The contract that launched the career of The Beatles will be sold in London later this month and is expected to fetch up to STG500,000 ($A1.09 million), Sotheby’s auction house says.

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

Harrison and McCartney were under 21 at the time so their fathers acted as co-signatories and there was a clause in the contract stating that band members could be expelled “should two or more of them desire”.

Image via Sothebys

The document also outlined the different commission rates that Epstein would receive for earnings of up to STG400, up to STG800 and more than STG800 a week.


“Without this contract, and the relationship it represents, it seems inconceivable that the Beatles could have achieved all that they did,” Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s specialist in books and manuscripts, said on Saturday.

Epstein, who died from an accidental overdose in 1967, was dubbed the “Fifth Beatle” by McCartney.


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