The Beatles
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The Beatles

The Beatles
An important letter signed by John, George and Ringo, 18th April 1969, providing documentary evidence of one of the major catalysts behind the disbanding of The Beatles, the single page typescript letter addressed to Lee Eastman, formally notifying him that he was ...not authorized to act or hold yourself out as the attourney [sic] or legal representative of "The Beatles" or of any of the companies which the Beatles own or control.., acknowledging that the three signatories to the letter would co-operate with Mr. Eastman in his capacity as Paul McCartney's personal lawyer, and instructing Eastman to forward all Beatles associated material he had to ABKCO INDUSTRIES INC. [Allen Klein's company], signed in red felt pen John Lennon, in blue ballpoint pen Richard Starkey and in brown felt pen George Harrison 1p. framed
BEATLES,The The Beatles Anthology, London: Cassell & Co. 2000, pp.324-329
WENNER, Jann S. Lennon Remembers, USA: Verso, 2000, pp.34-35
Beatles Court Case
Corrado, John Why did the Beatles break up? 29th October 2002,
GOLDMAN, Albert The Lives of John Lennon, New York:?, 1988, pp.391-407
FAWCETT, Anthony John Lennon: One Day At A Time, New York:?, 1976, pp.81,82,88 & 89
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Post lot text
Photo courtesy of Peter Nash

Lot Essay

Although it is largely thought that the decline of The Beatles as a group began after the unexpected death of Brian Epstein in 1967, it was the realisation in 1969 that Apple was in financial chaos and haemorrhaging The Beatles money away, that spurred Lennon and McCartney in particular to look for a firm hand to take over the management of The Beatles' affairs. Lennon arranged to see Allen Klein whom he'd initially heard about through Brian Epstein and then via his friends The Rolling Stones whose business affairs Klein managed. In 1970 in his famous interview with Jann Wenner, Lennon described how he engineered the situation which enabled him to get Klein involved with The Beatles: ..I maneuver people. That's what leaders do. I sit and make situations in which it's a benefit to me with other people...I had to do a job to get Allen into Apple...I...[created] a situation around Apple and the Beatles in which Allen could come in. He wouldn't have got in unless I'd done it.... Once John had opted for Klein to manage him, George and Ringo followed suit. Paul however was opposed to Klein and proposed instead, his partner Linda's music lawyer father Lee Eastman, and her brother John. John, George and Ringo considered that the Eastmans' close association with McCartney would bias the balance of The Beatles' partnership in McCartney's favour and things became acrimonious resulting in a three against one division formalised by the document in this lot.

Allen Klein and Lee Eastman's inability to even attempt to co-operate with one another for the good of The Beatles succeeded in broadening the division between the two opposing factors within the group even further. By this stage in 1969 The Beatles were all going in different musical directions, and as Ringo recalled ...The enthusiasm was just waning...It was like the wind-down to a divorce. A divorce doesn't just happen suddenly; there are months and years of misery until you finally say 'Oh, let's end it.' The Beatles' partnership was finally dissolved in court just under five years later on January 9th, 1975.

The illustration shows John Eastman on the far left beside Paul McCartney, and Allen Klein 4th from the right. It was taken in the Apple Office, 3 Savile Row, London in 1969

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