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By Posted on 0 13

A portraits by John Lennon depicting himself as Hitler is being sold for $54,000.

The crude sketch — which the Beatle did at art college in the 1950s — shows Lennon on a podium with his hand raised in a Nazi salute and the words “Heil John” repeated several times, as if being chanted by an audience below.

“He drew these when he was a college student, and the fact that he even thought of depicting himself as Hitler is weird,” said Gary Zimet of Moments in Time, which is arranging the sale. Zimet added, “Original Lennon drawings are very desirable and they are ultra rare.”

Lennon began attending the Liverpool College of Art in 1957.


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John Lennon’s MBE rejection letter to Queen Elizabeth II is on the auction block for an upcoming The Beatles memorabilia sale in New York. It has been valued at around $86,000.

The letter, explaining the singer’s reasons for returning his royal medal, was discovered tucked away inside the sleeve of a record that was part of a collection picked up for just $14 two decades ago.
Julien’s Auctions’ upcoming Beatles and Rock ‘n’ Roll Discovery Day event at the Hard Rock Cafe will feature a treasure trove of Fab Four fare, with over 81,000 iconic pieces up for grabs. Highlights also include a collection of 26 negatives containing rare and never-before-seen photographs of John Lennon, taken in February, 1970.
Julien’s Auctions directors will be hoping for a landmark day after breaking world records with the sale of Beatles’ memorabilia, including Lennon’s acoustic guitar, Ringo Starr’s Ludwig drum kit and The Beatles’ “White Album” which is owned by Starr.
The Discovery Day auction will take place on May 17.



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The handwriting of John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, David Bowie and other rock stars has been turned into fonts.

The Songwriters Font project includes typefaces developed from “original handwritten letters and notes” by Cobain, Bowie and Lennon, as well as Leonard Cohen and Serge Gainsbourg.
“Songwriting is about inspiration,” say creators Julien Sens and Nicolas Damiens. “Write songs as the ones who inspired you before. The Songwriters fonts have been created to give musicians inspiration.”
“Writing lyrics with the handwriting of influential songwriters helps imagination to develop. Being in the mood of Bowie, Cobain, Cohen, Gainsbourg, Lennon, might be purely imaginative… but that’s precisely the point.”



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California motorists may soon have an opportunity to help in the efforts to feed the hungry in California with new John Lennon inspired specialty license plates. The plate design features John Lennon’s iconic self-portrait sketch and the words “Imagine No Hunger” inscribed on the bottom.

They are available now for pre-order at and will only go into production after 7,500 pre-paid applications are received by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The proceeds from the sales are set to go to the California Association of Food Banks (CAFB), which partners with more than 40 food banks across the state to help feed an estimated two million Californians in need.

The cost of the plates range from $50 to $103, depending on the customization of the design. The Imagine project is being sponsored by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).Yoko Ono Lennon authorized the use of her late husband’s image.“Imagine is a great word to spread around and I’m happy to do this because it’s helping a very important charity,” Ono said in a press release.

Organizers say Lennon’s legacy as a humanitarian makes him a powerful symbol in the efforts to fight hunger. “Working together we can realize a hunger-free California,” said Leslie Bacho, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. “The Imagine plates not only raise awareness of the scope of the challenge, but also directly help alleviate hunger in our state,” Bacho added. The Lennon license program was officially launched in Anaheim on Saturday and events to promote the new design are being planned for the coming months in San Francisco and other cities. Organizers say they’re excited about the project and this unique chance to get Californians involved in the fight to end hunger.

“The Imagine license plate offers an opportunity for Californians to say ‘hit the road’ to hunger in our state,” said Sue Sigler, Executive Director of California Association of Food Banks.



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Ono is currently showing work at galleries in both Toronto and Vancouver, continuing a long tradition

Yoko Ono is currently showing her interactive installation The Riverbed at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum and her instructional work MEND PIECE at Vancouver’s Rennie Museum, continuing a long history of association Ono has with Canada. So CBC Arts asked Toronto-based artist, writer and curator Dave Dyment to offer up a brief history of Ono’s Canadian roots.​
Despite an ongoing revaluation of her work as an artist, activist and musician, Yoko Ono is still most associated with the distinctive sound of her singing voice, which was first introduced to a wider audience on a record calledLive Peace in Toronto 1969, released in December of that year.

