John Lennon letter arrives after 34 years
A British folk singer finally reads the letter that the Beatle sent him decades ago.
A British folk singer who expressed fears that success and wealth could ruin his songwriting revealed how John Lennon sent him a letter of reassurance — but it did not reach him for 34 years.
Steve Tilston was just 21 in 1971 when the megastar read an interview he had done with a magazine called ZigZag.
Lennon penned a hand-written letter to the aspiring singer just months after the Beatles split up in 1970, telling him not to worry about becoming wealthy because it would not change what he felt inside.
The correspondence was signed by Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono. He sent the letter to Tilston and the reporter who interviewed him at the magazine’s offices, but for some reason it never reached the musician.
The first time he saw it was in 2005 when an American collector contacted him to verify whether the letter — estimated to be worth 7,000 pounds (11,000 dollars, 8,500 euros) — was genuine.
It was 25 years after Lennon had been shot dead. “It was so frustrating because Lennon even included his home phone number on the top of the letter,” said the 60-year-old. “I know it’s silly but I wanted to ring him up across the ages.”
Tilston added he “felt rather angry to start with to think that someone had just sold the letter rather than passing it on to me, but you have to let these things go.”
Lennon wrote to Tilston: “Being rich doesn’t change your experience in the way you think.
“The only difference, basically, is that you don’t have to worry about money — food — roof etc.
“But all other experiences — emotions — relationships — are the same as anybodies, I know, I’ve been rich and poor, so has Yoko (rich — poor — rich) so whadya think of that.
“Love John and Yoko.”
Despite not receiving Lennon’s reassuring words, Tilston still went on to record more than 20 albums and will mark his 40-year career with a special concert next month.