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    Sale 5397

    Popular Culture: Rock & Pop Memorabilia

    10 July 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 237

    John Lennon

    Price Realised  


    John Lennon
    A rare hand-written draft of a poem in five verses The National Health Cow, circa 1965, the twenty-one lines written by Lennon in green ballpoint pen, the complete poem with a few minor amendments to the full text, 1p.

    All rights of reproduction reserved to the Estate of the late John Lennon

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    This poem The National Health Cow was published in Lennon's second volume of verse and prose A Spaniard In The Works, Jonathan Cape, 1965. It's tempting to speculate that this was one of Lennon's favourite poems from this collection as it was one of a very few he chose to read for promotional purposes in various interviews at the time of the book's release.

    Lennon's second book received rather less critical acclaim than his first and John admitted that he found it rather harder to write than his earlier book In His Own Write. This time he was fulfilling his publisher's contract. In an interview in 1980 he described this book as being ...more disciplined because it was started from scratch...once it became: 'We want another book from you Mr Lennon' I could only loosen up to it with a bottle of Johnnie Walker, and I thought, 'If it takes a bottle every night to get me to write....'That's why I didn't write anymore...'. In 1965 however the year of the book's publication, Lennon was rather less jaundiced about writing it and said that A Spaniard In The Works gave him a ...personal boost. Ok, it didn't do as well as the first but then what follow up book ever does? In any case, I had a lot of the stories in the book bottled up in my system and it did me good to get rid of them...the book is more complicated, there are some stories and bits in it that even I don't understand, but once I've written something what's the point of letting it hang around in a drawer when I know I can get it published? The plain unvarnished truth is that I like writing, and I'd go on writing even if there wasn't any publisher daft enough to publish them... Interestingly, Tom Maschler, John's publisher in his recent memoirs wrote that A Spaniard In The Works sold as well as In His Own Write commenting that this ...is most unusual for a second book.

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    BEATLES, The The Beatles Anthology, London: Cassell & Co. 2000, p.176
    MASCHLER, Tom Tom Maschler Publisher, London: Picador, 2005, pp.134-138