Lot 7021: John Lennon Signed Deposition
DS, seven pages, 8 x 10.5, April 13, 1971. Deposition of John Lennon in the plagiarism lawsuit made by Big Seven Music Corporation against Maclen Music, Inc., Northern Songs, Ltd. and Apple Records, Inc. The document contains an examination made by counsel M. William Krasilovsky, in which he questions whether Lennon acknowledges himself as “the sole writer of the song Come Together as recorded by the Beatles on the LP album entitled Abbey Road” and whether he acknowledges his familiarity “with the works of Chuck Berry and specifically the musical composition You Can’t Catch Me as recorded by Chuck Berry…and by the Rolling Stones.” Lennon answers “Yes” to both questions, and affirms that “ever since I was in my teens I was acquainted with the works of Chuck Berry whom I consider one of the original rock and roll poets. I heard his recording of You Can’t Catch Me at this time and spent many hours in generally [sic] listening to his general catalog.” Signed at the conclusion in black felt tip by Lennon, and countersigned by a commissioner for oaths. Includes an annexed certificate for the admittance of Joseph Herbert Bueno de Mesquita, the aforesaid commissioner for oaths. Also included are various comparison music charts for the two songs, copies of music sheets, and a copy of Lennon’s settlement agreement. Contained in the original deposition folder of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, issued under Civil Action No. 1348/70. In fine condition. Accompanied by a letter of provenance from the daughter of Krasilovsky, and letters of authenticity from Jeff Gold at Record Mecca and from noted Beatles expert Frank Caiazzo, the latter, in part: “After the release of the Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ album, Chuck Berry’s music publisher Big Seven Music sued Apple Records, Beatles publishers Maclen Music Ltd. And Northern Songs Ltd., alleging that Lennon copied lyrics and music from Berry’s ‘You Can’t Catch Me’ in ‘Come Together’ (the first song on ‘Abbey Road’ and a #1 single in the U.S.)…In 1973, two years after Lennon gave his deposition, the case was settled when Lennon agreed to record 3 more Big Seven songs, including ‘You Can’t Catch Me’ on his next album (which Became ‘Rock-n-Roll’).”
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