Now’s your chance to buy some of John Lennon’s rarest works.
Four drawings that the late Beatles star created, along with six science fiction magazines that he owned, are being sold at auction on March 30.
Lennon sent the items to a friend from his early days in music, someone he met while performing with the Quarrymen, the group he founded before the Beatles, on July 6, 1957, in Liverpool, England.
As the story goes, Lennon was taking a break from the stage and happened to be flipping through a magazine about UFOs when he met a man who was also interested in the subject. The two kept in touch, sending each other letters, drawings and magazines for the rest of the musician’s short life.
Lennon died at 40, after being shot outside his New York City apartment on Dec. 8, 1980.
The stepson of Lennon’s friend has now put items the Beatle sent his stepfather up for sale through GWS Auctions.
Fans will notice that although these drawings are more like doodles, Lennon attended art school before his Beatles fame. It’s where he met classmate Cynthia Powell, who ended up being his first wife — and the subject of one of his drawings.
In it, Cynthia is pictured with a UFO hovering over her head in a sketch that dates back to the late ’50s/early ’60s era, some time before the two divorced in 1968.
Lennon seemed to become even more interested in UFOs later. He told Interview magazine in 1974 that he’d seen one earlier that year, and he mentioned the date of his sighting, Aug. 23, in the liner notes for his album Walls and Bridges. It was “a thing with ordinary electric light bulbs flashing on and off round the bottom, one non-blinking red light on top,” he told the mag, per the BBC. His song “Nobody Told Me” (recorded shortly before his death but not released until 1984) features the lyric, “There’s UFOs over New York, and I ain’t too surprised.”
The starting bid for each drawing being auctioned — several of which do not include UFOs — was $250, the same amount as the starting bid for the bundle of books and magazines. The number is actually quite affordable when you consider that Lennon ranked tenth on Forbes magazine’s list of the Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities of 2018, with an estimated income of $12 million between Oct. 1, 2017, and Oct. 1, 2018.
In June 2014, 89 lots of Lennon’s sketches and poems, sold for more than $2.9 million total.
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