A piece of wood with John Lennon’s original lyrics to ‘Sexy Sadie’ is being sold at auction.
Lennon originally wrote the song in 1968 to attack Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the guru who had introduced the Beatles to Transcendental Meditation. Lennon felt the maharishi had behaved inappropriately towards some of the women traveling with The Beatles and wanted to cash in on the band’s endorsement.
As The Times reports, the song’s original lyrics opened with the line: “Maharishi what have you done, you’ve made a fool of everyone,” causing a rift in the band. George Harrison eventually persuaded Lennon to change the lyrics on the grounds that the maharishi would sue for libel before its appearance on ‘The Beatles’ (aka ‘The White Album’).
The piece of wood with the original words carved by Lennon, topped with the inscription “the private mind of John Lennon”, was kept by Ringo Starr’s ex-wife Maureen Starkey before being acquired by a collector.
The memento is expected to fetch £150,000 when it goes up for auction later this month (September 23) at Fame Bureau. Ted Owen of the auction house said: “It is a piece of wood that nearly broke up the Beatles. John Lennon wanted to release the Maharishi version as a single but George Harrison said, “no way” and Paul McCartney convinced them to keep the song but change the lyrics.”