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Angry letter from John Lennon to Paul McCartney up for auction

By | Published on Monday 8 August 2022

John Lennon's letter to Paul McCartney

A letter written by John Lennon in response to an interview Paul McCartney did with Melody Maker back in 1971 is going up for auction. The letter sent to – and published by – the music magazine is addressed directly to McCartney and goes into detail about the Beatles’ post-break up business arrangements, among other things.

Opening with “Dear Paul, Linda, et al the wee McCartneys”, the letter is topped with a handwritten annotation requesting that Melody Maker editor Richard Williams publish the document to give Lennon “equal time” so he can respond to comments made my McCartney in his interview.

That interview came eighteen months after The Beatles split, and followed protracted legal wranglings over the band’s finances – launched by McCartney. The often scathing and occasionally affectionate letter accuses McCartney of incorrectly portraying himself as the victim in the band’s fall out. Lennon says that McCartney is prone to claim he is in the dark about the band’s business affairs when, Lennon reckons, that’s not the case.

“You know that after we have our meeting, the fucking lawyers will have to implement whatever we agree on, right?” writes Lennon. “If they had some form of agreement between them before we met, it might make it even easier. It’s up to you; as I/we’ve said many times – we’ll meet you whenever you like. JUST MAKE UP YOUR MIND!”

“If you’re not the aggressor (as you claim)”, he adds, “who the hell took us to court and shit all over us in public?”

Lennon also responds to McCartney’s criticism of his solo single ‘Imagine’, saying: “So you think ‘Imagine’ ain’t political, it’s ‘working class here’ with sugar on it for conservatives like yourself! You obviously didn’t dig the words. Imagine! … Your politics are very similar to Mary Whitehouse’s – ‘saying nothing is as loud as saying something!’”

He finishes by adding: “No hard feelings to you either. I know we basically want the same, and as I said on the phone and in this letter, whenever you want to meet, all you have to do is call”.

The letter has been put up for sale by the Gotta Have Rock And Roll auction house, with online bidding set to close on 19 Aug. Currently the top bid sits at $33,000, with an estimated final price of up to $40,000.