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Exclusive: May Pang questions story about Lennon letter sold at auction

May Pang
Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

May Pang told Beatles Examiner March 22 she has several problems with the story that was reported in the media surrounding the letter said to have been written by John Lennon that was auctioned Friday because she says things didn't happen that way.

Rolling Stone reported that the letter, Lot 76 in Cooper Owen's Music and Legends Auction that took place Friday, included a mention Keith Moon and Harry Nilsson that urinated in the studio. Pang says the two weren't there.

“I have to say I have no idea where Harry and Keith came into the picture during that time,” Pang, author of "Instamatic Karma: Photographs of John Lennon," told us by email. “They were not at the studio visiting during the 'Rock 'n' Roll' album at A&M studios. John would not write to Phil, we would call him."

And there were other reasons, she said.

“The liquid poured down the console was liquor so I have no idea where this other event occurred and why would John give Jesse Ed the note if it went to Phil. John was not in the habit of giving away notes or letters to other people. The handwriting and drawings don't even come close to John's own style which I should know.”

The text of the letter included, “Should you not yet know, it was Harry and Keith who pissed on the console!," the note, given to guitarist Jesse Ed Davis, said. "Anyway, tell him to bill Capitol for the damage, if any. I can't be expected to mind adult rock stars nor can May, besides she works for me, not A&M!”

According to, the letter sold for an unverified price of £42,000 ($69,241), well above its pre-sale estimate of £4,000 to £6,000 ($6,604 to $9,905).

There were other Beatles items in the Music and Movie Legends Auction, including photos of Paul McCartney in an Eskimo costume (unverified selling price £100 (approx. $165); 23 35mm black-and-white negatives of individual portraits of both John Lennon and George Harrison in a variety of poses (no sale price) and a sheet of yellow legal paper with handwritten notes by George Harrison and his thoughts about the tour plus a color picture (£1,600 unverified/$2,637).

You can see the full auction catalog here.


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