A small piece of Sir Paul McCartney memorabilia is going up for auction with a starting price tag of $450,000.
The costly item is a handwritten lyric sheet for the Beatles’ 1969 hit Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. The last time the sheet was available for sale was in 2006—for only $192,000. So, we’d say inflation hit rock and roll paraphernalia hard.
McCartney originally wrote the costly lyrics on stationery that showcases the Apple Corps Limited letterhead, which was the Beatles’ company. And the music includes two other pages written by the band’s former road manager and personal assistant, Mal Evans.
Paul McCartney’s lyrics for “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” on sale for $450,000https://t.co/0S8iMmBipk— Beatles News (@BeatlesNews) April 4, 2022
The available copy is nearly identical to the version that the group later released. The only differences between the two are some crossed-out words in the second verse that he slightly tweaked.
The Paul McCartney Song is About an Infamous 1920s Murderer
The song is about a twisted 1920s mobster named Maxwell Edison who killed people with a hammer. Paul McCartney penned the song in 1968 while working on The White Album. But the band didn’t get around to recording it until the following year. And it took a few tries before the four Beatles got something that they agreed was worthy of release.
And Ringo Starr was mortified by the entire experience.
“The worst session ever was Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” he told Rolling Stone in 2008. “It was the worst track we ever had to record. It went on for f**king weeks. I thought it was mad.”
The late John Lennon also aired his disapproval of the song by calling it “Paul’s granny music.” And the slight was one of many that eventually led McCartney to write a “diss track” about Lennon a couple of years later.
“This song was written a year or so after the Beatles break-up,” McCartney said of the feud to BBC Radio 4. “At the time, John was firing missiles at me with his songs, and one or two of them were quite cruel. I don’t know what he hoped to gain other than punching me in the face, the whole thing really annoyed me. I decided to turn my missiles on him too, but I’m not really that kind of writer, so it was quite veiled.”
But despite the drama, the Moments in Time auction house seems to hold Maxwell’s Silver Hammer in much higher esteem than McCartney’s bandmates. And if fans agree, the sheet could fetch its owners a hefty return.
If you’re interested in owning the piece of music history and have around half a million to drop, head on over to the auction block website for more information.