All You Need Is Love – And Cash

The signature yellow tinted glasses of John Lennon are seen on top of their original mailed box that was used to return them following a repair to his wife Yoko Ono, dated from 1980, during a presentation for the upcoming auction of Beatles and John Lennon articles, in central London, Wednesday, July 27, 2005. AP

John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for "All You Need is Love," salvaged from his music stand after The Beatles' final television appearance in 1967, have sold at auction in London for $1 million.

It was among a trove of Lennon memorabilia which fetched $1.75 million during a sale at London's Hippodrome nightclub on Thursday.

The tunic of a World War One military bandsman, worn by Lennon for a 1966 Life magazine photo shoot — and a possible inspiration for the group's martial look on the cover of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" — sold for $175,000.

The sale included youthful paintings and handwritten lyrics, jackets, eyeglasses and even furniture from the late former Beatle's home.

The most valuable items were gathered over 25 years by one anonymous American collector. Auctioneer Cooper Owen, a company which specializes in music and film memorabilia, said it was "the most definitive collection of John Lennon memorabilia ever assembled."

Cooper Owen managing director John Collins said the items stood out for their "rarity, importance, and cultural significance."

A piano from Lennon's New York apartment fetched $245,000 and watercolors painted by the musician aged 11 were bought for $123,000.

A pair of his signature round granny glasses, which came in a box addressed to "Mr. John Lennon," went for $97,000.

There was no immediate information on who bought the items.

Cooper Owen director Ted Owen said the "All You Need is Love" manuscript was "the Holy Grail of Beatles lyrics."

"It's probably one of the few remaining Beatles lyrics in private collectors' hands and one of the most important musical manuscripts in existence," Owen said. "It was the anthem of the peace movement ... the anthem of 1967."
  • Francie Grace

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