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    John Lennon Signed Original Pen and Ink Drawing "Imagine", a Large John and Yoko Portrait Originally Given to Apple Photographic Coordinator Jeremy Banks, in Framed Display. A rare and desirable drawing of the face of John Lennon above the face of Yoko Ono with their hair flowing together. Accomplished in black ink on textured white art paper and signed at lower right "John Lennon" (6.5" long). It is from the same period and quite reminiscent of the Bag One series of limited edition lithographs (see complete suite offered elsewhere in this auction). In fact, it is remarkably similar to the lithograph titled "John and Yoko" from that suite. Sight size is 19" x 25" and it is beautifully matted and framed in black lacquer to an overall 27" x 33". Purchased from a June 1987 Christie's New York auction. Included is a section removed from the original frame backing bearing a 6" x 4" card with a typed "TO JEREMY BANKS F.A./ 'IMAGINE'," above a "John Lennon" signature. Original Lennon art of this size, quality, and subject matter is seldom offered. A great opportunity. Excellent in overall appearance. A very light crease at the bottom edge is mentioned for accuracy.

    Lennon was interested in art from an early age and attended the Liverpool College of Art for a period in the late 1950s before his enjoyment of performing with his band overshadowed art school. The Quarrymen, a local skiffle group, soon evolved into the Beatles and the rest is history. He never stopped his doodling and drawing though and, at the height of Beatlemania, he would publish two books of poetry and prose illustrated by his unique drawings. The need to express himself through art as well as music continued throughout Lennon's life.

    Jeremy Banks was a friend and associate of Lennon and Ono; for a period of time he was employed as Photographic Coordinator for Apple and the Beatles. Banks' first association with the Beatles inner circle was when he met Derek Taylor in late 1966. Taylor was quite impressed with his credentials, London connections, and talent in getting photographs placed with the press; he felt that Banks would be of great assistance in the Press Office at Apple. And he was. It was his idea to have sets of the first Apple 45 RPMs ("Our First Four") delivered in person to The Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, and Prime Minister Harold Wilson by Apple's own "House Hippie" Richard DiLello. Banks actually received an official message of thanks from the Queen Mother's Lady-in-waiting saying, in part: "...Her Majesty is greatly touched by this kind thought from the Beatles and their new company and has much enjoyed listening to these recordings..." During his tenure there, Banks was acknowledged for deals he set up that gave Apple a royalty for all Beatles photos that were provided to the press. He was credited as co-art director for the unique "White Album" presentation. After John and Yoko recorded their Two Virgins album, it was Banks that Lennon entrusted with the roll of undeveloped film containing the now-(in)famous nude photos used for the album cover.

    Banks has the distinction of being mentioned in a Beatles song (studio jam). On January 9, 1969, during the legendary Twickenham Studio rehearsals for Get Back, the Beatles performed an impromptu jam alternately called "White Power" or "Get Off." John and Paul are heard taking turns shouting names in a stream-of-consciousness fashion with John yelling "get off" after each one. About two minutes into the song, one of the names called is "Jeremy Banks" (right between Judy Garland and Wilson Pickett). The audio can be found on various YouTube videos. COA from Heritage Auctions.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    26th-27th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,466

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