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John Lennon rehearses Give Peace a Chance, 1969, copyrighted photo by Roy Kerwood licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License.

‘I read the news today oh boy’ – Lennon’s lyrics top $1.2M

John Lennon rehearses Give Peace a Chance, 1969, copyrighted photo by Roy Kerwood licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License.
John Lennon rehearses Give Peace a Chance, 1969, copyrighted photo by Roy Kerwood licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License.
NEW YORK – John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for A Day In The Life sold to a private American collector for $1,202,500 at Sotheby’s Fine Books & Manuscripts sale Friday. An intense bidding battle that lasted almost 6 minutes resulted in a sale of almost double the high estimate, which was $700,000.

Bidding rapidly became a contest between two telephone bidders who competed tenaciously to acquire the celebrated Beatles’ autograph lyrics for A Day In The Life – the final track of the legendary 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The landmark album spent 27 weeks at the top of the UK’s charts and 15 weeks at no. 1 on the American Billboard 200. The revolutionary album marked the Beatles’ transformation from pop icons to artists.

“The outstanding price achieved for these handwritten lyrics is testament to the iconic status of the Beatles, John Lennon and especially this song. We are thrilled that these renowned lyrics were so well-received today,” said David Redden, international chairman Sotheby’s Books and Manuscripts Department.

The double-sided sheet of paper in Lennon’s hand is complete with cross-outs, corrections, reworkings and chronicles the evolution of one of the most famous pop masterpieces from conception to the lyrics presumably used in the recording studio.

From the first time it was aired on June 1, 1967, A Day In The Life was recognized as one of the towering achievements of popular music, that elevated not only the Beatles to a new level but allowed pop music to take its place as one of the 20th-century’s defining artistic movements, said Redden.