Money can buy you bricks from Lennon's home

Money can buy you bricks from Lennon's home

His paintings change hands for thousands of dollars, his piano sold for millions. But what price a brick from the wall of John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool?

A total of 150 bricks removed from the small house where Lennon was raised by his Aunt Mimi in the 1950s will be up for auction on the Internet next week at a time when Beatlemania appears as frenzied as ever.

The NBC network acquired the bricks from the house in Menlove Avenue, Woolton during filming in Liverpool for a two-hour TV movie about Lennon's teenage years.

It was the first time a film crew of any sort had been allowed access to the house, which is privately owned but has become a regular stop on fan tours of the city where the Fab Four were born.

After lengthy negotiations, the 88-year-old owner agreed not only to let his house be used in the movie, but also to having a downstairs wall knocked through to allow more room for filming.

"At first we were going to throw the bricks in a dumpster," writer and executive producer Michael O'Hara told Reuters.

"Then I said 'hold on a minute', because this was a very expensive movie to make and we were over budget and I thought here's an opportunity to generate some revenue. We had a big laugh about it. But then I slept on it," O'Hara said.

The bricks were removed and documented in the presence of an local Liverpool auctioneer and then "carted away almost under armed guard".

No-one at NBC is prepared to hazard a guess at how much this little piece of John Lennon history might fetch. But O'Hara noted that 5,000 bricks sold when Liverpool's famous Cavern Club was demolished several years ago are now fetching between $300 and $500 each on the Web.

The owner of Lennon's house will get 50 percent of the profits, some will be donated to the nearby Strawberry Fields children's home immortalized in the Beatles song, and the rest will go to cover the costs of the movie.

The auction will begin on November 15 and end on December 4th and will be held on the ( Web site.

Last month the upright piano on which Lennon composed "Imagine" was bought at auction by British pop star George Michael for 1.45 million pounds ($2.1 million).

The auction capped a month of renewed Beatlemania which included the release of the group's first autobiography, the opening of a new Beatle museum in Japan, and two solo albums marking what would have been Lennon's 60th birthday.

Lennon was shot dead outside his New York apartment by crazed fan Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980.

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