Lennon offered to make Clapton greater
John Lennon believed he could make Eric Clapton a greater musician than ever, reveals a 1971 letter from the Beatles star to Slowhand.
And the handwritten note could sell for $30,000 when it goes to auction next month.
Clapton first met the Beatles in 1964, while he was a member of the Yardbirds. He later played on George Harrison’s 1968 track While My Guitar Gently Weeps, which appears on the White Album. The following year he became part of the Plastic Ono Band alongside Lennon and Yoko Ono. A year later the Fab Four finally split up.
In the letter, dated September 29, 1971, Lennon says: “Eric, I know I can bring out something great, in fact greater, in you than has been so far evident in your music.
“I hope to bring out the same kind of greatness in all of us, which I know will happen if/when we get together.”
Auctioneer Joe Maddalena believes the note demonstrates just how close Clapton came to becoming a member of the Beatles. He tells Jam: “There was a point in time when George thought about leaving, and his replacement was Eric. This letter is a link of what could have been.”
The Profiles In History auction takes place on December 18 in Los Angeles. Other items includes letters by George Washington, George Gershwin and Ludwig Van Beethoven, plus a Charles Dickens manuscript.