The last official document ever signed by The Beatles is up for sale at RR Auction.
The legal document agrees the sale of the building at 3 Savile Row in London, the former company headquarters of Apple Corps and the site of the band’s legendary rooftop performance in 1969.
John Lennon’s signature is dated November 8, 1980, exactly one month before he was tragically murdered outside his apartment building in New York, making the document probably the last Beatles-related item he ever signed.
Although The Beatles split up in 1970, drawn-out legal disputes meant that the break wasn’t formalized until December 1974, and they were still dealing with the fall-out a decade later.
The band had initially founded Apple Corps, a company which would feature a record label, an electronics division, film production, music publishing and even a fashionable boutique, in January 1968. John Lennon spoke of the new company during an appearance on The Tonight Show in May of that year:
"Our accountant came up and said ‘We got this amount of money. Do you want to give it to the government or do something with it?’ So we decided to play businessmen for a bit because we’ve got to run our own affairs now. So we’ve got this thing called ‘Apple’ which is going to be records, films, and electronics – which all tie up."
In June 1968 the company purchased 3 Savile Row to serve as the company’s headquarters, and installed a recording studio in the basement. The Beatles then spent the next 18 months working in the studio on their final album Let It Be, and on January 30, 1969 they stepped out onto the roof of the building to perform live together for the final time.
Less than a year later the band was no more, and in 1980 John, Paul, George and Ringo all agreed to sell the home of Apple Corps. Described as representing "a major landmark in the history of popular music", the document is a poignant piece of Beatles history and features perhaps the final Beatles-related signature of John Lennon’s life.
The document is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from the renowned Beatles expert Frank Caiazzo, and is expected to sell for more than $80,000 when bidding in the Marvels of Modern Music sale ends on May 19.