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23   John Lennon  $500 $4686 $5155 12 You must login to place a bid.
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#23 - John Lennon

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Lennon sends 50,000 copies of Imagine to the Soviet Union

DS, one page, 8.25 x 11.5, January 4, 1977. Agreement between EMI Records and Lennon regarding the shipment of his Imagine album to the USSR. In part: “In consideration of the release of 50,000 copies of the album entitled ‘Imagine’ in the USSR it is hereby agreed that a royalty of a sum of £2,880 shall be payable to you in respect thereof in substitute for that royalty specified in Clause 5 of the said Agreement in respect of such sales of the said album in such country only.” Signed at the conclusion by Lennon and countersigned by EMI executive L. G. Wood. In fine condition, with expected document wear and holes. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from noted Beatles expert Frank Caiazzo.

The Beatles were responsible for sparking the rock and roll movement in the Soviet Union during the 1960s. Despite the government’s censorship and the nation’s press labeling the band’s music the ‘belch of Western culture,’ their music made it into the country via the black market and bootlegs. As the 1970s progressed, the government officially sanctioned VIAs (vocal instrumental ensembles), whose lyrics were vetted and considered tame. The document offered here is an excellent example of the softening of the Soviet government in rock and roll, with Lennon agreeing to a lump sum up front. Despite the offering of Imagine in the USSR, the government remained vigilant of rock and roll for the following decade, even interpreting vigils held after Lennon’s death in 1980 as protests against the regime. Pre-certified Roger Epperson/REAL and RR Auction COA.

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