An angry letter that John Lennon wrote to Paul McCartney in the wake of the breakup of The Beatles is going up for auction.
Auctioned by memorabilia firm Gotta Have Rock and Roll, the bidding starts at $20,000.
According to the auction info, Lennon’s letter was in response to a 1971 interview that McCartney gave to Melody Maker, in which he shared his unvarnished thoughts on Lennon and wife Yoko Ono, the dissolution of The Beatles’ business entities, and other subjects.
McCartney’s interview was essentially a response to Lennon’s blistering single “How Do You Sleep” from his Imagine album, featuring such McCartney-targeting lyrics as “the only thing you done was yesterday,” “the sound you make is muzak to my ears,” and “those freaks was right when they said you was dead.”
Lennon was so incensed when he read the interview that he wrote the three-page, signed letter, addressed to McCartney, and sent it to Melody Maker asking that it be published.
While Lennon starts off somewhat affectionately — “Dear Paul, Linda et al the wee McCartney’s” — he then launches into a scathing tirade blasting McCartney for pinning the breakup of The Beatles on him.
“If you’re not the aggressor (as you claim), who the hell took us to court and s**t all over us in public? Who was buying up Northern Songs shares behind my back?” Lennon wrote in one notable passage. “Even before [Alan] Klein came in! (No excuse) Who’s the guy threatening to ‘finish’ Ringo and Maureen, who was warning me on the phone two weeks ago? Who said he’s ‘get us’ no matter the cost? — As I’ve said before — have you ever thought that you might possibly be wrong about something?”
Lennon also confronts McCartney’s interview comments about Imagine, which he says he preferred over Lennon’s previous solo efforts because “there was too much political stuff on the other albums.”
In response, Lennon fired back with, “So you think ‘Imagine’ isn’t political, it’s ‘working class here’ [sic] with sugar on it for conservatives like yourself!! You obviously didn’t dig the words. Imagine! You took ‘How Do You Sleep’ so literally.”
Lennon ends with a P.S. addressing McCartney’s invitation to meet, just the two of them, without their respective spouses. The bit that really puzzled us was asking to meet WITHOUT LINDA AND YOKO,” Lennon wrote. “I thought you’d have understood BY NOW that I’m JOHNANDYOKO.”
Bidding is open now, with the letter expected to sell for somewhere between $30,000 to $40,000.