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Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 20:56 GMT 21:56 UK
Lennon tapes top auction
Sir Paul McCartney and John Lennon
Beatles memorabilia continues to be highly collectable
An auction of pop memorabilia has gone ahead despite Sir Paul McCartney successfully blocking the sale of his handwritten lyrics for Hey Jude.

The former Beatles' star won a High Court order to halt the sale of the lyrics, saying they had disappeared from his home.

The document had been expected to fetch up to 80,000 at Christie's in London.

The star lot at what proved to be Christie's best-ever sale of pop memorabilia, which grossed a total of 532,642, was instead unheard tapes of John Lennon recorded at his home in 1966.

Hey Jude lyrics
The Hey Jude lyrics differ from the final version
The two tapes sold for a total of 134,000 to a private collector from the US.

A tape of the late Beatle improvising songs and telling stories to Kyoko, his six-year-old stepdaughter by Yoko Ono, fetched 75,250.

A 25-minute cassette of Lennon developing the melody and lyrics for She Said, She Said, which was later released on the Revolver album, went for 58,750.

A one-page cartoon strip drawn by Lennon for the Daily Howl, a comic he drew while at school, was expected to fetch 8-12,000 but went for 32,900.

A taped interview with Lennon and Ono was sold for 23,500, more than twice its estimate, and a portrait of the couple drawn by the star fetched 12,925.

Three documents detailing the salaries of the four Beatles in 1961 fetched between 12,900 and 18,800 each.

Elsewhere in the auction, a 1967 Gibson guitar formerly owned by Noel Redding, bassist with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, was bought for 17,625 by the Hard Rock Cafe.

Other artists represented in the sale included Bob Dylan, Marc Bolan, Marvin Gaye and The Doors.


Sir Paul McCartney took his dispute over the ownership of the lyrics to Hey Jude to the High Court because he said they had huge sentimental value to him.

The piece of paper was offered for sale by Frenchman Florrent Tessier, who bought them from a market stall in Portobello Road in 1971 while on holiday in the UK.

Christie's Images Ltd
The Lennon tapes sold for a total of 134,000
Mr Tessier said he did not know it was genuine until he took the document to Christie's for valuation six years ago.

But Sir Paul's lawyer, Richard Meade, told the court Mr Tessier must have known it was genuine at the time of buying it.

Mr Meade told Mr Justice Laddie that Sir Paul had written the song for John Lennon's son Julian, to help him get over his parents divorce and therefore had great emotional value.

Sir Paul believes the lyrics must have gone missing during one of a series of break-ins at his home in St John's Wood or had been taken by someone working for him.

The document will now remain at Christie's until its fate is decided either by agreement or trial.

The BBC's David Sillito
"One bit of Beatle history is not for sale"
See also:

13 Sep 98 | Entertainment
Sgt Pepper steals Geri's limelight
30 Nov 01 | Music
The Beatles' musical footprints
30 Dec 99 | Music
The Beatles' separate paths
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