Folk singer gets Lennon letter after 4 decades

London: A little-known folk singer, who once complained that success was threatening to ruin his career, has received a letter of reassurance by John Lennon nearly four decades after it was sent to him.

The former Beatle wrote to Steve Tilston in 1971 after reading an interview with him in a music magazine.

In a note, now revealed in public for the first time, Lennon told the young musician not to worry about accumulating wealth because it wouldn`t change the important things in life.

Lennon signed the letter from him and Yoko Ono just months after The Beatles split up in December 1970.

The ex-Beatle sent it to the offices of now-defunct ZigZag magazine but never reached Tilston until a collector seeking to verify the letter first contacted him five years ago.

Lennon, then 30, had read an article in which Tilston, then 21, had claimed that becoming wealthy might damage his ability to write powerful songs.

Addressing the songwriter and the journalist who interviewed him, Richard Howell, he wrote: "Being rich doesn`t change your experiences in the way you think,” reports a news daily.

"The only difference, basically, is that you don``t have you worry about money - food - roof etc. But all other experiences - emotions - relationships - are the same as anybodies.

"I know, I have been rich and poor and so has Yoko, (rich - poor - rich). So, whadya think of that. Love John and Yoko,” said Lennon.

He even included his home telephone number.

Yoko Ono, 77, confirmed that she remembered Lennon, who was assassinated aged 40 in 1980, writing the letter.

And now, 60 year-old Tilston has just published a novel and will mark 40 years in the music business with a concert at St George`s hall in Bristol next month.

"I feel it was a rather brotherly letter really. Not antagonistic, just offering words of advice. If I had received it all those years ago my young self would definitely have rung him. I felt rather angry to start with to think that someone had just sold the letter rather than passing it on to me but you have to let these things go,” he said.

The letter, which is estimated to be worth around 7,000 pounds, is currently in the hands of an American collector.

Tilston believes it was sold on after Lennon sent it to ZigZag`s offices in London.

"I didn`t hear about it at all until out of the blue about five years ago, when an American chap got in touch with me and said; "Are you the Steve Tilston that John Lennon wrote to? That`s when I finally saw it - 34 years after it was written,” he said.


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