John Lennon letter to Eric Clapton up for auction


A letter John Lennon wrote urging Eric Clapton to start a new band with him shortly after the Beatles broke up will go up for auction next month. The letter is one of several pieces of correspondence from some of the world’s greatest musicians, including Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Cole Porter, Louis Armstrong and George Gershwin.

Lennon’s letter to Clapton, dated Sept. 29, 1971, expressed the ex-Beatle’s admiration and lobbied him to form a group together because he and wife Yoko Ono felt they were kindred spirits with the English superstar guitarist.

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“Both of us have been thru the same kind of [difficulties] that I know you’ve had,” Lennon wrote, “and I know we could help each other in that area — but mainly Eric — I know I can bring out something great — in fact greater in you that had been so far evident in your music, I hope to bring out the same kind of greatness in all of us — which I know will happen if/when we get together.”

Clapton had already worked with Lennon in 1969 on his Plastic Ono Band “Live Peace in Toronto” concert and album, on Lennon’s solo single “Cold Turkey.” The guitarist had previously collaborated with other Beatles, specifically with George Harrison on the song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” from the 1968 album “The Beatles” (a.k.a. “the White Album”).

The letter, which is estimated to bring $20,000 to $30,000, is from an unidentified American collector and will be placed for sale Dec. 18 as part of Profiles in History auction along with correspondence from Ludwig van Beethoven to a business partner referencing performances of his Ninth Symphony and Missa Solemnis choral composition. That letter is expected to bring $40,000 to $60,000.

Gershwin’s 1932 letter, including his response to a question asking him to compare his “Rhapsody in Blue” with the more recent composition “An American in Paris,” is estimated to bring $3,000 to $5,000.

More details about the auction are available at the Profiles in History web site.


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