John Lennon's peace art for an 'angry intruder' sells online

There are two days to go until the Fame Bureau's We Will WOCU sale, which takes place in London on Thursday (May 27).

The auction will prove unmissable for collectors with an interest in great 20th century rock 'n' roll icons, offering a range of music memorabilia from the likes of John Lennon and Led Zeppelin.

As we previously reported, an exceptional gold medallion worn onstage by Elvis Presley in 1975 will be the sale's star lot, estimated to sell for a whopping £1m.

Making love not war: John Lennon

It will auction alongside one of Elvis's Pink Cadillacs - which are today considered among the most iconic of the King's many possessions.

Also appearing for sale in the Fame Bureau's auction, amidst the Beatles memorabilia, is a peace campaign banner by John Lennon entitled WWIII.

Created on a projection screen, the banner shows Lennon's drawing of a heart with another cut-out heart in the centre, surrounded by a hand at each corner.

One hand bears a club, the other bears a sword, and another a gun, while the fourth holds a flower - a popular 1960s symbol of the Hippie peace movement - all aimed towards the heart.

This exceptional campaigning artwork was drawn entirely in Lennon's own hand, and is signed boldly by him across the bottom half.

According to the Fame Bureau, the piece's origins can be traced to the offices of Apple, The Beatles' self-financed company and record label during their later years.

John Lennon's WWIII, drawn in the Apple Corps offices
(Click to enlarge)


The piece was produced by Lennon in the presence of Texan musician Billy Preston, keyboardist on The Beatles' Let It Be album and the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St, for whom it was originally intended.

So the story goes, an enraged artist entered the Apple building and began insulting John. While Mal Evans, The Beatles' assistant and friend, ejected the artist, Preston and Lennon disappeared.

The banner will be sold with this
cigar box and receipt

The banner - which had been intended to placate the angry intruder - was then displayed upstairs in the building... until Neil Aspinall, head of Apple Corps, deemed it a fire risk.

The work measures 45 x 42 inches and will be sold with a cigar box, originally presented with the banner, bearing a receipt.

It reads: "John £350.00 cash received with thanks. The Coronas are for you! Not to be opened until the birth of rock n roll. Barry (I Think I've been had) Smith."

Three letters of authenticity accompany the letter including from its first owner, the Apple employee who worked with Magic Alex (Apple's in-house electronics wizard), and the cigar box receipt.

Both items are estimated at £25,000-30,000. Bids are set to open at £12,500.

Elsewhere, collectors with an interest in Lennon's art can also buy this very scarce hand-drawing by The Beatles legend, sketched during his first year at Liverpool Art School.


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