Unknown John Lennon recording up for auction

COPENHAGEN • A 1970 audio recording of John Lennon singing a hitherto unpublished song during a visit to Denmark will go under the hammer in Copenhagen on Sept 28, an auction house said on Tuesday.

The asking price for the 33-minute recording has been estimated at between €27,000 (S$43,000) and €40,000 .

It has been put up for sale by four men who were teenagers when they met The Beatles' singer, who was spending part of winter from 1969 to 1970 in a small town on Denmark's west coast.

"The tape is totally unique because it's a conversation. It took place after a press conference with the four schoolboys and some journalists, and John Lennon plays a few songs for them," Ms Alexa Bruun Rasmussen of the Bruun Rasmussen auction house said.

"One of them, Radio Peace, has never been published," she said.

"It's a little piece of Danish history and when we listen to it, we can sense that John Lennon felt cosy in Denmark. He could be left alone and just be," she said.

At the end of December 1969, Lennon visited Denmark with his wife Yoko Ono to spend time with her daughter, Kyoko, from another relationship who was living with her father in northern Jutland at the time.

The visit, which lasted several weeks, went largely unnoticed at first. But once his presence was discovered, the star called a press conference.

Due to a series of unforeseeable events and bad weather, the four high school students ended up interviewing Lennon after the press conference, in an informal setting.

During the interview, conducted just months before The Beatles broke up, the teens were mainly interested in Lennon's peace activism.

"With the auction, they want to pass on the message John Lennon stood for," Ms Bruun Rasmussen said.

Lennon was shot dead by an apparently delusional gunman, Mark David Chapman, who had earlier asked for an autograph, in New York in 1980.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2021, with the headline 'Unknown John Lennon recording up for auction'. Subscribe