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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 September 2005, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK
Rare Beatles lyrics fail to sell
I'm Only Sleeping lyrics
The lyrics are written on the reverse of Lennon's phone bill
John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for the Beatles song I'm Only Sleeping have failed to sell at auction.

They were tipped to fetch more than 200,000 when they were offered for sale in London on Wednesday.

The first draft, written on the back of a phone bill, was part of a memorabilia auction at Christie's, in Kensington.

A spokeswoman for Christie's said the auction house was "surprised and disappointed" that bids failed to reach the reserve price.


Other lots in the sale included a previously unheard interview with Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono, which went for 18,000 to an anonymous buyer.

The interview was recorded at their "Bed-In for Peace" protest in Montreal in May 1969. According to Christie's, the hour-long tape was never broadcast and has been locked away in a trunk ever since.

Written in blue felt pen on the reverse of a final demand from the Post Office, the working draft for I'm Only Sleeping is briefer than the final recorded version.

It also shows considerable deletions, alterations and variations to the text as Lennon worked out the song's wording and title.

The track would eventually feature on the Beatles' 1966 Revolver album alongside such classics as Eleanor Rigby, Yellow Submarine and Good Day Sunshine.

Fans could also bid for a George Harrison banjo, a catsuit once worn by Queen singer Freddie Mercury, and an acoustic guitar given to Noel Gallagher by Sony Records in 1995 to mark the success of Oasis' second album.

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