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Beatles news: Rare Lennon documents unveiled; Epstein actor to attend ceremony

Some of the letters and poems from John Lennon which are to be auctioned by Sotheby's.
Some of the letters and poems from John Lennon which are to be auctioned by Sotheby's.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A huge cache of John Lennon documents to be auctioned was displayed for the press May 29 at Sotheby's. According to the auction house, the sale is the most extensive collection of John Lennon’s original artwork, autograph manuscripts and corrected typescripts ever to be put up for sale.

Some of the letters and poems from John Lennon which are to be auctioned by Sotheby's.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The material comes from his books “In His Own Write” and “A Spaniard in the Works” and was given by Lennon to publisher Tom Maschler. The auction takes place June 4. You can see some pictures of the documents in the slideshow.

Actor to attend: Actor Andrew Lancel, who will play Brian Epstein in “Epstein: The Man Who Made the Beatles” in London’s West End this summer, will be among those in attendance when a commemorative Heritage Foundation Blue Plaque at the London offices of Epstein’s company NEMS on June 29, it was announced May 30. The plaque ceremony to honor Epstein was originally announced in March by the UK's Heritage Foundation.

Lancel is also known in the UK for roles in “Coronation Street” and “The Bill.” The special unveiling ceremony will take place at Sutherland House, adjacent to the London Palladium, where NEMS occupied offices in the building from the height of Beatlemania in 1964 until shortly after Epstein's death in 1967. It is expected to be attended by many of his contemporaries, family members and friends. The play opens at London’s Leicester Square Theatre beginning July 30 and runs through Sept. 6.

Chart news: It was another quiet chart week for the Fabs. For the Billboard charts for June 7 released May 30, "Abbey Road" is #11 on the Vinyl Albums chart.

McCartney Top 25 live: On Billboard's live of Top 25 live acts since 1990 released May 29, Paul McCartney ranked #13. The Stones ranked #1, with U2 and Bruce Springsteen #2 and #3 respectively.

Paul saved him: In the new issue of Rolling Stone in an interview with Josh Eells, Barry Gibb credits Paul McCartney as one of two people (his wife was the other) with helping him revive his career. They were talking backstage at "Saturday Night Live," the interview says, "and I said I wasn't sure how long I could keep doing this. And Paul said, 'Well, what else are you going to do?' And I thought, 'Well, OK then."

Accused DJ dies: Dave Herman, who interviewed John Lennon among many others during his days at WNEW-FM in New York, died May 29 while in custody and facing charges in a child-sex sting operation, report the Associated Press. Others he interviewed included Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

Remembering the bed-in: To celebrate the anniversary of the Montreal bed-in this week, Yoko Ono put up a link to “Bed Peace,” a 70-minute documentary of her and John filmed by Nic Knowland back in the day. She also added in a statement, “In 1969, John and I were so naïve to think that doing the Bed-In would help change the world. Well, it might have. But at the time, we didn’t know. It was good that we filmed it, though. The film is powerful now. What we said then could have been said now.

“In fact, there are things that we said then in the film which may give some encouragement and inspiration to the activists of today. Good luck to us all. Let’s remember WAR IS OVER if we want it. It’s up to us, and nobody else. John would have wanted to say that. Love, Yoko Ono.”

A crazy time: We're very glad that Paul McCartney is back on his feet as shown in pictures in the UK Sun and the Daily Mail on Wednesday. But the gossip and rumors being spread from questionable or unconfirmed sources as real caused a lot of unnecessary agony among fans, particularly judging by some of the messages and email we received. This wasn't record release or tour rumors, but stories with shaky sources of information on someone's health that wasn't being made public.

A lot of it was contradictory or just outright wrong (like the supposed ambulance photos that were not real) and it was being spread as being accurate by some who inferred they knew more than they do and showing an incredible lack of sensitivity. While there was little from official McCartney sources, that isn't unusual in this type of private situation from celebrities.

Don't get me wrong: Fans will be curious, but they should be choosy about what they take seriously. Bottom line here, those who make a habit of not sourcing their info don't have much to go on but guesswork. Also, in sensitive cases like this, less is more.

And Paul is getting back to normal, at least his website is. Within the last two days, the site has put up two of his regular features, "What's That You're Doing" and "You Give Me the Answer." And like you, we look forward to Paul's upcoming shows in the U.S. starting June 14.