Rare Beatles album once owned by John Lennon to be auctioned

music news 20/03/2019

An album believed to be one of the rarest in the band's history, once owned by John Lennon, is going up for auction in May.

The album cover of 'Yesterday and Today' caused controversy when it was released back in 1966, being named the "butcher" cover.

The Fab Four are shown smiling, dressed in all white, covered in pieces of raw meat and decapitated baby dolls. It was believed to be The Beatles' protest against the Vietnam War, but was subsequently withdrawn and replaced with more public-friendly artwork.

Lennon's personal copy of the record is estimated to sell for around £136,000 ($259,000 NZD) when it goes up for auction at Julien's Auctions annual event 'Music Icons: The Beatles in Liverpool'.

The record was kept on the wall of Lennon's New York apartment, and was later given to fan Dave Morrell by Lennon, signing it "To Dave, from John Lennon, Dec 7th 1971". He also sketched a man holding a shovel with his dog in front of the setting sun on the back of the record. 

Morrell later gained autographs from Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney on the record, which is believed to be the only original that has three Beatles signatures. 

Beatles expert Gary Hein said "There is no Beatles album in the world that compares with this one in terms of both rarity and value. This important world-class pop culture piece would add significantly to any Beatles collector, art, pop culture or record collector's collection."

Other items to be auctioned include a 1956 Les Paul Junior guitar that was owned and signed by Lennon - and used at the One to One Sessions at Butterfly Studios in New York, Lennon's detention record from his teachers at what was then known as Quarry Bank High School, and a baseball signed by The Beatles during their final US concert in August 1966.

Darren Julien, president of the auction house, says "Julien's Auctions is honoured to have been a part of Beatlemania history with our record-breaking sales of some of the Fab Four's most important and newly discovered memorabilia to come to auction. Each year we look forward to setting the bar even higher by putting together another spectacular auction event that celebrates the brilliance and artistry of rock and roll's greatest and most iconic band."

The auction will take place both online and live at The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool on May 9th.