A letter written by the Beatles manager after the band’s original drummer was fired goes under the hammer.
Brian Epstein signed Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best – the band’s first drummer – on January 24, 1962 after hearing them play.
But just months later, he fired Best and replaced him with Ringo Starr.
The letter that is up for sale was part of a tranche of communications Epstein sent to the “secret Beatle” Joe Flannery, a key figure in the rise of the Fab Four.
Flannery, who died last year at the age of 87, was the band’s booking manager in the early history of the Fab Four from 1962 to 1963.
On September 8, 1962, Epstein wrote that he had released Best from his contract.
He had told the Liverpool drummer three weeks earlier that he would have to leave the band.
The letter was kept by Flannerie’s family and is now being sold by his nephew.
Epstein wrote, “I read from the Mersey Beat (Liverpool music publication). Pete Best has now joined The All Stars.
“I sent him a certificate of release from his contractual obligations to myself today.”
Epstein added that he had sent “our sincere wishes for the continued success of Pete and the group”.
Best previously spoke about how Epstein had told him at a meeting that he had been fired and replaced by another drummer.
“I was happy as Larry. The last thing that crossed my mind was that I was going to be kicked out of the Beatles,” he told a BBC documentary.
“He (Epstein) said, ‘Pete, I don’t know how to tell you – the boys want you out … It was already agreed that Ringo would join the band on Saturday.’
“That was the bomb. It was like disbelief to me … I’ll wake up in the morning and it’ll all be gone.”
The collection, which is going under the hammer at Omega Auctions, also includes notes based on the Beatles from Sir Paul to Flannery.
Auctioneer Paul Fairweather said, “Joe was a close friend and collaborator of the Beatles from 1959 and was instrumental in leading them on their meteoric rise to success in 1963.
“The letters themselves show a close collaboration between Flannery and Epstein in the group’s early days, and we’re excited to see how Beatles collectors and fans will react that day.”
Epstein is believed to be referring to Best’s ex-bandmates when he sent “our sincere wishes for Pete’s and the continued success of the group.”
Fairweather added, “They have all been known to feel bad when Pete was ousted. I’m sure they were delighted to see him join a new band.”
After playing in various groups, Best left the music industry to work as a civil servant for 20 years before forming the Pete Best Band.
In 1995, Best received a sizeable payout from sales after The Beatles released Anthology 1, which featured early tracks with Best as the drummer, including songs from her auditions for Decca and Parlophone labels.
That summer, Best Sir Ringo extended an olive branch and wished him a happy 80th birthday.
“I’ve thought about it and thought about why not. Happy Birthday Ringo. It’s special. Have a nice day,” he wrote on Twitter.
Records and other memorabilia will go on sale Tuesday October 27th at Omega Auctions in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside. The items are expected to fetch a total of £ 15,000.