Beatles' 'Birth Certificate' with a Pounds 250k Price Tag; Document That Changed Popular Music for Ever

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), August 13, 2008 | Go to article overview

Beatles' 'Birth Certificate' with a Pounds 250k Price Tag; Document That Changed Popular Music for Ever


Byline: BY MIKE CHAPPLE Daily Post Staff

THE so called "Holy Grail of all Beatles memorabilia" - the band's first signed contract with manager Brian Epstein - is expected to fetch at least pounds 250,000 at auction.

The historic document, arguably the most important music contract of all time, is the late manager's personal copy. The first copy was originally signed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr on January 24, 1962.

But Epstein refused to ink his name until he fulfilled his pledge to secure them their first recording contract which he finally did nearly nine months later when the deal with EMI's Parlophone label to release their first single Love Me Do was confirmed on October 1.

This second fiveyear contract also contains the signatures of Harold Hargreaves Harrison and James McCartney, George and Paul's respective fathers who had to give additional consent on behalf of their sons as they were under 21. The lot also includes a supplementary agreement signed by all parties on January 22 1963.

It is being sold by the Fame Bureau, the world's biggest dealers in rock and film memorabilia.

"You'd probably say I would say that, but this really is the Holy Grail when it comes to Beatles memorabilia," said the Bureau's managing director 60-year-old Ted Owen, who previously set up the record breaking sales of Lennon's "Imagine" piano for pounds 1.5m and the auction of the lyrics for All You Need is Love.

"It gives me shivers down the spine looking at it because it's a historical document of such significance. I can almost see them there with Paul and George's dads perhaps in Brian's NEMs office in Liverpool and how excited they must have been."

Mr Owen, who said that the contract would have probably originated from the estate of Brian's late mother Queenie, added that Beatles memorabilia is still the most sought after in the world.

"Over 30 years since they split and they are still the number one collectables. The material increases in value continually and anything, particularly anything containing all the Beatles signatures, has literally doubled in price in just a couple of years. …

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