Thursday, June 17, 2010

“A Day in the Life” lyrics at auction

Tomorrow at Sotheby’s:

Autograph manuscript of John Lennon’s lyrics for the “A Day in the Life,” the final track on the Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 2 pages (10 1/2 x 7 5/8 in.; 267 x 194 mm) on a single sheet of unruled writing paper, [London, 17 January 1967], comprising 2 complete sets of the lyrics written in black felt marker and blue ballpoint pen, several autograph emendations and corrections (a few of these in red ballpoint pen): (1) the recto bears Lennon’s original first draft, written in a hurried but fully legible cursive script; (2) the verso bears an autograph fair copy written almost entirely in capital letters and evidently prepared for use in the recording studio, incorporating the emendations from the first draft and adding three further ones, numbering the verses 1-4, and indicating the insertion of the phrase “I love to turn you on” after the third verse. A short mended tear at center top margin and tiny hole in center lower margin, neither affecting text, some light marginal stains. Matted, framed, and double-glazed.
This manuscript comes from “the estate or a descendant of Mal Evans.” Estimated price: $500,000–$800,000.

[June 18, 2010: an undentified collector paid $1.2 million.]

Autograph manuscript, “A Day in the Life” (Sotheby’s)

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