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John Lennon

Beatles' lyrics sale

Handwritten Lennon lyrics sold today at rock memorabilia auction
10 July 2008 - Not only is it Beatles Day in Liverpool today (10 July) but John Lennon's hand-written lyrics have hit the auction block at Christie's in London.

The single sheet of paper with the anti-war anthem Give Peace a Chance's lyrics written on it, has sold for a whopping $834 000

Lennon wrote the song during the famous hotel bed-in with Yoko Ono in 1969, opening their doors to a parade of journalists and political figures.

Beatle maniac Gail Renard was 16 back then and had snuck into the room to conduct an interview for a university magazine.

"He asked me that first day if I wanted to come back and help with the bed-in and I had to ring my mother.  She insisted I put John on the phone and my little Jewish mother made it very clear that I was very innocent and there were to be no sex, drugs or rock and roll around me - or else."

Spending a week there, Lennon handed her the lyrics saying, "One day they will be worth something."

Renard admitted that the document has been a worry over the years: "I really was getting nervous about it and they went to live in a vault for a little while but I thought, 'well that’s ridiculous because nobody’s enjoying them now.'"

And she told the BBC that she has no regrets about putting the lyrics up for sale: "They became a responsibility, I’d rather someone else enjoy them and also, I've got the memories.  John did remain a friend after that."
"They became a responsibility, I’d rather someone else enjoy them."
 Lennon lyrics owner - Gayle Renard

Auction house spokeswoman

Helen Hall from Christie's says the song is one of Lennon's most enduring: "Let’s not forget the message that he was trying to preach back in 1969 and the fact that that message still endures today and still has relevance today - nothing’s changed really."

The auction of rock memorabilia could fetch around 1 million pounds, with a bass drum skin used on the front cover of their iconic 1967 album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, also up for grabs.

Christie’s will also be auctioning off Sex Pistols and Paul Weller collectors items plus a 1966 Marshall amplifier used by Jimi Hendrix in concert and a pair of his stripy flared trousers.

Georgie Rogers

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