John Lennon’s angry letter to Paul McCartney up for auction

John Lennon's angry letter to Paul McCartney up for auction

Paul McCartney and John Lennon in 1964
Photo: William Vanderson (Getty Images)

A little piece of one of music’s most infamous feuds is up for grabs via auction site Gotta Have Rock And Roll. John Lennon’s exasperated demand for “equal time” was published in melody maker magazine following an interview given by his former collaborator, Paul McCartney. The copy of the letter, signed by Lennon, is expected to cost $30,000, per stereogum.

Lennon and McCartney traded a lot of barbs in their post-Beatles years, both in their music and in the press. McCartney’s RAM the track “Too Many People” prompted Lennon’s vicious “How Do You Sleep” (which had the added bonus of featuring George Harrison on guitar), prompting McCartney to complain about the song for melody maker and claim that the pre-To imagine the music was “too political”.

“So you think ‘Imagine’ isn’t political, it’s ‘working class here’ [sic] with sugar on it for conservatives like you!! You obviously didn’t dig the words. To imagine! You took ‘How Do You Sleep’ so literally,” a furious Lennon wrote in his response.

There are back-and-forths about the group’s impending commercial breakup, but his particular anger is reserved for McCartney’s dismissal of Lennon’s partnership with his wife. Yoko Ono. “You want to put your picture on the label like John and Yoko not cool, huh?” (Ain’t you ashamed!),” he wrote. “If we ain’t cool WHAT DOES IT MAKE OF YOU…….” In a postscript, he added, “What really intrigued us was asking to meet WITHOUT LINDA AND YOKO. I thought you would have understood NOW that I am JOHNANDYOKO.

Fascination with the Beatles mythology hasn’t given up in more than 50 years since the band broke up; look how many people sat down for peter jacksonEmmy-nominated eight-hour docuseries Come back. The group’s impact on music and pop culture cannot be erased (or…can he?). And now, if you’ve got thirty thousand dollars, you can have a little of that history for yourself.

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