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Monday, 6 August, 2001, 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK
Lennon letter shows Beatles rift
John Lennon
Lennon confirms he left band first
A private letter from John Lennon to Paul McCartney, confirming the frosty relations that had grown up between them, is to go up for auction.

The six-page, undated handwritten letter is thought to have been written just before The Beatles broke up in 1970.

It is full of swear words, crossing-outs and criticises the effect fame has had on McCartney, and has harsh words for his wife Linda.

The letter is to expected to fetch at least 70,000 when it is sold at Christie's in London in the autumn.

Paul and Linda McCartney
McCartney and Linda, who is attacked by Lennon

The letter is believed to have been written at Lennon's Berkshire mansion, Tittenhurst Park.

At the time, the relationship between the four members of the band was rumoured to have seriously broken down.

Their record company Apple was breaking up and they were all suing each other.

Lennon's letter also illustrates his bitterness over what he considered to be the others' unfair treatment of his wife Yoko Ono.

He has a go at McCartney's wife Linda, comparing her to a "middle-aged, cranky fan".

Affection

And he launches into an attack of what he considered to be McCartney's conceited attitude to the worldwide adoration inspired by The Beatles.

"Do you really think most of today's art came about because of the Beatles?" asks Lennon.

Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono: Lennon said she was treated unfairly

"I don't believe you're that insane. Didn't we always say we were part of the movement, not all of it? Get off your gold disc and fly."

The letter also confirms that the band split up several months before any official announcement was made in April 1970.

In the recent Beatles Anthology, written by the three remaining band members, Lennon is said to have been the first to leave.

In the letter, Lennon shows that he was angry that he was made to keep quiet about it.

Lennon did however try to finish the letter on an affectionate note, signing it: "In spite of it all, love to you both from us two."

It is not known whether the letter was sent. It is being sold by an anonymous vendor, who bought it at auction in America in the early 90s.

See also:

12 Jun 01 | Showbiz
Lennon's childhood house for sale
20 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Lennon's piano to stay in Liverpool
21 Mar 01 | Arts
Poetic McCartney takes a bow
29 Sep 00 | Entertainment
McCartney art makes UK debut
27 Jul 01 | Showbiz
Sir Paul: How I proposed
06 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Yoko's anniversary peace call
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