Rock-and-roll souvenirs may be trading like the Indonesian rupiah these days, but Gary Zimet, president of Moments in Time, is betting that no matter how morbid the memorabilia, the Beatles are still blue-chip investments. On behalf of an anonymous seller, he’s asking $1.8 million for the Double Fantasy album John Lennon autographed for Mark Chapman right before being shot. Found in the front-gate flower planter outside the Dakota, it contains Chapman’s forensically enhanced fingerprints, Lennon’s signature, and a New York Police Department evidence number.
Zimet and the owner have decided to donate part of the proceeds to a gun-control group “to offset any negative spin,” and they anticipate interest from “either a museum or the Hard Rock Cafe or someone who will buy it and keep it in their basement.”
The folks at the Hard Rock were too horrified to comment, but Giles Moon, Sotheby’s rock specialist, spoke with appropriate understatement: “We’d have to think carefully about it. It could create anti-publicity.”