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Item 4036 - John Lennon Autograph Letter Signed Catalog 546 (Mar 2019)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $2,500.00
Sold Price: $19,937.50 (includes buyer's premium)


Tremendous ALS signed “J & Y,” one page, 8.5 x 11, [September 12, 1971]. Letter to magazine contributor "Martin George of Rock Ink," in full: "Yoko and I got Two Virgins out in spite of being past owners of Apple. We made it in May and they fucked us about till November! Then E. M. I. (who have the real control) wrote warning letters to all their puppets around the world telling them not handle it in any way (this after Sir Joe had told us face to face that he would do 'everything he could' to help us with it—and asking us for autographed copies!!). In the States it came out on Tetragrammaton which vanished leaving a few thousand spares (it was sold discretely wrapped in a brown paper bags). Retailers here & there were too scared to handle it and it sold very few—it’s very well known but not many people could actually get it. In most other major markets, e.g. Japan, it has never been released. On my last album in U. K., E. M. I. allowed me to sing 'fuck' wouldn't allow the lyrics to be printed! Yoko's 'Open Your Box' was banned (again by an E. M. I. letter) everywhere. It only came out in Britain in a censored form. Just thought you'd like to know." Lennon makes a few handwritten emendations in red felt tip. In fine condition, with a light paperclip impression to the top edge. Includes an original typed transcript dated September 12, 1971. Accompanied by a full letter of authenticity from noted Beatles expert Perry Cox, in part: "Within the text of this document is clear evidence of the mood and times for Mr. Lennon. Herein Mr. Lennon expresses his extreme dissatisfaction, lending the reader clear insight into John's mindset at the time."

Recorded on May 19, 1968, Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins was the first of three experimental albums released by John Lennon and Yoko Ono on Apple Records and his first release after the breakup of the Beatles. In addition to its avant-garde content, the record’s front and back covers, featuring fully nude images of Lennon and Ono, resulted in parent label EMI refusing distribution. After a span of six months, the record was finally picked up by Track Records in the United Kingdom, and by Tetragrammaton Records in the United States, both of which released the album in discretely covered brown paper bag packaging. Despite their marketing troubles, the pair continued to push censorship boundaries, most notably with Lennon’s use of the word ‘fuck’ in the classic song ‘Working Class Hero,’ and then again with Ono’s ‘Open Your Box,’ a risque and universally banned track on the B-side of Lennon's 1971 single 'Power to the People.' This historic letter dates to just three days after the release of Imagine, and Lennon clearly hopes that the frustrating struggles he had in the past would not apply this time—they didn't, of course, and Imagine became an instant classic.

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