John Lennon: an important letter, written in response to an article about the Beatles in 'The New York Times'
Lot 558*
John Lennon: an important letter, written in response to an article about the Beatles in 'The New York Times'
Sold for £12,000 (US$ 18,785) inc. premium

Lot Details
John Lennon: an important letter, written in response to an article about the Beatles in 'The New York Times'
John Lennon: an important letter, written in response to an article about the Beatles in 'The New York Times'
comprising two sheets of American Airlines in-flight stationery, handwritten in black felt pen, dated 14th Sep. 71, and reading: 'Money', 'Twist'n'Shout', 'You really got a hold on me' etc, were all numbers we (the Beatles) used to sing in the dancehalls around Britain, mainly Liverpool. it was only natural that we tried to do it as near to the record as we could - i always wished we could have done them even closer to the original. We didn't sing our own songs in the early days - they weren't good enough - the one thing we always did was to make it known that there were black originals, we loved the music and wanted to spread it in any way we could. in the '50s there were few people listening to blues - R + B - rock and roll, in America as well as Britain. People like - Eric Burdons Animals - Micks Stones - and us drank ate and slept the music, and also recorded it, many kids were turned on to black music by us. It wasnt a rip off. it was a love in, signed John + Yennon, with a P.S., what about the 'B' side of Money? and a P.P.S., even the black kids didn't dig blues etc it wasn't 'sharp' or something., sheets 18.5 x 25.5cm (7¼ x 10in)

Footnotes

  • The vendor of this lot wrote the article in The New York Times, entitled 'The Beatles Betrayal'. In it, he accused the Beatles, and other white artistes, of imitating and exploiting black music. John was stung into sending this response and it is clear that he was a little upset at the charges levelled against him and his fellow musicians. It is a concise summation of how much the Beatles and their contemporaries admired American black music and the debt they owed to it. John's comment about the Beatles' own early writing skills is particularly interesting as, in less than a decade after John and Paul had first met in 1957, they were ranked amongst the 20th century's greatest popular music composers.
    Included in the lot is a photocopy of the article and a carbon copy of the journalist's reply to Lennon, which remained unanswered.
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