Two legal letters that foretold the eventual breakup of the iconic band the Beatles are now for sale for approximately $800,000 NZD.
Both letters, dated January 1969 and April 1969, were sent to John and Lee Eastman, the father and brother of Linda Eastman, who married Paul McCartney in March of the same year.
The letters are now for sale on website ‘Moments in Time’ – the first from January 1969 available for approx. $330,000 NZD, and the second from April 1969 available for approx. $475,000 NZD.
Signed by all four Beatles as well as Apple Corps head Neil Aspinall, the first letter is addressed to John Eastman informing him that “we retain you and authorise you to act on our behalf in negotiations in respect of all contracts proposed.”
However, the second letter dated three months later, signed by John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr and sent to Lee Eastman severed the professional relationship. The three Beatles, excluding Paul McCartney, had aligned with the Rolling Stones’ manager Allan Klein. McCartney wanted to remain with his father- and brother-in law.
The April letter states: “This is to inform you of the fact that you are not authorized to act of to hold yourself as the attorney or legal representative of ‘The Beatles’ or of any of the companies which the Beatles own or control,” the April 1969 letter states. “We recognise that you are authorised to act for Paul McCartney, personally, and in this regard we will instruct our representatives to give you the fullest co-operation.”
It originally was put up for auction back in 2005, being called the “split letter” because of it’s proximity in the break-up of the band. It was sold to a private collector for £48,000, approx. $90,000 NZD.
You can see the April, 1969 letter below: