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Sotheby's to Sell John Lennon's Handwritten Lyrics for A Day In The Life
From the first time it was aired on 1 June 1967, A Day In The Life was recognized as one of the towering achievements of popular music. Photo: Sotheby's.
NEW YORK, NY.- On 18 June 2010 Sotheby’s New York will offer for sale John Lennon’s autograph Lyrics for A Day In The Life – the revolutionary song that marked the Beatles transformation from pop icons to artists. The double-sided sheet of paper in Lennon’s hand is complete with cross-outs, corrections, reworkings, and chronicles the evolution of one of the most famous pop masterpieces from conception to the lyrics presumably used in the recording studio. A Day In The Life was the final track of the Beatles legendary 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which spent 27 weeks at the top of the UK’s charts and 15 weeks at number one on the American Billboard 200. The lyrics once belonged to Mal Evans, the Beatles’ road manager and are estimated to fetch $500/700,000.

From the first time it was aired on 1 June 1967, A Day In The Life was recognized as one of the towering achievements of popular music, that elevated not only the Beatles to new levels but allowed pop music to take its place as one of the 20th century’s defining artistic movements. The handwritten lyrics provide a rare glimpse into the Beatles’ songwriting dynamic with Lennon noting where Paul McCartney would insert his lively upbeat verses. The lyrics bound from the darkly morbid – “he blew his mind out in a car,” supposedly referencing the accidental death of Tara Browne, the Guinness heir and close friend of both Lennon and McCartney, to the trivial; ‘4,000 holes in Blackburn Lancashire,’’ which was inspired by a bizarre road traffic scheme in North West England. This contrast, coupled with the soaring melody and the frequent use of classical instruments gives the song a depth that was absent from the Beatle’s earlier pop songs.

A Day In The Life sparked instant controversy upon its release. It was banned by the BBC because of the line ‘I’d love to turn you on’ which supposedly encouraged drug use, making it the first song to be censored by a national radio network in the UK. A Day In The Life was also omitted from the album when it was released in several Asian countries. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band topped the US and UK charts, won four Grammy awards in 1968, topped Q Magazine’s list of the 50 Greatest British Songs of All Time and ranked number 26 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Sotheby's | John Lennon | "A Day In The Life" |


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