A hostile letter John Lennon wrote to Linda McCartney, Paul’s wife, has sold for $29,843 at RR Auction – far above its $20,000 estimate.
Lennon wrote the letter in 1971, a year after the Beatles disbanded acrimoniously.
He was replying to a letter from Linda, which Lennon states had left him “wondering what middle aged cranky Beatle fan wrote it”.
Lennon’s double-sided typed letter touches on many subjects. Here are three of the highlights:
"I hope you realise what shit you and the rest of my ‘kind and unselfish’ friends laid on [Lennon’s wife] Yoko and me, since we’ve been together."
"Do you really think most of today’s art came about because of the Beatles? – I don’t believe you’re that insane – Paul – do you believe that? When you stop believing it you might wake up! Didn’t we always say we were part of the movement – not all of it?"
"GOD HELP YOU OUT, PAUL – see you in two years – I reckon you’ll be out then," – a reference to Paul and Linda’s marriage.
RR Auction’s Bobby Livingston explains the background to the piece.
“It was likely written shortly before Lennon and Ono’s departure for America," says Livingston.
"The draft captures the intense rivalry between the two men in the months, and even years, surrounding the breakup of the Beatles.”
Lennon and McCartney reconciled later that year.
The November 17-ending auction also saw the $28,849 sale of a fully signed copy of Led Zeppelin’s debut album. The band inscribed it to Jimmy Fox, the founder of the James Gang – who supported Led Zeppelin during a 1969 North American tour.