John Lennon letter to Keith Moon and Harry Nilsson fetches £53,000
A LETTER written by John Lennon blaming rockers Keith Moon and Harry Nilsson for urinating on a console at a recording studio has sold almost £53,000.
By: Benjamin Russell
Published: Fri, March 28, 2014
The former Beatle was frustrated by the hellraising pair's behaviour in the studio they all shared in Los Angeles in the early 1970s.
Lennon complained to famed producer Phil Spector, who he was working with at the time, and titled the note 'A matter of pee'.
In it, Lennon stated that Capitol Records wanted to evict the three of them for using their studio as a public toilet.
He said he couldn't be expected to 'mind adult rock stars' and warned he was about to join rival recording studios Record Plant because of the aggravation.
The note, written in red felt tip pen on lined paper, was later given by Lennon to American session guitarist Jesse Ed Davis.
Davis provided lead guitar for Lennon's album 'Wall and Bridges' in 1974 and 'Rock and Roll' in 1975.
The note had a pre-sale estimate of £4,000-£6,000 but the price for piece of rock 'n' roll memorabilia soared to seven times its estimate.
A private buyer snapped it up for almost 53,000.
Louise Cooper, from London-based Cooper Owen Music Media Auctions, said: "This price reflects the fact that it has never been on the market before and refers to so many famous people of the time.
"Clearly John Lennon was blaming Keith and Harry for urinating on the console, and he also announces that he is about to leave the record company.
"It dates from an interesting time in Lennon's life around the infamous 'Lost Weekend' period.
"In it he seems quite irritated, especially when he says he can't be expected to 'mind adult rock stars'.
"The sale saw fans and dealers bid against each other and push the price to well above what was expected." In the letter, Lennon wrote: "Phil - Should you not yet know it was Harry and Keith who p****d on the console.
"Jerry now wants to evict us or that's what Capitol tells us. Anyway tell him to bill Capitol for the damage if any.
"I can't be expected to mind adult rock stars nor can May (May Pang) besides she works for me not A+M.
The former Beatle was frustrated by the hellraising pair's behaviour [BNPS]
"I'm about to p**s off to Record Plant because of this crap."
Record Plant in New York was where Lennon was recording when he was shot dead in 1980.
Keith Moon, the drummer for The Who, and singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson, both had reputations for hellraising.
Indeed, Lennon and Nilsson were sometimes as bad as each other.
They were famously ejected from the Troubadour nightclub in West Hollywood for drunken heckling of comedy duo the Smothers Brothers.
Moon was renowned for blowing up toilets and TV sets and in 1978 died in Nilsson's London flat after overdosing on pills meant to curb his alcoholism.
The letter was alongside several doodle drawings by Lennon that include is a self-portrait with Nilsson and Jesse Davis sitting on the Palm Springs tram.
Lennon has initialled it and dated it '79'. Yoko Ono has also signed the back. It had an estimate of 800 pounds but sold for 6,700 pounds.
A Lennon cartoon of a mountainous scene with seated figures, Japanese symbols and various puns and witticisms, made 4,600 pounds.
An original acetate sleeve with doodles and drawings by Lennon in 1974 sold for 12,200 pounds.
Lennon complained to famed producer Phil Spector in the note titled a matter of pee[AP]