Art lovers and Beatles fans alike will be going "goo goo g'joob" for a set of drawings by John Lennon that are heading to auction. Many of these original drawings and manuscripts haven't been seen for decades because they spent the last 50 years in Lennon's London publisher's personal archive.
Sotheby's New York announced that on June 4 it will be auctioning off the poetry, stories and drawings Lennon created while touring with the Beatles. The creative and sometimes strange doodles from the band's frontman tend toward the surrealist side featuring odd humanoid creatures, funny potbellied men and a very hairy Snow White ready to bite into her apple. Some drawings are mere sketches and some are much more detailed.
He drew his own version of Sherlock Holmes and named him Shamrock Wombus. The humorous sketch features the detective crouched in a deer stalker cap inspecting a tiny and frowning suspect. Lennon even wrote a parody of a Holmes story, titled "The Singularge Experience of Miss Anne Duffield," which was handwritten and nine pages long.
The largest surviving collection of Lennon's original artwork
Sotheby's is proud to be in possession of this collection. It's the largest surviving collection of Lennon's original artwork and jottings.
"This stuff is just pouring from him," said Mark Lewinsohn, a Beatles historian. "At that time it was really just for the entertainment of the others so they were cramped in their van going from gig to gig and we would be scribbling this stuff and then reading aloud and the others were all cracking up. They loved John's sense of humor."
These drawings and stories really show his humor off to perfection.
Many of the writings at this auction sound like they could have been a part of any one of the Beatles' songs, especially a verse from his collection of poetry that reads, "I sat be lonely down a tree humbled fat and small a little lady sing to me I couldn't see at all."
Lennon's writings showcase his creative personality
"People who were around the Beatles in the 1960s would tell you that they had a way of speaking among themselves that was kind of alien to outsiders like a foreign language," Lewinsohn said.
Much of Lennon's writing is hard to understand but fun to read. He loved wordplay and often created new versions of words that only made sense to him and his friends. For example, as shown in the writings available at the auction, Liverpool was Liddypool. Princess Margaret became Priceless Margarine.
When Lennon was 23 years old, he published a book called "In His Own Write." It was filled with his original poetry, prose and drawings, and sold 600,000 copies.
Lennon asked his pal Paul McCartney to write the introduction. McCartney, who also possesses a quick wit and outrageous sense of humor, described his friend: "At Woolton Village fate, I met him. I was a fat school boy and as he leaned on my shoulder I realized he was drunk. We were 12 then, and in spite of his sideboards we went on to become teenage pals."
Many of the creatures Lennon sketched have multiple eyes and wear his signature circular spectacles. One particularly interesting drawing shows two bald men chatting with little shackled men on leashes like dogs. Beatles member George Harrison liked that one so much he had it copied for a mosaic in his swimming pool.
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