Music | August 6, 2022 6:15 pm

John Lennon’s Letter on the End of The Beatles Heads to Auction

It was in response to comments made by Paul McCartney

John Lennon
Musician John Lennon performs onstage at the Chrysler Arena on December 10, 1971. in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Tom Copi/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In 1971, The Beatles were no longer a band — but the resolution of their business interests was still a going concern for all involved. That’s what led two members of the group to exchange alternately candid and blistering statements in the pages of Melody Maker in the second half of the year. It began with an interview with Paul McCartney, who was promoting Wings’ debut.

“I just want the four of us to get together somewhere and sign a piece of paper saying it’s all over, and we want to divide the money four ways,” McCartney said in the interview. “No one else would be there, not even Linda or Yoko, or Allen Klein. We’d just sign the paper and hand it to the business people and let them sort it all out. That’s all I want now. But John won’t do it. Everybody thinks I am the aggressor but I’m not you know. I just want out.”

For his part, Lennon was unamused, and responded with a letter accusing McCartney of not being entirely forthcoming. “Just make up your mind! Eg. two weeks ago I asked you on the phone, ‘Please let’s meet without advisors, etc. and decide what we want,’ and I emphasized especially Maclen (Lennon and McCartney’s songwriting company) which is mainly our concern, but you refused, right?” Lennon wrote.

Now, as Ultimate Classic Rock reports, Lennon’s letter is now available for sale via auction. Gotta Have Rock and Roll is handling the sale, and it comes with a handful of notes written on it from Lennon addressed to Melody Maker editor Richard Williams. As of this writing, bidding is at $30,000.

It’s a distinctive piece of a particularly bitter period in rock history. It’s also slightly head-spinning to realize that a comparable feud between two high-profile musicians these days would likely play out over social media in some way — and would leave no comparable physical mementoes behind.