First ever Beatles contract sells for £48,000

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The Beatles’ first recording contract has sold at auction for almost £50,000.

The 1961 paperwork fetched £48,000 ($75,000) at the event held by Heritage Auctions in New York. The deal resulted in the recording of a single called My Bonnie, released under the band name Tony Sheridan And The Beat Brothers.

The song impressed Brian Epstein, who went on to become the manager of the band which became The Beatles. In the early 60s, The Beatles performed at nightclubs in Hamburg, where the contract was signed. They had been backing British singer Tony Sheridan at Hamburg’s Top Ten Club.

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and drummer Pete Best signed the six-page contract, which was sold by the estate of Beatles collector Uwe Blaschke. Best was later replaced by Ringo Starr.

Heritage Auctions consignment director Dean Harmeyer says: “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.”

My Bonnie was released only in Germany and the following year the band released Love Me Do, their first hit single as The Beatles.

Earlier this year, George Harrison’s Maton Mastersound guitar sold at auction for £310,000 ($485,000).