The document releasing the Beatles from their group record-keeping duties will be auctioned. Bids in excess of $300,000 are expected.
Gotta Have Rock and Roll, an auction house known for its rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, has advertised the “Beatles Separation Agreement.” auctionthereby relieving each band member of their group recording obligations and allowing them to pursue their solo careers.
The Apple Corps Limited Break-Up Contract signed by all four Beatles, also known as “The Beatles Break-Up Contract,” is a two-page, typed document signed by “Paul McCartney” and “R. Starkey” and twice from “George Harrison” and “John Lennon” dated December 29, 1974. The estimated value of the contract is between $300,000 and $500,000, making it one of the most important Beatles memorabilia. The auction ends on June 30th.
After a delay in securing John Lennon’s signature, the Beatles’ split was officially confirmed by the contract five years after their actual split. The group parted ways in 1969 after Lennon left a meeting, telling his bandmates, “I want a divorce.”
But even then, the news did not become public until April 1970, when Paul McCartney began circulating promotional material for his debut solo album, including announcing that he was leaving the group.
The certified 1974 letter, while only a formality, confirmed the “dissolution of the partnership” and granted Lennon, Harrison, McCartney and Ringo Starr freedom to pursue solo careers, but required the unanimous consent of all members for all matters relating to the Finances of the Beatles.
“The split was fueled by grief over the death of longtime manager Brian Epstein and escalating tensions over collaboration and songwriting,” reads the document’s lot description. “John was becoming increasingly experimental in his tastes, Paul was still fully committed to pop music, and George found there was no room for his newfound commitment to songwriting.”
The document was originally scheduled to be signed on December 19, 1974 at a meeting at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan – where the group had stayed during their first trip to the United States. Still, Lennon wouldn’t get to paper for another ten days while he was vacationing at Disney World.