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Lot # 793 (of 873)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1961 Original Beatles Signed Payment Receipt

Starting Bid - $8,000.00, Sold For - $37,375.00

Historic, supremely unique payment receipt signed by the original Beatles, from their well-documented 1961 appearance at the Top Ten Club in Hamburg, Germany, documenting their receipt of pay for seven days work, from April 1st to 7th.. The receipt is handwritten in German, in an unidentified hand, in blue ink, on a single page titled Musiken - Gehalter - 1.-7.N.61 (Musicians' Salaries...), individually listing the five Beatles in the following order: George Harrison, Paul McCarthy, John Lennon, Stuart Sutcliffe, and Peter Best, and giving details of their matching salaries, which call for each to receive 35 deutsche marks for the seven days, less tax. Before there was the "Fab Four," before Ringo was even a member of the band, there was the "Fab Five." While George, John, Paul, Pete, and Stuart might not be as well known as the later Beatles lineup, in the world of Beatles memorabilia, the value of material from this early era is much greater to collectors and historians. Very little material exists from these earliest days, let alone signed material. Offered is one of the few existing signed documents from the Beatles featuring the original band members. On the 8 x 11.5-inch single-page receipt, each band member has signed below the German calculation of his wages, "George Harrison," "Paul McCartney," "J.W. Lennon," "Stuart Sutcliffe," and "Peter Best" in black ink. Each signature is large and clear, grading a perfect "10" on a scale of 1 to 10. Stuart Sutcliffe quit the band in early 1962 to pursue a career in art and died of a brain seizure in April of that year. Peter Best was fired over musical differences with McCartney and Lennon in August of 1962 and was replaced by Ringo Starr. When this receipt was signed, the Beatles were just starting to develop a local following, and had yet to even have their first professional recording session. The period covered by this receipt represents the Beatles' first seven days of a thirteen-week engagement at The Top Ten Club. This was the Beatles second appearance as professionals in Hamburg, Germany. The pay was modest, but the hours were long. The Beatles performed from 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM on Monday through Friday, from 7:00 PM to 3:00 AM on Saturday, and from 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM on Sunday. Fortunately, they were provided with a 15-minute break every hour. For this grueling schedule, each Beatle was compensated, as detailed in the receipt, the sum of 35 deutsche marks per week, less tax. According to The Complete Beatles Chronicles by Mark Lewisohn, during the 13 weeks at The Top Ten Club "the Beatles played a staggering 503 hours on stage over 92 nights. It was little wonder then that their stamina and musical versatility improved dramatically as the visit wore on. When they returned to Liverpool in July they were simply untouchable..." One of the most important signed Beatles items in existence; this incredible early Beatles relic was purchased years ago at a Christie's auction for $23,900. It has been consigned to this auction directly from the purchaser at that sale. Accompanied by a copy of the Christie's catalog page. Minor fold lines from filing are mentioned strictly for the sake of accuracy, otherwise in Excellent condition. LOA from James Spence, Steve Grad and John Reznikoff/PSA DNA. Reserve $8,000. Estimate $20,000/$30,000. SOLD FOR $37,375.00


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