Arts, News

John Lennon’s Hair Sells For $48,000

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John Lennon rehearsing one of his many hits, "Give Peace A Chance." Image: Roy Kerwood
John Lennon rehearsing one of his many hits, “Give Peace A Chance.” Image: Roy Kerwood

Someone recently bought a lock of John Lennon’s hair for more than $48,000. (That’s Canadian dollars—it’s about $35,000 in US dollars).

The 10-centimetre (four-inch) strand of hair is about 50 years old. Hairdresser Klaus Barbuck gave Lennon a haircut in 1966. He saved the hair all that time. It turns out, it was a smart idea.

John Lennon is a famous British musician—one of the most famous in the world. He was one of the Beatles, perhaps the most popular rock band in history. After the Beatles broke up in 1970, Lennon went on to have an extremely successful solo career.

While he was with the Beatles, he co-wrote (often with fellow Beatle Paul McCartney) most of the Beatles’ biggest hits. He was also one of the band’s lead singers, so when you hear a Beatles song, chances are John Lennon wrote it and can be heard singing it.

Lennon died tragically in 1980 when he was 40 years old, but music lovers around the world still remember him and his songs, including “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Help!” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” when he was with the Beatles and “Imagine” and “Give Peace a Chance” after the Beatles broke up.

That’s why a lock of his hair—something that, for most people, would simply be swept off the floor and discarded—was so valuable.

Before Lennon’s hair was cut, it was quite long—in fact, many people remember John Lennon for having very long hair in the 60s. The hairdresser cut it so Lennon could act in a movie, “How I Won the War,” about a fictional British army troop.

Paul Fraser, who lives in Britain and collects Beatles memorabilia (things from and about the Beatles), bought the strand of hair. He paid about three times more than anyone expected, according to the British newspaper The Guardian.

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Make a list of five of heroes or celebrities you look up to. If you could own something that belonged to each of them, what would it be?

Reading Prompt: Responding to and Evaluating Texts
Do you think Mr. Fraser spent his money wisely? Why or why not?

Express personal opinions about ideas presented in texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Make judgements and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Evaluate the effectiveness of both simple and complex texts based on evidence from the texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Language Feature: Metaphor
A metaphor is a comparison between two things that does NOT use the words: “like,” “than,” or “as.” Because of this, the comparison is meant to be understood more strongly by the reader.

Do you know that the term “lock of hair” is a metaphor. A lock in this sense means twig, as in a twig on a plant.

Circle the metaphors in the sentences below:

  1. My mom says that my room is a disaster area.
  2. Don’t go outside, it’s raining cats and dogs!
  3. After the meeting, I felt really cut down.
  4. Mr. Salerno planted seeds of wisdom in his student’s ears.
  5. Marcus Stroman was throwing fireballs at spring training.