Fans of The Beatles now have an opportunity to claim ownership of certain iconic items from the band's history and items individually owned by founder John Lennon, albeit in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Lennon's eldest son Julian is auctioning off multiple items from his collection. This includes John's iconic black cape from Help!, his coat from Magical Mystery Tour, three guitars and Paul McCartney's handwritten arrangement notes for Hey Jude (a Beatles tune that Paul wrote to console Julian after John divorced his mother, Julia).
The auction goes live on February 7. It is the first in a series named “Lennon Connection: The NFT Collection”, which will be rolled out over the coming months. It will be presented by NFT marketplace YellowHeart and Julien’s Auctions.
The latest Beatles memorabilia to be up for auction are NFTs
The auction will open for bidding on January 24 and commence in real-time and in lot order for live bidding at 10.00 AM PT on February 7 in Beverly Hills and online at the official website of Julien's Auctions. This marks the first all-NFT effort mounted by Julien's Auctions,
Julian said in a statement:
“I’ve been collecting these personal items for about 30 years, and I was getting a bit fed up with them being locked away in a vault, where I’ve had to keep them because I didn’t want them to get damaged."
"I just felt that this was a unique way to continue dad’s legacy and to show people the collections I have, and with the videos and narration, to give people a little more than they would normally get and hear some stories that they haven’t heard before in a new art form and a different medium."
This collection is part of a planned rollout of a number of more items over the next year. Julian continued:
"I have a lot of projects happening this year, including a new album, and these [items] tie in to a few of them. I can’t really say much more — you’ll understand why when it happens. The first release will be April 8 and that will inform you of the campaign going forward.”
The following items are up for auction:
- Afghan Coat from Magical Mystery Tour 1:1 NFT (starting at $6,000)
- Hey Jude Notes written by Paul McCartney 1:1 NFT (starting at $30,000)
- Black Cape Worn by John Lennon from the movie Help! – 1:1 NFT (starting at $8,000)
- Gibson Les Paul 25/50 Guitar Gifted by John Lennon to Julian Lennon 1:1 NFT (starting at $4,000)
- Gibson Les Paul Guitar Copy Gifted by John Lennon to Julian Lennon 1:1 NFT (starting at $4,000)
- Gibson 1959 Guitar Gifted by John Lennon to Julian Lennon 1:1 NFT (starting at $4,000)
The storied history of Beatles memorabilia
As the best-selling musical act of all time, The Beatles have always commanded outrageous prices when their memorabilia have surfaced for auction.
Beatles memorabilia which have fetched stratospheric prices include Ringo Starr's drum kit ($2.2 million), the drum head Ringo used on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 ($2.1 million) and Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics to Hey Jude ($910,000).
John Lennon's Gibson J-160E guitar was sold for a record $2.4 million at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills in 2015.
A portion of the proceeds from this NFT collection will go to Lennon’s White Feather Foundation, which will reduce carbon emissions and remove CO2-equivalent heat-trapping gas from the atmosphere.
While owning the iconic Beatles items physically is not currently possible, many fans would relish having the bragging rights of owning a 1:1 digital equivalent of the historical items.