The performance was recorded at Varsity Stadium as part of a 12-hour music festival called “the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival,” which also featured performances by Bo Diddley, Alice Cooper, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and The Doors. Ono and John Lennon were the surprise, last-minute guests. Their makeshift band — which included Eric Clapton and Yes drummer Alan White — rehearsed for the first time on the airplane from London to Toronto. Having never played together before, the group performed three 1950s classics, a lone Beatles track and two recent singles before Lennon announced, “And now Yoko’s going to do her thing…all over you”.

The primal screams that followed were perhaps too much for the audience amassed to see classic rockers like Little Richard, who recalled beer bottles being thrown at the stage during Ono’s set. Screaming, screeching, caterwauling, warbling and other pejoratives were used to describe her singing in the press. Now, decades later, Ono is credited for inspiring the work of countless musicians and has collaborated with the likes of Lady Gaga, Sonic Youth, Iggy Pop, The Beastie Boys, Peaches, Anohni, tUnE-yArDs, RZA and The Flaming Lips.

Journalist Ritchie Yorke interviews John Lennon and Yoko Ono at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto in 1969

Side A of Live Peace in Toronto closed with a spirited version of the song “Give Peace a Chance,” which Lennon and Ono had recently written (and recorded) in a Montreal hotel room during the couple’s Bed-In Protest for Peace. After spending their honeymoon in bed at the Amsterdam Hilton, hosting an extended press conference to promote peace, the couple wanted to bring the event to America. Unable to gain entry due to a cannabis conviction the year prior, they decided to broadcast across the border from Canada.

The Toronto concert gave Lennon the confidence to finally disband the Beatles, something for which Ono is often blamed. A myriad of other factors — the death of manager Brian Epstein, the decision to stop touring, the failure of the Magical Mystery Tour film and various business quagmires — actually precipitated the group’s demise, but Ono’s name has become synonymous with, and shorthand for, the misogynistic notion of a meddling and disruptive wife. The couple’s peace activism would bring them back to Canada only months later. They held a press conference at the Ontario Science Centre to announce a Peace Council to be set up in Toronto, as well as a major Peace Festival to rival Woodstock (with other Beatles possibly performing, alongside a dream line up that included Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley). They stayed at the Streetsville farmhouse of Ronnie Hawkins, where three additional phone lines had to be installed to accommodate their press endeavours, resulting in a $9,000 phone bill. They also took the train to Ottawa to meet with then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who Ono described as “more beautiful than we expected.”

Yoko Ono’s “Mend Piece,” part of her exhibition The Riverbed, currently at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum.

However, the proposed Toronto Peace Festival never materialized, and Ono would not perform in the country again for another 27 years when her Rising tour brought her to Lee’s Palace for a sold-out intimate performance in 1996. A “comeback” album of sorts, Rising saw the beginning of a long collaboration with her son Sean Lennon, then only 21. Ono’s Canadian roots go back even further: one of her earliest performance works, A Grapefruit in the World of Park, was performed in Montreal, in August 1961. The work was part of the Semaine Internationale de Musique Actuelle, a week-long festival of new music and performance organized by Canadian composer Pierre Mercure. Other participants included John Cage, Edgar Varèse, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Toshi Ichiyanagi, Ono’s first husband.

She returned to Toronto in 2001, when the Art Gallery of Ontario hosted the first ever large-scale multimedia retrospective of her work in North America. The exhibition “YES YOKO ONO” featured 150 sculptures, installations, drawings, photographs and other media, illustrating the breadth of her prolific output. It also included video and photo documentation of performance works, such as Cut Piece, where the artist knelt on the stage beside a pair of scissors, inviting audience members to come and cut a piece of her clothing and take it away with them.

“YES YOKO ONO” also included examples of Ono’s work within Fluxus, a loose-knit collective of artists that can be viewed as one of the first international art movements, and the first to include women playing key roles. In the lobby of the AGO, a Wish Tree — now perhaps the artist’s signature interactive work — conflates the score-based practices of Fluxus with a Japanese tradition. Viewers are invited to write and affix their wishes to the branches of the tree. 15 years later, the artist’s largest iteration of the project featured 121 trees arranged in front of Edmonton’s City Hall, as part of the city’s inaugural Nuit Blanche. “Keep wishing,” the instructions read, “until the branches are covered with wishes.”

Ono’s work can currently be seen at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum, in an exhibition titled Yoko Ono: The Riverbed, until June 3rd, and at the Rennie Museum in Vancouver, (Yoko Ono: Mend Piece) until April 15.



