Beatles memorabilia (practically) at Reuters



© Reuters. The items were shown during the screening of “Lennon Connection: The NFT Collection” at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, California, USA, January 25, 2022. REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni


By Elizabeth Howcroft

LONDON (Reuters) – John Lennon’s son, Julian, is selling pieces of Beatles-related memorabilia at auction, including three guitars given to him by his father and handwritten notes on the 1968 song “Hey Jude” – but not physically.

Instead, the auction is the sale of irreplaceable tokens (NFT), a type of digital asset. Each winning bidder will be able to claim ownership of a digital file described as an “audio / visual collector’s item” in which Julian Lennon narrates a “special memory from the heart”.

“I feel incredibly happy to be living in a day and time where innovation allows me to share such personal pieces of my Lennon family history,” said Julian Lennon, singer-songwriter, writer and artist.

“Through this NFT collection, I can grant exclusive access to special items that I value and pass on my father’s legacy in a new way.”

Indispensable tokens (NFT) use a blockchain to record who owns a digital file, such as an image, video, or text.

Although NFTs are sometimes sold together with physical objects, as a kind of digital certificate of authenticity, owning an NFT does not give ownership of the underlying object – instead, it can be considered a kind of digital right to brag.

Such sales, however, exploded in popularity, with NFT artworks selling for millions of dollars.

In that case, Beatles NFT customers will not get a guitar or a physical piece of paper. What they will get is a blockchain data recording unit that their crypto wallets have NFT connected to a digital file that displays the item.

So for “Hey Jude” notes, which feature drawings and drawings by Paul McCartney, the buyer will receive NFT images of the object “revived in an even more personal way through Julian Lennon’s exclusive audio narration,” the auction website says.

Bids for this NFT were at $ 50,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.

“It really made me learn to love my dad again because I just saw him the way I remembered him in the days when I was a kid and when I was with him in those years,” Julian said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.

– So it was very special to me.

The sale also includes NFT depicting an Afghan coat worn by John Lennon on the set of the 1967 film “Magical Mystery Tour” and NFT images of a black cloak worn in the film “Help!” from 1965. Bids for them were last at $ 8,000 and $ 6,000, respectively.

Growing interest in crypto assets has led traditional auction houses such as Christie’s to sell NFT. The Lennon Auction is led by Julien’s Auctions and YellowHeart NFT, and closes on February 7th.

Bids can be submitted online or at a physical auction in Beverly Hills. Payments are allowed in various cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether and dogecoin.

An unspecified portion of the proceeds will be donated to the White Feather Foundation, which Julian Lennon said on Twitter will “compensate” for the carbon emissions associated with the auction through a carbon removal market called Nori.

The blockchain technology used for NFTs and cryptocurrencies has been criticized for its high carbon footprint.

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