Where classic rock is concerned, it’s hard to imagine a group that’s any more “classic” than The Beatles, and that may be why Beatles Memorabilia fetches such impressive prices when it becomes available.
What’s a bit surprising about this transaction is that the piece of paper that has been declared to be the Beatles first-ever contract does not even have the name “Beatles” on it. At the time, the group was known as Tony Sheridan And The Beat Brothers because the Fab 4 was backing a musician by the name of Tony Sheridan at the time and were playing in nightclubs around Hamburg, Germany. They were eventually noticed by a fellow named Brian Epstein who later became the manager for The Beatles.
Epstein took a liking to a song named “My Bonnie” that the group had been performing and offered to sign them on to record it. The six-page contract that resulted was signed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and drummer Pete Best in 1961. As most fans are aware, Best was replaced by Ringo Starr before their popularity exploded.
The contract was sold by the estate of Uwe Blaschke, a noted collector of Beatles memorabilia, at a auction event by Heritage Auctions of New York for about $75,000.
Dean Harmeyer, Heritage Auctions consignment director is quoted as saying: “Had they not spent this time in Hamburg, they may have not become the musical force that they did. Had they not recorded “My Bonnie” they may have never come to the attention of Brian Epstein.”
A year after they recorded “My Bonnie” the group released “Love Me Do,” which became their first hit single as The Beatles, and the rest, as they say, is history.