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Sold: A Shirt Stained With John Lennon’s Blood


Jay Hastings was the Dakota building’s concierge when the Lennons, John Yoko and Sean, live there together. As he had a good relationship with them, they signed him a copy of the album Double Fantasy with an affectionate, ‘To Jay, Love John Lennon Yoko Ono’, and gave him a card at Thanksgiving in 1978 with doodle and signatures from the famous trio.

Jay was also one of the last persons to see John Lennon alive, when the former Beatles collapsed inside the Dakota building after being shot by Mark David Chapman, Jay rushed to help him and some of Lennon’s blood soaked into his shirt. After all these years, the blood can still be seen on the shirt sleeves and shoulders. I don’t know what were Mr. Hastings’ intentions, since blood is very easy to get off clothes with just cold water and soap, but he nevertheless decided to keep this white shirt, stained with Lennon’s blood.

According to the Mirror, the shirt was sold on Saturday and it smashed its £7,000 estimate.

Garry Shrum, from Heritage Auctions, said: ‘Jay Hastings kept this shirt all these years and never really spoke about it. It has just been sitting in a drawer for years and now he is getting older he felt it was time to sell it. There are remnants of blood on the shirt. Some people might be appalled but it’s a piece of history. We did ask ourselves ‘is this too dark or wrong to sell’ but I don’t think it is. He is not exploiting John Lennon’s death. He is telling the story of how he tried to help John Lennon in the last few minutes of his life.’

Telling a story? Look I don’t blame him if he needs the money because his retirement plan is not comfortable enough, but let’s not call this ‘telling a story’.

Included in the sale were the copy of the signed album, the Thanksgiving card a typed letter from Yoko Ono two weeks after her husband’s death thanking the staff for their support, items you don’t usually sell? And this is the saddest part of the story.

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