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Press Release - February 20, 2016

Largest Lock of John Lennon’s Hair and Beatles Butcher Cover Album Set World Records at $35,000 & $125,000 at Heritage Auctions

Lennon's hair was shaved for his 1966 role in "How I Won the War," offered Feb. 20 in Dallas

John Lennon Lock of hair
DALLAS — A substantial lock of John Lennon's Beatles Mop Top hair — snipped in preparation for his role as Private Gripweed in the 1966 film "How I Won the War" — sold for a world record $35,000 on Saturday, Feb. 20 by Heritage Auctions at public auction of Entertainment & Music Memorabilia in Dallas. The lock was purchased by Paul Fraser, a major buyer of entertainment memorabilia, and will return to the United Kingdom for the first time in 50 years.

The extraordinary, 4-inch lock was saved for 50 years by Klaus Baruck, the German hairdresser who trimmed Lennon's famous hair in Hamburg for his part in Richard Lester's dark comedy about a fictional British army troop and their misadventures in World War II.

"This is the largest lock of John Lennon's hair ever offered at auction," said Garry Shrum, Director of Music Memorabilia at Heritage, "and this world record price is a lasting testament to the world's more than 50-year love affair and fascination with Lennon and the Beatles."

Lennon's part as Private Gripweed in "How I Won the War" was responsible for another iconic contribution to pop culture: It marked the first time Lennon donned the period round eyeglasses; the signature style he continued wearing for the rest of his life.

Baruck was so excited about the opportunity to transform Lennon's famous Beatles mop top that he called the local newspaper to record the event. The keepsake is accompanied by newspaper clippings and a photo showing Baruck's hand holding the lock of John's hair, captioned: "Immediately picked up and tucked away: a clump of hair that had been John Lennon's, cut yesterday." Baruck took such pride in his 15-minutes of fame that he was a guest in the CBS show "I've Got a Secret" in late 1966. The contestants had to guess who he was: The man who cut John Lennon's hair.

Also auctioned was a signed glossy head and shoulders "before shot" portrait of Lennon, taken shortly before the haircut, also obtained by the hairdresser; it sold for $2,125.

Heritage Auctions also set a world record for the $125,000 auction price of a non-autographed, still sealed Gem Mint 10 Sealed Copy of The Beatles Yesterday and Today "Butcher Cover" from 1966. "This is by far one of the finest copies of the very limited number of "first state" albums that were released to a small audience," Shrum said. "This copy is a worthy addition to the most advanced Beatle collections."

A signed photograph of the Fab Four, considered "the greatest signed Beatles photograph known to exist," sold for $42,500. The large glossy black and white photograph by Dezo Hoffmann of the Beatles performing at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool on December 7th, 1963, is signed boldly in black felt tip marker by all four members of the group beside their respective images.

Hi-Res images available:
Eric Bradley, Public Relations Associate

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