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2002-Apr-05: Demo Tape on the Auction Block


The cassetteFor the first time, an original Lennon and McCartney composing tape is going on the auction block.  At Christie's South Kensington sale on April 30, one will have the opportunity to bid on the original She Said, She Said demo tape where at one point on the cassette, John Lennon says,  "God, I just don't know what I'm doing, I'll have to give up, I'm just going crazy with it!"  Sir Paul can be heard chatting in the background.
 

According to the lot description, this item is:

"A previously unheard and undocumented cassette tape recording of John Lennon developing the lyrics and melody to She Said, She Said, released on the L.P. Revolver,  August, 1966, recorded by Lennon at home in early Spring 1966, the Philips cassette tape with black label with white adhesive label inscribed in black ink in Lennon's hand SiNGING! -- running time approx. 25 mins. -- given to Tony Cox by Lennon during the Lennon's visit to Cox at his home in Denmark in January, 1970; accompanied by a typescript document titled John Lennon Audio Cassette: "SINGING", from Tony Cox, signed, 1st December, 1995, concerning the provenance.  The tape is offered for sale without copyright, broadcast rights, performers consents, and other reproduction rights.  The Buyer must apply to the relevant parties to obtain such clearance and consents as may be necessary."
The lot notes read:
"Revolver is considered by many Beatles aficiandos to be their finest album, author John Robertson describes it as having.....its feet in The Beatles' past, but its head in the clouds of the future; and today it has a freshness, clarity and enthusiasm that little of The Beatles' other work can match....there was an electric thrill to Revolver, a richness of sound and production, that is still the peak against which all subsequent pop music has to be judged.... It went to no.1 in the both the U.K. and U.S. charts. In a recently published article in Record Collector, Peter Doggett explains the importance of the recording included in this lot: ..Very brief fragments were aired in the US more than a decade ago on 'The Lost Lennon Tapes' radio series. But the 25-minute sequence of recordings, assembled by Lennon himself for Yoko Ono's previous husband, Tony Cox, has never surfaced before. -- She Said, She Said was famously inspired by a remark made to Lennon by actor Peter Fonda during a shared LSD trip in 1965. But the composer quickly moved beyond Fonda's claim, I know what it's like to be dead, to examine his own bittersweet childhood in song for the first time. The Cox tape shows him experimenting with additional sections of the song which weren't included in the finished version, and weighing up unused lyrical ideas: When I was a little boy, I never had no toy....and I might be green, I might be green.  Particularly fascinating is the way in which Lennon gradually strips away the weakest elements of the lyric and melody, briefly taking the process so far that he loses the entire "when I was a boy" section. A song which sounds like a maudlin dirge on its early run-throughs is transformed by a change to a higher key, after which She Said, She Said takes on a much more recognizable form."
Two other Lennon tapes will be sold at this auction.  They are recordings of John Lennon improvising songs, stories, and nursery rhymes for his stepdaughter, Kyoko Cox who was six years old at the time.

Also on offer at this aution, will be the rare page of the Hey Jude lyrics written in Sir Paul's own hand. (See February 22)

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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