Two key letters addressed to Paul McCartney's in-laws from the Beatles are going under the hammer via the Moments In Time auction house. Rolling Stone reported he first of the letters from January 1969 features the signatures of all four Beatles and Apple Director Neil Aspinall authorizing the soon-to-be Linda McCartney's father and older brother — Lee and John Eastman — the power to act as the group's legal counsel. That letter is expected to fetch up to $225,000.
The second letter, from April 18th, 1969, is being offered for $325,000 and was drafted after John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr had out-voted McCartney and hired Allen Klein as the Beatles' business manager. The letter — without McCartney's participation or signature — was sent to the Eastman's acknowledging that they still represent McCartney's interests but are not authorized to operate on behalf of the group. The letter was originally sold back in 2005 for nearly $64,000.
The April letter reads, in part: “This is to inform you of the fact that you are not authorized to act of to hold yourself as the attourney or legal representative of 'The Beatles' or of any of the companies which the Beatles own or control. 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.”
Prior to the Allen Klein's appointment as the group's business manager, McCartney had hoped to have Lee and John Eastman take over management of the group and their company, Apple, which was undergoing financial difficulties. The Beatles had allowed the Eastman's to represent the group on several business matters, including the renegotiation of their Capitol Records contract.
Fred Goodman, the author of the recent biography, Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out The Beatles, Made The Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll, had access to all of Klein's personal files and briefs. In the book, he detailed the ugly battle for the Beatles' management in 1969: “Look, they’re going back and forth and it’s changing, I think on a week-to-week basis. And there's so many bad feelings, whether it’s directed by the Eastman's at Klein, or by Klein at the Eastman's, and they’re feeding their clients — and reflecting the way their clients feel — y’know, Lennon and McCartney, those clients. So, y’know, is there something that could’ve been done? I don’t think there could’ve been ‘peace with honor’ in that war, y’know? That’s a winner take all scenario.”
Paul McCartney remembers immediately getting the feeling that Allen Klein was the type of man that would use any means necessary to land the “Fab Four”: “He came over (to England), he wanted the Beatles, ne made it known that he wanted the Beatles. He persuaded John and Yoko that he would be the great manager of the Beatles. He said to Yoko that he would give her an art exhibition in Syracuse, (New York) — and then he got us all to pay for it. So, I mean, obviously, she was on his side. And Allen Klein, he would say (adapts crude New York City accent) 'Whaddya want — a million bucks? Ya got it!’ Well, I went, ‘Eh, eh, eh — wo, wo — wait a minute, this doesn’t look right to me.’ So, I disagreed with the whole thing and it was not popular.”