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The Most Incredible Artifact in Rock and Roll History is an Autograph of Tragic Proportions

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By Kevin JP

The most valuable celebrity autographs just happen to be on pieces of memorabilia. For example, a 1963 Gibson ED-1275 guitar that belonged to Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin was auctioned for $73,000. Sometime during their brief marriage, Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe signed a baseball. It's allegedly the only item that's ever has been signed by both DiMaggio and Monroe, selling at an auction in 2006 for a whopping $191,000. The 1965 contract of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, signed by him only five years before his untimely death, sold at an auction for $200,000 in 2009.


Unsplash | Nick Fewings

John Lennon was an English artist, musician, poet, peace activist & philosopher. He's most known as the founder, co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of one of the most iconic bands in the history of rock music, The Beatles. He was also half of, perhaps the most successful songwriting duo of all time, Lennon and (Paul) McCartney. He started the Plastic Ono Band with his second wife Yoko Ono in 1969 and when the Beatles broke up the following year, he continued as a solo artist until his death in 1980.

The Dakota

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On the evening of December 8th, 1980, Mark David Chapman fatally shot John Lennon, who was just forty years old at the time. The shooting took place outside Lennon's home in the archway of the Dakota, located on Central Park in New York City. Chapman has been in jail ever since, first becoming eligible for parole in 2000 and he's been denied ten times in the last twenty years. However, what took place earlier that day is almost as equally shocking.

The Obsessed Fan

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Earlier in the evening, Lennon was stopped as he was leaving the Dakota to sign a copy of his album 'Double Fantasy' for an fan - Mark David Chapman. Not much later the 'obsessed' fan returned to the very location to fire the four shots that would kill Lennon, the police finding Chapman reading a book at the scene right after. A building superintendent found the album outside the Dakota and gave it to the police as evidence. It would later be returned to the man who found it, along with a letter of gratitude from the district attorney.

The Double Fantasy Tragedy

Gettyimages | Michael Ochs Archives

The copy of Double Fantasy signed by John Lennon on that horrifying day has ginormous worth. The cover shows Lennon kissing his wife Yoko, with Lennon's signature over her neck. The cover and dust jacket has a marker highlighting Chapman's forensically enhanced fingerprints and it also comes with police reports and the district attorney's letter. The man who found the album the day of the shooting sold it for $150,000 in 1999. It changed hands in 2010, going for $850,000, and was back on the market in 2017 listed at $1.8 million. The album is currently listed as 'for sale' on with a 'price available upon request.

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