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A promo copy of “Double Fantasy” signed for KCPX on Dec. 8, 1980, is on the block, with a starting price of $50,000.
In the hours before John Lennon was murdered on Dec. 8, 1980, he and wife Yoko Ono posed for a Rolling Stone photo shoot with famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, sat for a radio interview with RKO’s Dave Sholin, went off to a recording session at the Hit Factory studio, and autographed a couple of copies of their joint album “Double Fantasy,” which featured Lennon’s first new music in five years.
One of those autographs was famously for Mark David Chapman, the man who, a few hours later, would shoot and kill Lennon outside the Dakota apartment building at 72nd Street and Central Park West in New York City.
Another was inscribed to Salt Lake City radio station KCPX.

After 30-ish years of being owned by Utah-based DJ and former KCPX employee Gary “Wooly” Waldron, the album has changed hands a few times. This past Tuesday, it went online for a two-week bidding process being conducted by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions.
Opening price: Fifty … thousand … dollars.
And who knows where it goes from there.
“It has this very emotive and poignant history that can take it out of the normal bracket of what it’s worth,” said Giles Moon, Heritage Auctions’ consignment director for entertainment and music. “Because of that, there’s really nothing comparable. It’s really something of an unknown quantity. It could absolutely take off.”
Bert Keane, then the national promotion director for Warner Bros. Records (which oversaw manufacturing, distribution and promotion of Geffen Records), accompanied Sholin to Lennon and Ono’s apartment for the radio interview.
In a “Certificate of Authenticity” dated July 22, 2010, Keane detailed some of the day’s events and some of the history of the notched, promotional copy of the album.
“We arrived before noon and spoke with John and Yoko for approximately 2½ hours. After the interview, I had John autograph the album for Gary Waldron of KCPX radio station which he did on the inner sleeve,” Keane wrote.

The inscription, signed with a blue felt tip, reads: “To KCPX/Love, Yoko Ono/John Lennon/[caricatures of Lennon and Ono]/1980.”
The COA also details Lennon’s subsequent request for him and Ono to catch a ride in Keane’s limo to the Hit Factory. On the brief walk out to the vehicle, they encountered Chapman, and Keane encouraged Lennon to autograph the apparent fan’s own copy of “Double Fantasy.”
Meanwhile, on Dec. 16, Keane mailed his autographed promo copy to Waldron, who had been planning to use it as a call-in giveaway.
Obviously, given what had happened, that plan changed.
“I knew I couldn’t do anything with it. Beatles fans were still reeling,” Waldron told The Tribune in a 2009 interview. “For fans and people in the music business, it was very much like the Kennedy assassination. You knew where you were when you heard the news and remember it today.”
Moon said that, in the 30 years he’s done that job, this album with Utah ties is one of the more unique items he’s come across.

For one thing, obviously, there’s always interest in memorabilia tied to The Beatles: “I hate to use the term ‘iconic,’ but they are icons of the 20th century. There’s never going to be a lack of interest in them,” Moon said. “They’re the very pinnacle. No one really touches them.”
Furthermore, though he acknowledged the album’s personal inscription might deter some potential collectors, Moon is inclined to believe that will instead increase its appeal to others.
“From my point of view, that actually makes it more desirable, because it gives it a great history,” he said. “You can work your way back to the original owner. It’s very important to establish the provenance and history of an item. The history of this one is very powerful. It’s quite well-documented.”

And that history, that specific timeline, is what proved to be the crowning jewel for this album.
It was signed by Lennon just hours before he died. That makes it incredibly special.
“It’s a pretty amazing artifact. It’s one of his very last autographs he ever signed,” Moon noted. “That it was signed on the day he died makes it particularly significant. That makes it stand out.”
Heritage Auctions put the album on its website and opened it to online bidding this past Tuesday. It will stay there until April 15, when it will be transferred to a “live” auction in Dallas, starting at whatever dollar figure it’s worked its way up to in the interim. The “live” auction can still entail live internet bids, but will also include bids placed over the phone, as well as those placed by prospective buyers appearing in-person.
Waldron, now a weekend DJ for local classic rock station 103.5 FM “The Arrow,” declined a request to be interviewed anew about the piece of music history he used to own, writing in an email, “Sorry I can’t help you but I have nothing more or new to say about that.”