Unseen John Lennon letter complains about Keith Moon's rock'n'roll behaviour
John Lennon's letter of complaint about Keith Moon and Harry Nilsson - titled 'A Matter of Pee' - is up for auction
19 Mar 2014
A letter written by John Lennon blaming rockers Keith Moon and Harry Nilsson for urinating on a console at a recording studio is up for sale.
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.
John Lennon's design for his 'Walls and Bridges' album cover given to guitarist Jesse Davis Photo: CooperOwen/BNPS
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 letter is now coming up for sale in London with an estimate of 6,000 pounds.
Louise Cooper, owner-managing director of CooperOwen Music Media Auctions of London, said: "This is a rare note in that it mentions so many well-known figures from the era.
"Clearly John Lennon is 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 note will be of huge interest to Lennon and Beatles fans around the world. And the provenance is excellent, coming as it does from Lennon's session guitarist Jesse Ed Davis."
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 [Pang - Lennon's girlfriend and assistant] besides she works for me not A+M.
"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 and famously were ejected from the Troubadour nightclub in West Hollywood for drunken heckling of 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 is being sold on Friday along with several doodle drawings by Lennon that include 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 is estimated at 600-800 pounds.
There is also a Lennon cartoon of a mountainous scene with seated figures, Japanese symbols and various puns and witticisms. It is initialled and dated '78' - and has an estimate of 800-1,000 pounds.
Another doodle shows a seated figure with a balloon and Japanese symbols. It has an estimate of 600-800 pounds.
A fourth is an original acetate sleeve with doodles and drawings by John Lennon in 1974.
The sleeve opens out and is covered in doodles and text and is titled 'Walls and Bridges'. It is estimated at 1,000-1,500 pounds.
The Beatles / John Lennon: handwritten note to Phil Spector by John Lennon (www.liveauctioneers.com)