The contract that the Beatles signed to make Brian Epstein their manager in 1962 was sold Sept. 29 by Sotheby’s in London for £365,000 or approximately $530,676, the auction house announced today. The company had originally estimated the document would sell for somewhere between £300,000 to £500,000. The contract, reproduced on mimeographed paper, was an agreement for Epstein to manage the Beatles for five years. According to the terms of the deal, the manager was to be paid a 10 percent commission if the group earned up to £400 in a week, 20 percent if they made between £400 and £800 and 25% for any amounts above that.
The managerial contract along with a supplementary agreement were signed by Epstein and by each of the Beatles under their full names – John Winston Lennon, George Harrison, James Paul McCartney and Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr). Harold Harrison and James McCartney, the fathers of Paul McCartney and George Harrison, also had to sign the agreement since their sons had not yet turned 21. Brian Epstein’s brother, Clive, and Brian’s secretary Beryl Adams, also witnessed the document. The Oct. 1, 1962 contract was the first one signed by Epstein. He had made a verbal agreement to manage them earlier that year.
Other Beatles items sold by Sotheby’s today were a Beatles concert program from a 1963 show at Winter Garden in Margate, which sold for £8,750 (approximately $13,265), an autographed photo of the four Beatles which went for £3,500 ($5.306), a detention sheet for John Lennon from Quarry Bank High School that sold for £2,500, original drawings for the movie “Yellow Submarine” that went for £500 and a piece of Metropolitan Police memorandum stationary with signatures of the Beatles and others that sold for £4,000, well above the original estimate of £1,000 to £1,500.