First Beatles contract expected to be an $81,000 smash hit

It was 41 years ago today that the Beatles split, saddening a generation of fans and music lovers.

The Fab Four's ability to enthral shows no sign of diminishing. This Thursday, the first contract signed by the Beatles goes under the hammer at the Fame Bureau's auction in Covent Garden, London.

Written in German and signed by Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and original drummer Pete Best, the June 1961 seven-page document is expected to achieve around £50,000.

The contract originates from the Beatles' Hamburg days, where they were Tony Sheridan's backing group.

The one-year recording and publishing deal with Polydor resulted in a number of Sheridan hits as well as Beatles songs such as Ain't She Sweet and Cry For A Shadow, which were only released in 1964 as their fame reached new heights.

Ringo was drumming with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes

The band received 2% of royalties and around £8 of spending money a day between them, as well as first class train travel.

Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn commented: "It's a unique document. The recordings we've had for 50 years, but the contract that allowed those recordings to be made has never been seen, and it's the only Beatles recording contract that's ever come up for auction."

The contract, which is sure to attract Beatles fans and investors interested in Beatles collectibles, emerged in Switzerland earlier this year, in the possession of a German record producer's daughter.


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