liverpool aforesaid (hereinafter called “the Artists”) of the second part and HAROLD HARGREAVES HARRISON of 25 Upton Green (hereinafter called “Mr.Harrison”) JAMES McCARTNEY of 20 Forthlin Road (hereinafter called “Mr.McCartney”) both of Liverpool aforesaid of the third part.
A. The Artists are desirous of performing as a group of musicians to be known as “THE BEATLES” and pursuant thereto of taking engagements in the following branches of the entertainment industry:-
(a) Vaudeville and revue
(b) Motion Pictures
(c) Balls and Dances whether of a private or public nature
(d) Radio and Television broadcasting
(e) Concerts, private parties, cabarets
(f) Phonographic and tape recording
(g) Sponsorship projects
B. The Artists have agreed to appoint the Manager to be their Manager upon the terms and conditions hereinafter appearing and the Manager has agreed to act as such Manager upon the said terms and conditions.
The Beatles had previously signed a contract on 24 January 1962 but Epstein failed to sign. In his memoir A Cellarful Of Noise, Epstein claimed that this enabled the group to walk away if he failed to arrange a recording contract.
With the release of Love Me Do scheduled for 5 October, Epstein felt he had fulfilled this requirement. The new contract was to last for five years. It also contained two signatures by John Lennon, who inadvertently signed in the wrong place, crossed out his first attempt and re-signed in the correct area.
A later supplementary agreement, signed by all parties on 22 January 1963, is also included in the lot. The revision removed the clause allowing either party to terminate the management agreement at three months’ notice.
The contract, which carries an estimated price of $480,000, is being put up for sale by a northern England businessman and Beatles collector. The auction will take place at the Idea Generation gallery, in Chance Street, London, on 4 September.
A number of other Beatles-related items are to be sold along with the contract. These include a grand piano used during the recording of Hey Jude and the White Album, which is expected to fetch up to £400,000, and the lyrics of Sexy Sadie, engraved onto a piece of wood by John Lennon in 1968, which is expected to sell for up to £55,000.