For sale: song that hurt the Beatles

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Original Beatles lyrics handwritten by Paul McCartney and a Fender guitar owned by Jimi Hendrix are among the lots to be sold today in a big auction of rock and pop memorabilia.

The auction at Christie’s in New York will cover more than five decades of music history, with lots ranging from Miles Davis’s trumpet to a handwritten page from Britney Spears’s schoolbook, featuring her teenage analysis of the play Antigone, up for grabs.

Love letters by Bob Dylan and a previously unheard interview of John Lennon are also among the lots.

The item that is expected to fetch the highest price is a page of draft lyrics for the Beatles song Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. Christie’s expects it to fetch up to $300,000 (£151,000).

“McCartney lyrics rarely appear on the market and have not appeared for about six years,” said Helen Hall, of Christie’s.

The lot also includes two copies of the song that a member of the Beatles’ staff wrote out for use by other members of the band. They are the only trio of Beatles lyrics to have appeared on the market.

Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, which appears on the Abbey Road album, took three days to record and overdub, and caused considerable arguments between the band members as they hurtled towards their break-up.

McCartney insisted that the song was a possible single but Lennon disagreed, later calling it “a typical McCartney single, or whatever”.

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