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Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and original drummer Pete Best, signed the document on 24 January 1962, before achieving fame.

It gave Brian Epstein responsibility for finding the band work, and managing their schedule and publicity.

The document was the first of two contracts drawn up between Epstein and The Beatles.

Gabriel Heaton, a specialist at Sotheby’s auction house, which was in charge of the auction, said: “Epstein was just blown away by the passion, the energy, the charisma, the raw sexuality on stage.” “The Beatles had the stage energy but he instilled a sense of professionalism in them,” Mr Heaton added. “Epstein stopped them eating on stage, made sure they played the songs properly and coherently, and he got them bowing at the end of a set.”

The contract outlines Epstein’s fee would be 10%, rising to 15% if their earnings should exceed £120 a week. Paul McCartney had negotiated Epstein’s fee down from 20%.Under 21 at the time, McCartney, Harrison and Best had to ask their parents’ consent to sign the contract.After Best left the band, another contract was signed on 1 October 1962 with Ringo Starr as drummer and Epstein taking a bigger percentage of their earnings.

That document has now sold at auction for £275,000, raising money for the Ernest Hecht Charitable Foundation.

Then a record shop owner and music writer, Epstein discovered the Beatles performing at Liverpool’s Cavern Club in November 1961, remarking on their “star quality”. He extricated them from a German recording arrangement and a label deal with Polydor, and signed them to EMI label Parlophone.


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Photographer Gabrielle Crawford photographed icons such as John Lennon, who became a great pal, and Barbra Streisand, who did not.
One of her most joyful encounters with the late Beatle was in 1966 when he had a part in one of Crawford’s movies.
“Michael and I shared a house in Germany with him while they were filming How I Won The War,” she recalls.
The black comedy starred Crawford as a bungling Army officer and Lennon in his only non-musical role as Musketeer Gripweed. It was for this character that he first wore the round glasses for which he became known.
Gabrielle says: “John wasn’t in very much of the film and Michael was, so I had hours and hours with him wasting time.
“We led a very private life in a field behind the villa where we were staying. We talked about life – he was interested in mine and I was interested in his.”
The lush vegetation surrounding the villa reminded Lennon of Strawberry Field, a Salvation Army garden near his childhood home in Liverpool. It was during breaks in filming that he wrote Strawberry Fields.
She adds: “We also spent time on a beach in Almeria, in the south of Spain, where he worked on the song.
“I was experimenting with a fish-eye lens and captured John playing his guitar.”
The stunning image of Lennon, sitting on a beach strumming away, is from Gabrielle’s personal collection and has never before been published.
“The tall guy is Antony, the chauffeur/bodyguard, and Maureen, Ringo’s wife, is in the frame too,” she says.
During their time as housemates, Gabrielle would join the Beatle on trips to his favourite record shop in Hamburg, where their biggest challenge was avoiding being mobbed by his fans.
“You would have to lie in the back of his great big Rolls-Royce with blacked out windows,” Gabrielle recalls.
“He would leap out with his security man and me, and rush into this shop – which had been closed for his arrival. We would then spend hours looking at new artists.
“John was curious about everything. He was a very gentle person. I found him quite insecure, actually. The person I knew wasn’t brash, he was just like anyone else, all these stars are. It is only us that turn them into something they’re not.”
Such is their importance to Gabrielle, that publicising the exhibition is worth the price of breaking her lifelong aversion to publicity.



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His eyewear store in the Northgate mall was ransacked and some $200,000 in cash and merchandise stolen, but optometrist Hermann Dungs was upbeat: Burglars missed his most valuable item – a pair of John Lennon’s eyeglasses. San Rafael police Thursday continued to investigate the weekend burglary, which wiped out Dungs’ Visionary Opticians store of eyeglasses, computers and cash. But a pair of the familiar round lenses worn by the Beatle more than three decades ago was one of the few items left – with a value of about $300,000 by Dungs’ estimation.

“At this point, it is funny to me,” said Dungs, of Fairfax. “Stuff happens.”

Police said thieves likely took advantage of easier off-hour access as the mall undergoes a remodel. The eyeglass store, the sole victim in the case, is at the north end of the mall where interiors have been torn down and boarded up in the $70 million renovation project. “We’re not exactly sure where they came through, but it seems like this wasn’t as secure as it could’ve been,” said San Rafael police Sgt. Mike Vergara. “It seems like it was accessible due to construction, (making it) a little bit easier to get in.”He said Northgate security has always been tight, “but obviously somebody found a loophole.” He was not aware of other mall burglaries since the reconstruction project began over the summer.Dungs suspected burglars entered through an opening in the roof, allowing them “to kick open a piece of plywood and then just step into the mall” and break his store’s lock.

