Beatles contract expected to fetch £500,000

Credit: Sotheby's

The contract that launched The Beatles' career could fetch up to half a million pounds when it goes on sale for the first time.

It is the only management contact signed by the final Beatles line-up (John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr) and their manager Brian Epstein.

It was signed by them all on October 1 1962, just four days ahead of the release of their first single Love Me Do.

The document will be up for grabs at Sotheby's "Rock & Pop" sale.

Original contract Credit: Sotheby's

"Without this contract, and the relationship it represents, it seems inconceivable that the Beatles could have achieved all that they did: 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."

– Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby's