Rolling Stone announced the auction of a rare collector’s edition of its iconic John Lennon and Yoko Ono cover from 1981.
Exactly 42 years anniversary ago today, December 8, 1980 – just hours before he was murdered by a deranged fan near the entranceway to his New York apartment building - John Lennon and Yoko Ono welcomed photographer Annie Leibowitz into their home so she could take Lennon’s photo for the cover of Rolling Stone.
“The session took place in a bright, sunny room overlooking the park,” Yoko Ono recalled in 2004. “We were feeling comfortable because it was Annie, whom we respected and trusted, so John seemed not to have any problem taking off his clothes.”
The image of a naked, vulnerable Lennon curled up next to a clothed Ono on their bed appeared on the January 22, 1981 cover without text. The newsstands were flooded with Lennon tributes and the image became instantly iconic. In 2005, it was named the best magazine cover of the previous 40 years by the American Society of Magazine Editors.
The issue has remained a highly valuable collector’s item over the past four decades and is the last major interview and photo session of Lennon’s.
Recently, a stack was discovered in the Penske Media Archive and Rolling Stone announced it would auction one copy, signed by Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, with 100% of the net proceeds going to gun violence prevention efforts.
“It is incredibly meaningful to be able to both honor John Lennon on the anniversary of his death and auction off one of the greatest and most iconic Rolling Stone issues of all time for such a worthy cause, said Gus Wenner, CEO of Rolling Stone. Gun violence prevention is a cause we are passionate about at Rolling Stone and this auction is just the beginning of our efforts to support it.”
The issue, officially known as ISSUE 335, featuring Yoko Ono and John Lennon is stored in a climate-controlled environment and has light wear and tear damage, along with a lightly bent lower left-hand corner from the original shipping back in 1981. The auction is now live and will be open for two weeks only. Bids begin at $1,000. For more information, head to the Rolling Stone Shop: here
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