In 1961, the Beatles released their very first single on the Polydor label in Germany with Tony Sheridan. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison were in Hamburg at the time, along with then-members Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe. The band was honing their craft playing in nightclubs.
“My Bonnie,” which was only released in Germany, never reached the top of the charts. In fact, it wasn’t even credited to the Beatles. It was released under the names Tony Sheridan and ‘the Beat Brothers’ because the producer felt the name ‘The Beatles’ wouldn’t fly in Germany.
But “My Bonnie” is what caught the attention of Brian Epstein and it set the Beatles on their path to success.
The recording contract for that song – which was worth about $80 to the band – is due to hit the auction block next month. And it’s expected to sell for an estimated $150,000.
The 6-page document is one piece of a collection being sold by the estate of German Beatles historian Uwe Blaschke, who died in 2010.
“This is perhaps the most historically important Beatles document to ever appear at auction,” said Dean Harmeyer, Consignment Director at Heritage Auctions, which will host the auction of The Blaschke Collection on September 19th.
Other items going up for auction include an autographed 1962 copy of “Love Me Do” (estimated to sell for $10,000), a Swiss restaurant menu card signed by the Beatles during the 1965 filming of “Help” (estimated to sell for $12,000) and a 1960 postcard Ringo Starr sent to his grandmother from Hamburg (estimated to sell for $4,000).