Beatles’ First Recording Contract Going to Auction
The Beatles‘ first record contract, signed in 1961 when the quartet served as Tony Sheridan’s backing band “The Beat Brothers” for the single “My Bonnie,” will hit the auction block next month. Heritage Auctions in New York will offer up this piece of Fab Four history, signed prior to the band recording the track at a Hamburg, Germany studio, as well as other unique Beatles items as part of a September 19th auction. The expected sale price of the “My Bonnie” contract is $150,000.
The six-page contract – signed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and then-drummer Pete Best – is being sold by the estate of Uwe Blaschke, a German graphic designer and noted Beatles historian who died in 2010, The Associated Press reports. According to the contract, the Beatles were only paid $80 for the “My Bonnie” session, but the single ended up having massive reverberations.
Although aimed for the German audience, the unexpected success of “My Bonnie” in the U.K. inspired a record shop manager named Brian Epstein to seek out the band at one of their Cavern Club gigs in Liverpool. Epstein would soon become the Beatles’ manager and help the Beatles secure a record contract with EMI.
Other Beatles items up for sale in the auction include an autographed copy of the “Love Me Do” single (the band’s first with Ringo Starr), four Beatles posters created by Richard Avedon in 1966 and a postcard Starr sent to his grandmother from Hamburg in 1960.
The “My Bonnie” contract is the latest big Beatles item to hit the auction block: In recent months, fans have had the opportunity to bid on Lennon’s “lost” “Love Me Do” guitar and his “Paperback Writer” guitar, the band’s Help! jackets, a rare recording of a Beatles’ gig from a Hamburg strip club and even McCartney’s childhood home.