Hundreds of cards and letters written by former Beatle John Lennon to friends, fans and family have been uncovered and will be published in book form next year by author Hunter Davies.
Davies, who wrote the only authorized biography of The Beatles in 1968, has been seeking to find every missive Lennon ever wrote. He also said that Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, gave her permission to publish her husband’s private letters.
I've found a lot of letters that nobody's ever seen, he told BBC.
Davies added, however, that the correspondences offered no dramatic revelations, but rather provided a glimpse into the legendary singer’s life and sense of humor.
You see [John Lennon] as a tortured soul, Davies said. You see him being funny, you see him showing off, you see him depressed, you see him in different stages.
Davies also added: His first reaction to any emotion, whether it was fury or amazement or hatred, was not really to go to the piano or the guitar. He was just as likely to pick up a pen and write it. And he wrote such amusing letters. When he wrote a letter or a postcard to somebody, he saw it as a challenge to write a unique piece for them and to amuse them and respond to their humor.
BBC reported that Davies found some of the letters at auction houses, while also receiving access from some of Lennon’s memorabilia dealers, Lennon’s relatives and members of the other Beatles’ inner circle.
Lennon reportedly wrote hundreds of very long letters -- sometimes 40 to 50 pages in length – to his friend Stu Sutcliffe in the late 1950s and early 1960s when the Beatles were struggling young band in Hamburg, Germany.
It is not clear if these early letters are part of Davies’ collection.
Beatles memorabilia remains big business, generating millions of dollars annually.
In February 2011, Luxist.com noted that many items and collectible from the Beatles’ career have raised huge amounts of money for their owners – particularly if they are related to Lennon, who was tragically gunned down in New York City in December 1980.
Lennon’s psychedelic hand-painted Rolls Royce Phantom V was sold for more than $2.2-million in 1985. The Steinway upright piano that he used to compose the classic song “Imagine” sold for $2.1-million in 2000. The purchaser was British pop singer George Michael – it is now estimated to be worth as much as $12-million.
Moreover, the slip of paper that included lyrics to the Beatles’ song ‘All you need is love’ (written primarily by Lennon) sold for $1.25-million at an auction house in 2005.