Beatles Signed Contract
The acrimonious intra-band business and bad blood between the Beatles can be gleaned by reading the lines -- and between the lines -- of this important find, the last 2 pages of a March 31, 1973 agreement signed by John Lennon (twice), George Harrison and Ringo Starr (with his real name of Richard Starkey) -- with Paul McCartney’s signature conspicuously absent. This was a piece of carryover business from the Fab Four having split up in 1970 as an active act, primarily over the cleave between Lennon and McCartney over the band’s management after Brian Epstein’s death. In the power struggle, John wanted to bring in record industry heavyweight (and Rolling Stones manager) Allen Klein while Paul favored his father-in-law, showbiz lawyer Lee Eastman. When John persuaded the other 2 Beatles to go his way, Paul put on a show of unity by posing for photographs at the signing of Klein as manager, but he never put his signature on the paper -- nor any other subsequent paperwork dealing with the Beatles, such as this agreement in which the band signs off on the firing of Henry Newfeld, Secretary-Treasurer of the Beatles corporation. The rather cold-blooded move was important enough for a special meeting to be called at Klein’s office in Los Angeles, where the three rock legends signed the last page on top of another, twice by Lennon as President and Director of the corporation, and Harrison and Starkey as Directors. Lennon and Starkey signatures are in black marker with Lennon’s absolutely smashing, big and bold, but all NRMT, with George’s in blue ink. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find any better Beatles signatures than these pristine beauties. The pages are EX-MT, with just a touch of yellowing and 3 binder holes at the left. To have these magical signatures on an arcane document of this sort, demonstrating John and Paul’s petty feuding is, well, a ticket to ride.