The Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction June 2023
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/8/2023
APPLE CORPS Limited Dissolution of Contract Signed by All Four Beatles “The Beatles Break-Up Contract”

Typed document signed by “Paul McCartney” and “R. Starkey”, twice signed by “George Harrison” and "John Lennon"; Apple Corps Limited, dated 29 December 1974, 2 page

Dimensions: 13 x 8 inches (33.02 x 20.32 cm)

For all intents and purposes, The Beatles had ceased to exist as a cohesive creative entity in 1969 when John informed his band mates “I want a divorce”, but it only became public in 1970 with Paul's announcement that he was leaving the band. The breakup was fueled by grief over the death of longtime manager Brian Epstein and escalating tension with respect to collaboration and songwriting: John was growing increasingly experimental in his tastes, Paul was still fully committed to pop music, and George found that there wasn't space for his newfound commitment to songwriting.

In initiating the formal dissolution of The Beatles, the band was opening itself up to enormous tax liability, and it would ultimately take years to untangle their business interests, and agree upon the terms governing the dissolution of their partnership. By 1974, after years of litigation, the band had reached an accord, and the documents were supposed to be signed on 19 December at a meeting at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan (where The Beatles had stayed during their first trip to the United States). McCartney and Harrison were there in person, while Starr, having already signed the document, was on the telephone. Although Lennon lived a short distance from the Plaza, he left his former bandmates waiting, purportedly giving the excuse: “the stars aren’t right” (in reality his absence was due to lingering concerns over taxation). Ten days later, the stars aligned in Disney World of all places.

On 29 December, a lawyer met a vacationing John with the amended contract in Florida. The moment was captured by John’s partner May Pang, who remarked that Lennon “looked wistfully out the window” before signing underneath his band mates’ signatures. Of this potentially divisive moment, Pang further noted: “The friendship was still there. They were brothers. There was no animosity. And even though they all felt they had to break up to get to the next level of their musical careers, John had started this band that changed the world … So, when he sat down to sign, he knew that this was it. His was the last signature. As he had started the group, he was the one to end it."

Offered here the document that formally broke up the band forever. This document releases each Beatles member from their obligation to record as the group known as “The Beatles”, thus giving each Beatles member their independence from each other to pursue their own projects solely and as individuals. This document was referenced in an earlier document sold by Sotheby's: , whereas Clause 3 Paragraph 3 states, “We hereby confirm our agreement that the Settlement Agreement has therefore in accordance with Clause 5 (paragraph 5) become unconditional in all respects”. This document is that document, with Clause 5 highlighted as the last aspect of the agreement, which states, “This letter is conditional upon the said Agreement becoming unconditional and the DISSOLUTION OF THE PARTNERSHIP in accordance with the terms of the said agreement”

Authentication: Roger Epperson (REAL) Letter of Authenticity and a Gotta Have Rock and Roll Certificate of Authenticity.
APPLE CORPS Limited Dissolution of Contract Signed by All Four Beatles “The Beatles Break-Up Contract” (REAL)
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $100,000
Final Bid: $240,000
Estimate: $300,000 - $500,000
Number of Bids:7
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