The album John Lennon signed for his killer hours before his death has hit the auction block.
The Double Fantasy vinyl record that Lennon autographed for Mark David Chapman on the same night Chapman fatally shot the music legend is up for bid at Goldin Auctions. The shocking sale comes nearly 40 years to the day that Chapman shot Lennon outside of his Upper West Side residence at The Dakota.
Described by the auction house as “the most important rock Rock N Roll relic ever for sale,” the album features Lennon’s signature in blue pen on the cover photo of him kissing his wife. The late Beatles singer also inscribed “1980” below his signature, which was on his wife’s neck.
The morbid piece of music memorabilia includes police evidence markings on it and has a starting bid of $400,000. It is expected to fetch as much as $2 million after last being sold a decade ago for $600,000-$800,000, according to TMZ.
Lennon signed the record for his eventual assassin as he exited his apartment building about five hours before Chapman killed him on December 8, 1980. An eerie photo of the singer signing the cover as Chapman stood next to him and watched has also been widely circulated over the years.
Chapman, who waited for hours outside of the building for the singer’s return after snagging the autograph, reportedly left the album in a large planter outside of The Dakota’s entrance after shooting the 40-year-old musician as he arrived home with his wife, Yoko Ono.
The original finder of the hidden album kept it under his bed for 18 years before selling it in 1998 for $150,000. It has switched hands several times since then, but with the 40th anniversary of Lennon’s death looming, the bidding could be fierce.
Chapman was denied parole for the 11th time in late August, per Daily News. Lennon would have turned 80 years old on October 9, 2020.
The tacky timing of the auction hitting one month after Lennon’s missed birthday and weeks before the anniversary of his December death did not go unnoticed by fans.
“In a case of incredibly tasteless timing, the album that John Lennon signed for his killer, Mark Chapman, is going to be auctioned,” came one tweet.
Double Fantasy was the fifth record recorded by Lennon and Ono. It was released in November 1980 by Geffen Records and included the hits “(Just Like) Starting Over,” “Watching the Wheels” and “Woman.” It went on to win Album of the year at the 24th Grammy Awards in 1981.