Read John Lennon’s Beatles break-up letter

Shortly after the Beatles broke up, John Lennon and Yoko Ono sent a profanity-laced letter to Paul McCartney and his wife Linda. In it, Lennon lashes at out Linda for her arrogance and “nobility.”

“Do you really think most of today’s art came about because of the Beatles?” Lennon writes. “I don’t believe you’re that insane – Paul – do you believe that? When you stop believing it you might wake up! Didn’t we always say we were part of the movement – not all of it? – Of course, we changed the world – but try and follow it through – GET OFF YOUR GOLD DISC AND FLY!”

The letter surfaced during a recent auction at RR where it sold for $30,000.

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“This biting missive is in response to a letter from Linda in which she had chided Lennon for, among other things, not openly announcing his departure from The Beatles,” RR writes. “Triggered by the death of manager Brian Epstein, the dissolution of the Fab Four and, in particular, the relationship between McCartney and Lennon, escalated over the subsequent control of Apple Corps., and the introduction of both Linda and Yoko Ono into the Beatles circle. Lennon, who was prepared to leave the band and formally announce the end to the Beatles era, shares his side of the story, explaining that McCartney’s interference ultimately stayed him from reaching out to the media. McCartney’s eventual ‘break-up’ announcement, given in a public relations coup with his debut solo album, was viewed by a Lennon as a ‘preemptive strike.’ Likely written shortly before Lennon and Ono’s departure for America, this draft captures the intense rivalry between the two men in the months, and even years, surrounding the breakup of the Beatles.”


“Dear Linda and Paul,” the letter begins…

“I was reading your letter and wondering what middle aged cranky Beatle fan wrote it. I resisted looking at the last page to find out – I kept thinking who is it – Queenie? Stuart’s mother? – Clive Epstein’s wife? – Alan Williams? – What the hell – it’s Linda!

You really think the press are beneath me/you? Do you think that? Who do you think we/you are? The “self-indulgent doesn’t realize who he is hurting” bit–I hope you realize what shit you and the rest of my ‘kind and unselfish’ friends laid on Yoko and me, since we’ve been together. It might have sometimes been a bit more subtle or should I say “middle class” – but not often. We both “rose above it” quite a few times – & forgave you two – so it’s the least you can do for us – you noble people. Linda – if you don’t care what I say – shut up! – let Paul write – or whatever.”

Check out the listing and the full letter here.

Photo credit: RRauction.

One comment to “Read John Lennon’s Beatles break-up letter”
  1. Pingback: Many Overlooking Key Line In Lennon “Breakup” Letter To McCartney | Rocknuts

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