The Beatles' first contract with manager Brian Epstein sells for £275k

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A specialist at Sotheby’s credited Epstein with professionalising the band: stopping them from eating on stage and making sure they ‘played the songs properly’

On 24 January 1962, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and original Beatles drummer Pete Best signed a management contract with Brian Epstein, promising him a fee of 10%, rising to 15% if their income exceeded £120 a week – a sum that McCartney had negotiated down from 20%. Under 21 at the time, McCartney, Harrison and Best had to ask their parents’ consent to sign the contract.

That document has now sold at auction for £275,000, raising money for the Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation.

Related: What would the world have been like without the Beatles?

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