Ryan Williams, senior marketing manager of mall owner, Macerich Co., said the construction crew has been employing extra security to patrol the outside of the mall in addition to the regular security detail inside. “Security is our number one priority (and) at Northgate it is no different,” he said, noting mall officials are “working with Hermann to alleviate the situation.” Dungs was glad that the burglars apparently didn’t need to use the shop’s restroom. That’s because sitting next to the sink were the lenses Lennon brought to a store Dungs once had on Union Street in San Francisco in 1971. “He bought two new pairs of glasses, then handed me his old ones that he said were all scratched up,” Dungs said, noting the musician was in the city for some political events.

He said Lennon called him back the next day when informed the new wire-rimmed specs were ready. He gave Dungs mailing instructions because he had to return to New York for a court appearance for a pot bust. A letter from Lennon thanking Dungs was one of the items swiped from the store’s window case.  Dungs said Lennon’s old lenses, in frames from the official John Lennon collection, were typically on display in his shop with the letter, but he recently left them resting on the soap tray in the restroom with the intention of bringing them home.“If I hadn’t done that, they would have been gone.”

Last year, a pair of orange-tinted glasses worn by the Beatles singer and composer throughout the band’s 1966 tour of Japan was auctioned off to a British collector for $1.5 million.



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John Lennon‘s official Instagram page has revealed a really rare photo of Lennon playing a bizarre instrument, an alphorn, also known as labraphone. The picture also includes a young Julian Lennon and was photographed by Beatles Book Monthly photographer Leslie Bryce at Lennon’s Kenwood, Weybridge, Surrey, home on June 29, 1967.

Here is the story:


‘I’m a cinema verité guitarist; I’m a musician and you have to break down your barriers to hear what I’m playing. I’m an artist and if you give me a tuba, I’ll bring you something out of it.’ – JL, 1970⁣

Caption from The Beatles Book Monthly No. 128: ‘John showed us the weirdest collection of musical instruments we’d ever seen in his Weybridge home. Here he is playing the top half of a Swiss horn!’ ⁣

John and Julian @julespicturepalace photographed by Beatles Book Monthly photographer Leslie Bryce at their home, Kenwood, Weybridge, Surrey, 29 June 1967.⁣



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In 1969, Plastic Ono Band (John Lennon and Yoko Ono) recorded Give Peace A Chance, an anti-war anthem for generations of pacifists and music fans around the world. The song was recorded live from Lennon and Ono’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel suite in downtown Montreal, where John and Yoko were holding their famous “Bed-in for Peace” protest. Fifty years later, the Mint has captured that special moment in Canadian and music history with a pure silver coin celebrating Lennon and Ono’s artistic talent and social activism, in a deal brokered by Epic Rights, the global licensing agent for John Lennon.

“For generations of Canadians, the music and lyrics of John Lennon and Yoko Ono have been a source of pleasure and inspiration,” said Marie Lemay, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.  “We are delighted to have crafted a coin celebrating Canada’s special connection to John and Yoko, and their lasting message of peace.”

“For the 50th anniversary of the Bed-in for Peace, we are honoured that the Royal Canadian Mint is paying tribute to a marking moment in our hotel and our city’s history by issuing a commemorative coin,” mentions David Connor, Regional Vice-President and General Manager, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth. “We hope that it will help promote greater awareness about John and Yoko’s message of peace which still has strong resonance and importance today.”

The reverse design of this 99.99% pure silver coin features a rendering of Ivor Sharp’s famous black and white photograph of John and Yoko at their “Bed-In for Peace,” held in Montreal in the late spring of 1969. Dressed in pyjamas and both holding roses, they sit on a bed, with handmade peace posters hanging behind them.  The obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.


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Prior to their concert in Montreal on Saturday night, Canadian singers Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida paid homage to the 50th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famous Bed-In for Peace.

John Lennon and Ono held two bed-ins in 1969 to protest American involvement in the Vietnam War, one in Amsterdam and the other in Montreal.


On Saturday, Kreviazuk and Maida staged a similar scene, in the very same room as Lennon and Ono once lay at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel. “We thought it would be incredible to come and experience the room and remind people to be kind to each other and to love one another,” she said. Maida alluded to the Vietnam War and how times may not have changed a lot since Lennon and Ono occupied the room.“It feels like we haven’t really evolved,” he said.


“We live in this incredible culture of violence.” Both Kreviazuk and Maida said that peace begins at home.“If everyone, no matter what their podium or purpose was, tried to come at their life with the idea of being respectful and more mindful to each other, we would live in a very different world,” Kreviazuk said.“We have young children and it’s just teaching them so that when they go out in the world, they are that,” Maida added.