Beatle's first recording contract up for sale in New York
The first recording ever signed by The Beatles will be amongst the highlights of a Heritage auction next month.
Dating from 1961, the contract saw the band record their first single 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' with producer Bert Kaempfert and fellow Hamburg club performer Tony Sheridan, under the name 'Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers'.
It was this first single which attracted the attention of Brian Epstein, and when the band returned to Liverpool he became their manager and set them on the way to superstardom.
Signed by John, Paul, George and original drummer Pete Best, the contract earned them each around £20 – and is now expected to sell for $150,000+.
"This is perhaps the most historically important Beatles document to ever appear at auction," said Dean Harmeyer, Consignment Director at Heritage Auctions. "Without this contract, which directly led to their involvement with Brian Epstein, the Beatles may have never been able achieve their later success as a recording group. And at the time it was a momentous career milestone - they'd finally secured an actual recording deal, something they had only dreamed of before 'My Bonnie'".
The contract is part of the collection of Uwe Blaschke, a German graphic designer who helped establish a Beatles museum in Hamburg before his passing in 2012. The vast collection of memorabilia spans the Beatles' career, with a particular focus on their formative years in Germany.
"This collection opens a window to a part of Beatles history that's not well known internationally," said author and Beatles expert Ulf Krüger, who worked with Blaschke to launch the museum in Hamburg. "John Lennon himself famously said he was born in Liverpool but grew up in Hamburg and this collection documents that transition. There's really nothing comparable to it in the entire world."
"The Blaschke collection represents one of the finest Beatles collections to ever come to auction," added Harmeyer. "It is truly an international collection, with items from around the world. And with its roots in Germany, the Blaschke collection shines a particular light on the importance of the time the early Beatles spent in Hamburg. For die-hard Beatle fans, Hamburg is an incredibly important chapter in their early, formative period. Had the Beatles not gone to Hamburg, the later story may have been very different - or perhaps not known at all."
The Uwe Blaschke Beatles Collection will be sold as part of the Heritage Auctions Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature sale in New York on September 19-20.
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