The original contract signed by The Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein sold at auction for £365,000 on Tuesday (September 29th).

The document, dated October 1st 1962, was signed at Epstein’s office in Whitechapel a matter of days before the group released their first single ‘Love Me Do’. It confirmed Epstein, often referred to as the ‘Fifth Beatle’, as the group’s permanent manager and also brought in Richard Starkey (known obviously as Ringo Starr) in place of their former drummer Pete Best.

The BeatlesThe Beatles' management contract went under the hammer this week

This contract, which previously fetched £240,000 the last time it went up for sale in London, replaced the temporary one that the group signed several months before in January 1962. It remains the only management contract between Epstein and the final line-up of The Beatles.

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“Without this contract, and the relationship it represents, it seems inconceivable that the Beatles could have achieved all that they did,” Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s specialist in books and manuscripts, said in a statement.

“It took more than inspired musicianship and song-writing to remake popular music. The presentation, direction, and internal harmony of the Beatles all owed a huge amount to Brian Epstein. He was, as Paul McCartney has acknowledged, the ‘Fifth Beatle’.”

In other Fab Four news, ITV has announced that it will be broadcasting a two-hour documentary later this year which will tell the stories behind all 27 of the band’s Number 1 singles in the US and the UK, called ‘The Nation’s Favourite Beatles Number One’, the running order of which will be voted for by the British public.

The special programme will feature rare and exclusive footage from the archives of the band’s company Apple Corps, and will tie in with a re-packaged CD/DVD release of The Beatles’ compilation 1 on November 6th.

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