The 1962 contract that officially bound the Beatles and manager Brian Epstein will go to auction in September as part of a Sotheby’s exhibition that’s heavy on items from the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Cream. The October 1st, 1962 managerial contract, signed by all four members of the Beatles as well as Epstein, is expected to sell for between $467,000 and $780,000 when it hits the auction block September 29th in London.
As Sotheby’s notes, the Beatles initially signed a managerial contract with Epstein in January 1962 at the home of then-drummer Pete Best. However, Epstein never actually inked that agreement. Following the addition of Ringo Starr in August, as well as the Beatles signing a record deal with EMI, another contract was drawn up in October 1962 to cement Epstein’s relationship with the Fab Four.
The five-year contract featured an out clause that allowed for the agreement to be revoked with three months’ notice, but the Beatles rewarded Epstein’s faith in the band five months later by erasing that clause from the contract entirely. Epstein, considered the fifth member of the Beatles, passed away in 1967.
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The managerial contract gave Epstein authority how the Beatles were presented, from their wardrobe to their make-up. Another amendment made it possible for the band to vote out another member if two or more of the Beatles wanted them removed from the Fab Four. While Epstein, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Starr and Lennon all signed the document, the contract actually features multiple Lennon signatures as he signed in the wrong spot on two occasions, Sotheby’s writes.
Elsewhere in Sotheby’s Rock & Pop exhibition, the auction house is offering original copies of the Please Please Me and Meet the Beatles LPs signed by all four members. A rare numbered copy of “The White Album,” stamped with “No. 01” and given to then-Capitol Records president Stan Gorgikov, will also go to auction with an estimated sale price of $8,000-$10,000.
The estate of late Cream bassist Jack Bruce has also made available dozens of items from his collection, including instruments, clothing and signed manuscript lyrics to the band’s classic singles “White Room,” “Politician,” and “Sunshine of Your Love,” the latter of which also includes Eric Clapton’s autograph. Clapton’s 2009 signature Fender Stratocaster will also be auctioned, with proceeds from that sale benefitting the Luke-Rees Pulley Charitable Trust. A typed copy of Bob Dylan’s revised “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” featuring Dylan’s own handwritten notes, will also go to the highest bidder, with an estimate of $234,000-$312,000 set for that auction.