The album that John Lennon signed for his killer Mark David Chapman prior to his murder has gone up for auction. It’s a copy of Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy, and the bidding is starting at $400,000.
As the listing on Goldin Auctions indicates, the record’s cover features Lennon’s signature and the year 1980 written on Ono’s neck. There are also various police markings on the front and back sides of the jacket, since the album was submitted as evidence during Lennon’s murder investigation. The bidding opens on November 23rd.
Beyond its significant monetary value, the record is an iconic artifact from one of the most significant tragedies in rock and roll history. On the morning of December 8th, 1980, Chapman approached the ex-Beatles member outside of his New York apartment as an ordinary fan and asked him to sign the newly released Double Fantasy. After signing, Lennon and Ono trekked off for a day at the studio, but when they returned five hours later, Chapman shot Lennon dead.
Back in August, Chapman was denied parole for the 11th time throughout his 20 years-to-life sentence. He’s been eligible for release since the year 2000, but has been continually denied parole on the grounds that it would make Ono fear for her and her family’s lives, and that someone may be inclined to seek violent revenge on Chapman as a free man. However, he will be able to eligible to seek parole again in August 2022.
Earlier this year, in honor of what would have been Lennon’s 80th birthday, BBC Radio 2 aired a new documentary titled Lennon at 80 that featured interviews that his son Sean Lennon conducted with his father’s family, friends, and colleagues. One of those people was Lennon’s Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney, who had a rocky relationship together in the decade before Lennon’s untimely death.
In the documentary, McCartney expressed how grateful he was to reconcile with Lennon before Chapman pulled the trigger.
“I always say to people, one of the great things for me was that after all The Beatles rubbish and all the arguing and the business, you know, business differences really… that even after all of that, I’m so happy that I got it back together with your dad,” he told Sean.
“It really, really would have been a heartache to me if we hadn’t have reunited,” added Macca. “It was so lovely too that we did, and it really gives me sort of strength to know that.”