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

Jon Lennon and Paul McCartney in 1968; Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

A mimeographed copy of an angry letter John Lennon wrote to Melody Maker in November 1971 responding to comments his former Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney made in an interview with the British magazine is up for bid at the GottaHaveRockandRoll.com auction site.

The highest bid for the signed document was $36,000 as of Monday afternoon, and bidding is open through August 19 at 9 p.m. ET.

In the interview, which was published on November 20, 1971, McCartney shared his feeling about Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, and also discussed the dissolution of The Beatles’ business partnership, among other topics.

Lennon angrily responded to the interview with a three-page typed missive that’s dated November 24, 1971, and that features a handwritten note asking Melody Maker to “please publish ‘equal time.'” The letter was published in edited form on December 4, 1971.

The note, which is directed at Paul and his first wife, Linda McCartney, covers a wide variety of subjects, including conflicts over the handling of The Beatles’ publishing, Paul’s critiques of John’s then-recent Toronto concert and his song “Imagine,” and Paul’s own apparent reticence at the time to perform live.

Near the end of the letter, Lennon’s tone seems to soften a bit, as he writes, “No hard feelings to you … I know we basically want the same thing and as I said on the phone and in this letter, whenever you want to meet, all you have to do is call.”

However, John also includes a handwritten message at the bottom of the last page in which he gripes, “The bit that really puzzled us was asking to meet WITHOUT LINDA AND YOKO. I know you’re camp! But let’s not go too far! I thought you’d have understood BY NOW that I’m JOHNANDYOKO.”

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