Rare John Lennon, Jim Morrison Letters Up for Auction - Rolling Stone
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Rare John Lennon, Jim Morrison Letters Up for Auction

Items from Ringo Starr, Johnny Ramone included in Marvels of Modern Music sale alongside GG Allin’s resumé

Jim Morrison and Yoko Ono with John LennonJim Morrison and Yoko Ono with John Lennon

Rare letters from John Lennon and Jim Morrison are featured in RR's Marvels of Modern Music auction

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty; Susan Wood/Getty

A hand-written letter from Doors singer Jim Morrison during his stint in Paris – postmarked May 18th, 1971, less than three months before his death – is currently bringing over $23,000 at RR’s Marvels of Modern Music auction. The event, which ends today, also features autographed and rare memorabilia from John Lennon, Ringo Starr, the Ramones and infamous punk rebel GG Allin, among others. 

The undated Morrison letter was penned from L’Hotel in Paris, where the singer moved after the Doors finished recording LA Woman in March 1971. “Sorry not to have written sooner,” Morrison writes to Frank and Kathy Lisciandro of Beverly Hills. “It doesn’t seem like I’ve been here this long. We’ve been travelling – in Spain, (Granada was best) Morocco, Southern France & Corsica – where I lost my jacket, money etc. & had to fly back to Paris to wait for more. If Sicily is anything like Corsica you’ll probably love it. We’ll be back in Paris around June 7 thru Sept. There’s an extra room so please stay w/ us. How is everything? Say hello to everyone & try to get over here.” 

Jim Morrison's handwritten letter

Another high-profile item is a hand-written note from John Lennon and Yoko Ono to Beatles press officer Derek Taylor circa 1969, referencing instructions for an unspecified concert. “Audience must not be ‘loaded’ with ‘officials – (Mayors and Kennedys) it must be mainly kids and critics,” Lennon writes. “Any charity bits (the gate) only to be known after the event.” Ono pens the next three lines: “Don’t explain us – John & Yoko. None of Yoko is a good artist bit they ought to know by now.” And Lennon finishes by writing, “Tickets shouldn’t be too expensive and none of that all Bernsteins and such likes kids getting the ‘best’ seats at the zoo.” The note is currently bringing $1,000. 

Lennon and Ono

Starr’s screen-worn suit jacket from the 1965 Beatles film, Help!, has reached over $14,000. The black wool, double-breasted jacket includes a “Ringo” label sewn inside the inner right pocket, with a costume notation on the right sleeve reading “Ringo No. 1.” 

Ramone’s early Eighties custom-designed Hamer electric guitar – which the punk icon used on-stage and in the Ramones’ video for 1983’s “Psychotherapy” – has brought just under $21,000. On the other end of the punk spectrum is a bundle of items connected to the notorious GG Allin – including a handwritten set list for a 1982 Boston concert that features a resumé (for the performer’s real name, Kevin M. Allin) on the flipside. The resumé includes Allin’s address, education, work experience and his job objective of “Laborer position in long-term environment.”

Other noteworthy items include handwritten working lyrics to Madonna’s “Shame” and a Johnny Cash Bible study assignment. 


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