John Lennon’s 1971 bitter letter to Paul McCartney up for auction

A typewritten message from John Lennon to Paul McCartney is currently up for auction, but its content is far from harmonious.

Lennon sent the November 1971 letter after melody maker published an interview in which McCartney complained about ongoing negotiations to finally end the Beatles’ business relationship.

“I just want the four of us to get together somewhere and sign a paper saying it’s all over and we want to split the money four ways,” McCartney said. “No one else would be there, not even [wives] Linda [McCartney] or Yoko [Ono] Where [controversial business manager] Allen Klein. We just signed the paper and gave it to the business people and let them sort it out. That’s all I want now, but John won’t. Everyone thinks I’m the aggressor but I’m not, you know. I just want to get out.”

Lennon’s searing response to his “obsessive old friend” came four days later: “Maybe there’s an answer somewhere…but for the millionth time in the last few years, I repeat, that about the TAX?

He goes on to respond to McCartney’s comments about Lennon To imagine album, defends his new home in New York and accuses McCartney of buying shares of another record company behind his back, among other apprehensions.

Now, the three-page missive is up for auction by Gotta Have Rock and Roll and is expected to fetch around $30,000. You can read the full text here.

Lennon also hand-wrote some additional thoughts. One is for Richard Williams, then editor of melody maker, who is asked to publish the letter in the magazine. Lennon cheekily refers to a US law, “equal time,” which requires broadcasters to treat political candidates equally in terms of airtime.

A postscript at the end of the letter actually contrasts Lennon’s harsh tone and offers a sort of truce: “No hard feelings on you either. I know we basically want the same thing, and as I I said on the phone and in this letter, whenever you want to meet, all you have to do is call.”

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