33 Rare Unpublished Photos of John Lennon 2 Days Before His Death Go to Auction
The pictures were taken during a radio interview promoting Lennon and Yoko Ono's album Double Fantasy
Annie Leibovitz shot the last pictures of John Lennon before he was shot to death on Dec. 8, 1980. One of those pictures famously turned up as the cover of Rolling Stone, but another, more candid set of photographs of Lennon and Yoko Ono has turned up, and is going auction this week.
Nate D. Sanders Auction House has a set of 33 negatives of Lennon and Ono two days before the star’s death. Shot at the Hit Factory – the New York studio where Lennon and Ono recorded Double Fantasy – during a radio interview with Andy Peebles for the BBC.
Peebles described Lennon as “chatty, friendly and very happy” during the interview, scheduled to promote Double Fantasy.
Two of the photographs appeared in a book titled On Camera, Off Guard, though the rest of the 33-negative set has never been published.
The footage is approximately 3½ minutes, and captures some of the Beatles performing onstage, though most of the action is the band goofing around backstage.
Lennon stands out in the footage, the auction house writes, “playing with musician Hank Marvin’s glasses, and combing and styling his hair in a comical manner.”
McDevitt’s footage has never been broadcast in its entirety before, and is possibly the earliest color footage of the group.
Bidding on both lots starts at $14,000 and starts on Sept. 24.