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John Lennon Letter to Eric Clapton Going Up for Auction

Admiring note from 1971 could sell for as much as $30,000

John Lennon and Eric Clapton at the filming of the Rolling Stones' 'Rock & Roll Circus' in London.
Chris Walter/WireImage
November 6, 2012 10:30 AM ET

The draft of a letter John Lennon penned to Eric Clapton 40 years ago in which the Beatle expressed his admiration for and desire to work with the guitarist will be up for auction in Los Angeles on December 18th, Reuters reports.

"Eric, I know I can bring out something great, in fact greater in you that had been so far evident in your music," Lennnon wrote in the draft, dated September 29th, 1971. "I hope to bring out the same kind of greatness in all of us, which I know will happen if/when we get together." 

The letter is likely to have special significance for Beatles fans, auctioneer Joe Maddalena said, given Clapton's close relationship with the group. Not only did Clapton play with Lennon and Yoko Ono's Plastic Ono Band, he also showed up on the George Harrison-penned "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and even almost joined the Beatles at one point. 

"There was a point in time when George Harrison thought about leaving the band and his replacement was Clapton, so this letter is a link of what could have been," Maddalena said.

Organizers of the Profiles in History auction expect the letter to fetch as much as $30,000 – slightly less than the amount fetched last year by another rare Lennon item: his tooth, which sold for about $31,200 at an auction in England.

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