Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sgt. Pepper's Drum Skin Fetches $1.1 Million

The original drumskin featured on the front cover of the 1967 album ``Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'' by the Beatles sold tonight at Christie's International in London for 541,250 pounds ($1.07 million).

The price was more than five times its lower estimate and the second-highest ever paid for a piece of Beatles memorabilia, said Christie's.

The 2-foot, 4-inch diameter hand-painted skin, mounted on another hardwood drum, was accompanied by a hand-written letter from artist Peter Blake, confirming that it appeared on the LP cover he designed. The skin itself was painted by Joe Ephgrave, according to Blake. The LP has been regularly voted by critics as among the best of all time.

The drumskin fetched the top price at a 259-lot sale of Popular Culture, Rock and Pop Memorabilia held at Christie's South Kensington auction rooms.

Later in the sale, the original handwritten lyrics that John Lennon and Yoko Ono made for the 1969 song ``Give Peace a Chance,'' sold for 421,250 pounds, exceeding an estimate of 200,000 pounds to 300,000 pounds. These were also bought by a telephone bidder, said Christie's.

The lyrics were sold by the U.K.-based comedy writer and television presenter Gail Renard.

Christie's said the lyrics had been personally given to Renard by Lennon when she interviewed him for her university magazine in Suite 1742 of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal, during his anti-war demonstration.

Bed Protest

Newlywed Lennon and Ono's Montreal ``bed-in'' followed a similar protest in Amsterdam. The couple led a five-minute recording of the song. Among the chorus of 50 or so guests in the room were Timothy Leary and Allen Ginsberg.

The record for any piece of Beatles memorabilia is the 600,000 pounds paid in July, 2005, for Lennon's handwritten lyric sheet for the band's 1967 live satellite broadcast of ``All You Need Is Love,'' said Christie's.


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