The letters that foretold the split of The Beatles are up for sale

A piece of history for $550,000

A set of legal letters that foretold The Beatles‘ split in 1969 are set to go on sale for $550,000.

The pair of letters were sent to John Eastman and Lee Eastman in January and April that year. John and Lee were the father and brother of Linda, who Paul McCartney married in March 1969.

In the first letter, all four Beatles members and Apple Corps head Neil Aspinall write to John Eastman to inform him that “we retain you and authorise you to act on our behalf in negotiations in respect of all contracts proposed”.


However the second piece of correspondence, which has become known as “the split letter”, sees John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr end their working relationship with Lee Eastman to work with Rolling Stones’ managers Allan Klein, while McCartney would stay working with the family.

1968: Three Beatles; from left to right John Lennon (1940 – 1980), George Harrison (1943 – 2001) and Paul McCartney, record voices in a studio for their new cartoon film ‘Yellow Submarine’

“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,” wrote the three Beatles in April 1969. “We recognize that you are authorized to act for Paul McCartney, personally, and in this regard we will instruct our representatives to give you the fullest co-operation.”

Moments In Time are selling the January 1969 letter for $225,000,  and the April 1969 letter for $325,000.

Tensions within the band would grow over the writing, recording and release of final album ‘Let It Be’, before the Fab Four officially split in 1970.


Meanwhile, it was recently announced that The Beatles have teamed up with Sir Peter Jackson for a new film documenting the band’s final days.

Made by the band’s Apple Corps Ltd. and WingNut Films, the movie is based around 55 hours of never-released footage of the Fab Four in the studio recording final album ‘Let It Be’, shot between January 2 and January 31, 1969. It culminates with their final gig on the rooftop on their Apple HQ in London.

The as-yet-untitled film does not currently have a release date but will be followed by the previously confirmed restored version of the original Let It Be movie directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg next year.

Meanwhile, it was recently reported that The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ was almost shelved as a single thanks to its “pornographic” vinyl cover.