August 19, 2022

1971 letter from John Lennon to Paul McCartney up for auction

5 min read


A scathing letter from John Lennon to Sir Paul McCartney is going up for auction and is expected to fetch up to $30,000.

The late Beatles legend sent a typewritten letter to his 80-year-old bandmate in November 1971 in response to an interview in the now-defunct music magazine Melody Maker, in which he complained about financial matters regarding the band’s split.

And the letter gives a clear insight into the pair’s deteriorating relationship after the Beatles’ break-up a year earlier, with John – who was shot and killed in 1980 at the age of 40 – saying that Paul’s* **T’s publicly up to us’, reports TMZ,

Angry: A scathing letter from John Lennon to Sir Paul McCartney is going up for auction and expected to fetch up to $30,000 (pictured in 1971)

Angry: A scathing letter from John Lennon to Sir Paul McCartney is going up for auction and expected to fetch up to $30,000 (pictured in 1971)

The three-page letter, which John urged to publish to Melody Maker’s editor Richard Williams, is to be sold by Gotta Have Rock and Roll and is estimated to make five figures.

The note shows the Imagine hitmaker lashing out at Paul and accusing him of being ungrateful for the money he earned from The Beatles, while the singer is also accused of threatening Ringo Starr and his wife Maureen.

An excerpt from the letter read: ‘It’s great to play the ‘simple, honest old’ human Paul in Melody Maker, but you know very well we can’t just sign a piece of paper.

‘You say ‘John won’t do that.’ If you compensate us against the tax-man, I will!’…

The Line: The late Beatles legend sent his 80-year-old bandmate a typewritten letter in November 1971 in response to an interview in the now-defunct music magazine Melody Maker, in which he complained about financial matters regarding the band's split.

The Line: The late Beatles legend sent his 80-year-old bandmate a typewritten letter in November 1971 in response to an interview in the now-defunct music magazine Melody Maker, in which he complained about financial matters regarding the band’s split.

‘As I/we have said many times – we will meet you whenever you want. Just make up your mind…

‘You said that under no circumstances would you sell us, and if we didn’t do what you wanted, you would sue us again and ‘Ringo and George are going to break you John’, etc.

‘Now I was quite straight with you that day, and you tried to bring me down with your emotional ‘logic’.

Feud: The letter gives a clear insight into the pair's deteriorating relationship after the Beatles' break-up a year earlier, with John - who was shot and killed in 1980 at the age of 40 - saying that Paul's *** T WE ARE ALL IN PUBLIC', TMZ .  reports to

Feud: The letter gives a clear insight into the pair’s deteriorating relationship after the Beatles’ break-up a year earlier, with John – who was shot and killed in 1980 at the age of 40 – saying that Paul’s *** T WE ARE ALL IN PUBLIC’, TMZ . reports to

For sale: a three-page letter urging John to publish Melody Maker editor Richard Williams, to be sold by Gotta Have Rock and Roll and estimated to make five figures

For sale: a three-page letter urging John to publish Melody Maker editor Richard Williams, to be sold by Gotta Have Rock and Roll and estimated to make five figures

‘If you’re not the aggressor (as you claim), who took us to court and f****t on us publicly?

Who is the guy threatening to ‘finish’ Ringo and Maureen, who was warning me on the phone two weeks ago? Who said he would ‘get’ us no matter what the cost? Like I said before – have you ever thought that you could be wrong about something?’

Lennon and McCartney are one of the most successful songwriting duos of all time, having written Beatles tracks including Let It Be and Hey Jude.

Shocking: The note shows the Imagine hitmaker lashing out at Paul and accusing him of being ungrateful for the money he earned from the Beatles.

Shocking: The note shows the Imagine hitmaker lashing out at Paul and accusing him of being ungrateful for the money he earned from the Beatles.

Scathing: An excerpt from the letter reads: 'It's great to play the 'simple, honest old' human Paul in Melody Maker, but you know full well we can't just sign a piece of paper.

Scathing: An excerpt from the letter reads: ‘It’s great to play the ‘simple, honest old’ human Paul in Melody Maker, but you know full well we can’t just sign a piece of paper.

Lashing Out: John concludes with a postscript in which he calls out Paul for mentioning his wives Linda McCartney and Yoko Ono out of feud.

Lashing Out: John concludes with a postscript in which he calls out Paul for mentioning his wives Linda McCartney and Yoko Ono out of feud.

The letter also saw him urged his former bandmate to meet him in person, while resenting Paul’s criticism of his hit single, Imagine, and attacking him over his indecision over the Beatles’ split.

John concludes with a postscript in which he calls on Paul to refer to his wives Linda McCartney and Yoko Ono out of the feud.

He wrote: ‘The thing that really surprised us was asking to meet without Linda and Yoko. I know you’re camp! But let’s not go too far! I thought you must have understood that I am Johnandyoko.’

Moved on: Although the two fell toxically during the Beatles' break-up, they had rekindled their friendship by the time of John's shocking death, which saddened Paul (pictured in 1964)

Moved on: Although the two fell toxically during the Beatles’ break-up, they had rekindled their friendship by the time of John’s shocking death, which saddened Paul (pictured in 1964)

Although the two men had a toxic fall during the Beatles’ break-up, they had rekindled their friendship by the time of John’s shocking death, which left Paul unhappy.

The Lennon and McCartney family are on pretty friendly terms these days with John’s sons by Julian and Sean Lennon — wives Cynthia and Yoko — joining Stella McCartney for a party after the premiere of the documentary series Get Back last year.

Meanwhile, in November, Paul revealed during an onstage interview at London’s Southbank Centre, that he ‘never met’ to tell John Lennon that he loved him.

Love: Meanwhile, in November, Paul revealed during an onstage interview at London's Southbank Center that he 'never met' to tell John Lennon that he loved her

Love: Meanwhile, in November, Paul revealed during an onstage interview at London’s Southbank Center that he ‘never met’ to tell John Lennon that he loved her

The Beatles legend said of the pair’s childhood friendship: ‘As 16-year-old, 17-year-old Liverpool kids, you could never have said that.

‘It just wasn’t done. So I never did… just say, ‘John, love you man’. I’ve never been around it. Now it’s great to realize how much I love this man.’

Describing his youth with Lennon as ‘like walking up the stairs … side by side’, he added: ‘I just remember how great it was to work with him and how great he was … because you are here Not messing around, you’re just singing along to Joe Bloggs. You are singing with John Lennon.’

Memory: The Beatles legend said of the pair's childhood friendship: 'As 16-year-old, 17-year-old Liverpool kids, you could never have said that.  'It just wasn't done.  So I never did... just say, 'John, love you man'

Memory: The Beatles legend said of the pair’s childhood friendship: ‘As 16-year-old, 17-year-old Liverpool kids, you could never have said that. ‘It just wasn’t done. So I never did… just say, ‘John, love you man’



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