Rare John Lennon letter to Eric Clapton up for auction

Mon Nov 5, 2012 5:08pm EST
 
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - John Lennon held out the promise he could bring out more musical greatness in legendary guitarist Eric Clapton in a letter that could fetch as much as $30,000 when it is sold at auction next month, the organizers of the sale said on Monday.

The signed, hand-written letter by the Beatle, who died in 1980 at the age of 40, is one of a selection from some of the world's great musicians that will go under the hammer in Los Angeles at the Profiles in History auction on December 18.

In a draft letter dated September 29, 1971, Lennon expressed his respect and admiration for British guitarist Clapton and suggested that they form a band together.

"Eric, I know I can bring out something great, in fact greater in you that had been so far evident in your music. I hope to bring out the same kind of greatness in all of us, which I know will happen if/when we get together," Lennon wrote in the letter.

The letter will hold special significance for Beatles fans as auctioneer Joe Maddalena said it was widely known that there were problems in the Fab Four's relationships with each other, and that Clapton had almost become a Beatle.

Clapton played in the Plastic Ono Band, formed by Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969 before the breakup of the Beatles in 1970. He also played on the George Harrison song "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", which was on the Beatles' White Album.

"There was a point in time when George Harrison thought about leaving the band and his replacement was Clapton, so this letter is a link of what could have been," Maddalena said.

The letter is one of 300 manuscripts and letters from literary, musical and political greats, that will be auctioned from the holdings of an American collector.   Continued...

 
A letter drafted in 1971 by John Lennon is shown in this undated publicity photograph released to Reuters by auction house Profiles in History on November 5, 2012. Fans of Lennon can get a rare glimpse into his thoughts in a letter he wrote to guitarist Eric Clapton that could fetch as much as $30,000 when it it sold at auction next month, the organizers of the sale said on Monday. The auction is set for December 18 in Los Angeles. REUTERS/Courtesy Profiles in History/Handout