John Lennon Letter to Phil Spector Going Up For Auction
A ’70s-era letter from John Lennon to Phil Spector accusing fellow rock stars Keith Moon and Harry Nilsson of urinating on a recording console — hysterically titled ‘A Matter of Pee’ by the ex-Beatles star — is going up for auction via music-media auctioneer Cooper Owen.
The incident, which presumably took place around the recording of Lennon’s 1975 oldies-focused ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ album, led to talk of eviction from Los Angeles’ A&M Studios. Lennon’s note, apparently written to famed producer Phil Spector in response, threatens to shift his recording sessions to New York City’s Record Plant. ‘Rock n’ Roll,’ which featured new versions of songs from Lennon’s youth, was recorded in part with Spector at A&M and then finished without him at the Record Plant.
‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ marked the end of a period of carousing and high jinks by Lennon, who was dating assistant May Pang while indulging in a series of West Coast escapades with Nilsson, Moon and others. Not long after the oldies project arrived, Lennon decided to return to Yoko Ono, and subsequently took a five-year hiatus from the music business to raise their son Sean.
“Should you not yet know, it was Harry and Keith who pissed on the console!” Lennon writes, adding: “I can’t be expected to mind adult rock stars nor can May.”
Lennon later gave the letter to session guitarist Jesse Ed Davis, whose estate is now auctioning off several of his items. It’s expected to lure bids between $6,600 and $9,900, beginning Friday. Davis’ estate is also auctioning off four Lennon drawings – including a self-portrait that also features Davis and Nilsson.
“This is a rare note in that it mentions so many well-known figures from the era,” auctioneer Louis Cooper tells the Telegraph. “Clearly John Lennon is blaming Keith and Harry for urinating on the console, and he also announces that he is about to leave the record company.”
Lennon recorded his 1974 solo album ‘Walls and Bridges,’ and produced Nilsson’s ‘Pussy Cats’ during this period, as well. Davis played on all three albums, while Moon guested on ‘Pussy Cats.’