‘You are all over us’
John Lennon couldn’t let it happen.
An angry letter written by the rocker to former bandmate Paul McCartney is expected to fetch up to $40,000 at auction.
The three-page rant was composed by the ‘Imagine’ hitmaker in November 1971 – 18 months after the Beatles’ spectacular breakup.
Bidding on the letter, which is open via music memorabilia site Gotta Have Rock and Roll, is currently at $22,000.
At the time he sent the typed letter, Lennon – then 31 – was furious with McCartney over an interview he had done weeks earlier with music magazine Melody Maker.
The duo had a turbulent relationship for a long time, but tensions had boiled over after McCartney sued the Beatles after they split in 1970. In the lawsuit, McCartney asked for the band’s contractual partnership to be dissolved after Lennon and bandmates Ringo Starr and George Harrison appointed manager Allen Klein. to preside over their financial affairs.
“It’s great to play ‘simple, honest old’ human Paul’ in Melody Maker… [but] if you’re not the aggressor (as you claim), who the hell sued us and fucked us in public? Lennon asked aggressively in the letter.
“Like I said before, have you ever thought you might be wrong about something?” he added dryly.
“Your conceit over us and Klein is unbelievable,” the rocker added, defending Beatles bandmates Starr and Harrison.
While much of Lennon’s grievance centers on the financial fallout after the Beatles split, he also castigates McCartney’s politics, accusing him of being a covert conservative.
At the time, Lennon was an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War and had just written his peace anthem “Imagine.” In the Melody Maker interview, McCartney denounced Lennon’s songwriting, saying there was “too much political stuff.”
“Your policy looks a lot like [conservative activist] Mary Whitehouse’s,” Lennon said in his correspondence. “Saying nothing is as strong as saying something.”
Lennon has also defended his relationship with his wife Yoko Ono – who has long been accused of breaking up the Beatles.
“What really intrigued us was asking to meet WITHOUT LINDA AND YOKO… I thought you would have understood by now that I am JOHNANDYOKO,” he wrote.
However, the superstar signed his letter saying there were “no hard feelings”.
“I know we basically want the same thing, and like I said on the phone and in this letter, any time you want to meet, all you have to do is call,” Lennon concluded.
The couple’s frosty relationship thawed over the following years, but they never performed publicly together again. McCartney last saw Lennon in 1976 when he came to visit his former bandmate in New York.
The duo continued to chat on the phone before Lennon was assassinated in 1980.
In the years that followed, McCartney often spoke of his rocky relationship with Lennon, whom he met in his youth.
The ‘Come Together’ crooner raised eyebrows in 2018 when he admitted they once masturbated together one night with other male friends.