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Handwritten John Lennon Letter Auctioned for $88,000

John Lennon
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

A John Lennon letter inspired by Harry Nilsson and Keith Moon‘s public urination has made a big splash at a recent auction.

As we previously reported, Lennon wrote the note to producer Phil Spector after a presumably ill-fated session at A&M Studios in Los Angeles, during which — according to Lennon — Nilsson and Moon urinated on the console, provoking eviction threats from someone Lennon refers to as “Jerry” (presumably A&M Records co-founder and chief Jerry Moss). Asking Spector to bill Lennon’s label, Capitol Records, for the damage (“if any”), he grumbles that he and assistant/paramour May Pang “can’t be expected to mind adult rock stars” and threatens to decamp for the Record Plant in New York before closing by wondering why Leon Russell’s band didn’t have the same problems.

Of course, even if Lennon was innocent of this particular act of vandalism, he wasn’t exactly on his best behavior at the time; these sessions — thought to be for Lennon’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ album — took place during a period in which the former Beatle was known as much for his carousing as he was for his music. However things panned out at A&M, Lennon seemed to recognize the humor value of the letter, giving it to guitarist Jesse Ed Davis, whose estate was responsible for its recent sale.

Vintage Vinyl News reports that the handwritten note, titled ‘A Matter of PEE,’ fetched roughly $88,000 — far more than the pre-auction estimates of $6,600 to $10,000. (For perspective, consider that a ‘Love Me Do’ 45 signed by all four Beatles recently sold for $13,350.) The identity of the winning bidder, referred to as a “private collector,” was not disclosed.

Next: Top 10 John Lennon Songs

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