John Lennon lyrics 'to fetch £350,000'

Handwritten lyrics to Beatles song I'm Only Sleeping, scribbled on phone bill, to go on sale in London auction
John Lennon, 1963
Photograph: Jane Bown for the Guardian
John Lennon scrawled the words to I'm Only Sleeping on the back of a demand for an outstanding bill.
Handwritten lyrics scrawled by John Lennon on the back of a demand for an outstanding bill are expected to sell for £350,000 at auction.
Lennon scribbled the words for I'm Only Sleeping, which appears on the Beatles' 1966 album Revolver, on the reverse of a letter demanding payment for his "radiophone" – an early car phone.
The letter threatens legal action if the bill for £12 and three shillings is not paid within seven days. Lennon wrote the lyrics in April 1966, shortly before the band went into the studio to record Revolver.
A private owner is selling the words along with a coffee table from Lennon's former home, in Kenwood, Surrey.
Lennon's lyrics for Day in the Life sold for £810,000 at an auction in New York this year.
The letter from the General Post Office, dated 25 April 1966, asks Lennon to settle the bill: "Will you please pay it in the next seven days. Unless it is paid by then we shall have no alternative but to revoke your licence and to institute legal proceedings to recover the debt."
Stephen Maycock, a consultant for Bonhams auction house, which is selling the items, said: "The lyrics were scrawled on the back of a bit of paper that he had to hand ... He must have had a melody in his head and began writing words, then crossing them out if they didn't rhyme or scan.
"You can see the creative process at work and the ideas that are coming to him as he writes it. It is not the final version but the first draft."
The sale is being held in London on 15 December.

 

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