John Lennon’s Angry 1971 Letter To Paul McCartney Up For Auction
Back in 1971, Paul McCartney gave an interview. John Lennon read the interview. He wasn’t pleased, and he wrote to let McCartney know as much. Now that letter is going up for auction via Gotta Have Rock And Roll and is expected to fetch $30k.
As TMZ‘s report explains, in 1971, when the Beatles had been officially broken up for more than a year and were well into their respective solo careers, McCartney spoke to Melody Maker. In the interview, he discussed some of the Beatles’ business concerns and dismissively described “Imagine” as “not political,” among other provocations.
Lennon responded by post on Nov. 24, 1971. The letter — which was later published in Melody Maker at Lennon’s request and can be read in full here — includes some entertaining jabs at Macca’s expense, as well as some emotional pleading to meet face-to-face without advisers and get their money troubles worked out. One noteworthy passage:
If you’re not the aggressor (as you claim), who the hell took us to court and shit all over us in public? Who was buying up Northern Songs shares behind my back? Even before [Alan] Klein came in! (No excuse) Who’s the guy threatening to ‘finish’ Ringo and Maureen, who was warning me on the phone two weeks ago? Who said he’s ‘get us’ no matter the cost? — As I’ve said before — have you ever thought that you might possibly be wrong about something?
There’s also this:
So you think ‘Imagine’ isn’t political, it’s ‘working class here’ with sugar on it for conservatives like yourself!! You obviously didn’t dig the words. Imagine! You took ‘How Do You Sleep’ so literally (read my own review of the album in Crawdaddy). Your politics are very similar to Mary Whitehouse’s — saying nothing is as loud as saying something!’
Wanna put your photo on the label like uncool John and Yoko, do ya? (Ain’t ya got no shame!) If we’re not cool, WHAT DOES THAT MAKE YOU…….
Lennon also discusses scrapped ideas for the cover of Let It Be, his love of New York, his recent live performances, and more. It’s a great read.