For many people it will have been the only reason they've heard of the magazine Datebook.

The September 1966 issue contained comments from John Lennon which caused a huge storm in America. They were actually re-printed from an interview with London's Evening Standard.

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now" he was quoted as saying.

His comments resulted in death-threats and the burning of Beatles records in the US, especially the Bible Belt.

Lennon had little patience with religion, as can be seen in his later song Imagine.

However, he claimed that he hadn't intended his comments as a dig at religion, only as a point of fact about people growing up in England.

Lennon was frustrated with his situation at the time and later commented, wryly "I always remember to thank Jesus for the end of my touring days [...] God bless America. Thank you, Jesus".

A copy of the magazine, signed by Lennon, has just sold for $12,713.

The magazine is signed "To Art, with love from John C Lennon". Art is Arthur Unger, publisher of Datebook, who joined the tour after the magazine was published.

Lennon's middle name is Winston, so the 'C' is inaccurate, but supposedly stands for 'Christ' - an example of Lennon's sardonic humour.

Lennon's signed Datebook

Signed memorabilia from during and before the Beatles' tour is valuable, as it is iconic and in limited supply.

A letter from McCartney mentioning Beatles songs before they became famous is currently available.

The copy of the magazine sold went to an orthopaedic surgeon in New York for $12,713 (£7,711 in Lennon's native Liverpool). 

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