Handwritten John Lennon Letter Sells For $28,000 at Auction - Rolling Stone
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Handwritten John Lennon Letter Sells For $28,000 at Auction

Dee Dee Ramone’s stage-used bass and the Beatles’ signed stock transfer sheets also score big bids at auction

John Lennon

John Lennon arrives at the Times Square recording studio 'The Hit Factory' before a recording session of his final album 'Double Fanasy' in August 1980 in New York City

Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

A letter John Lennon wrote to New York-based television host Joe Franklin sold for more than $28,000 Thursday night at the Boston-based RR Auction. In the letter, written on Apple Records stationary in 1971 right after Yoko Ono released her album Fly, Lennon raves about his wife’s musical talents and asks Franklin to give her latest LP a listen.

“Of course Yoko can explain her music better in person, this is a kind of introduction. For something rather more ‘straight,’ a track called ‘Mrs. Lennon’ on Fly is an example of her more conservative side,” Lennon writes. “She was trained as a classical musician, and took music composition in Sarah Lawrence College as her major. It’s far out, but don’t let it frighten you.”

The Lennon letter to Franklin was just one of the many Beatles-related items that sold at the October 24 auction. A batch of stock transfer sheets from 1969 signed by each Beatle individually sold for over $16,000, since any documents bearing the Fab Four’s signatures from 1969 are extremely rare.

Nearly 350 items of rock memorabilia were auctioned off, ranging from Beatles ticket stubs and a Crosby, Stills and Nash gold record to Led Zeppelin‘s autographed sheet music for “Stairway to Heaven” and a guitar owned and used by Journey‘s Neil Schon. But the biggest ticket item at the RR Auction: Dee Dee Ramone’s stage-used Fender Precision bass guitar, which he played during the Ramones‘ mid-Eighties tours. Ramone’s bass, which was also signed by the rocker, sold for just under $38,000.

Additionally, Joey Ramone’s handwritten lyrics to his solo track “Maria Bartiromo,” an ode to the business news anchor the late Ramones singer was crushing on, were purchased for $1,886 by Bartiromo herself. A pair of Ramone’s amber-colored circular prescription glasses also sold for $12,400, his black leather pants for $7,100 and a leather jacket for $7,000.


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