The Beatles – John Lennon – Signed Deposition in Come Together Plagerism Lawsuit
We’re proud to offer here an extraordinary, museum quality John Lennon/Beatles collectible–an original deposition, signed by John Lennon, in the historic copyright lawsuit brought by Chuck Berry’s music publisher against The Beatles. After the release of the Beatles’ 1969 album ‘Abbey Road,” Chuck Berry’s music publisher, Big Seven Music, sued Apple Records and the Beatles publishing companies Maclen Music and Northern Songs, alleging that John Lennon copied lyrics and music from Berry’s hit ‘You Can’t Catch Me’ in The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’ (the first song on ‘Abbey Road’ and a #1 single in the U.S.) This is Lennon’s actual signed deposition in the case, where he testifies under oath that he is the sole author of ‘Come Together,’ admits having great familiarity with the songs of Chuck Berry, including ‘You Can’t Catch Me,’ and states that he considers Berry ‘One of the great rock and roll poets.’ He notes that he has spent ‘many hours generally listening to his general catalog.’ Largely as a result of Lennon’s admissions in this deposition, the Beatles label and publishers settled the lawsuit before going to trial, with Lennon agreeing to record 3 songs published by Big Seven Music, including ‘You Can’t Catch Me,’ on his next album (which became ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll.’) This historic case was the only time The Beatles settled a plagiarism case, and has been extensively written about and documented. Offered here is the original signed deposition and case file from Berry and Big Seven Music lawyer, M. William Krasilovsky (who deposed Lennon;) including the original signed 7 page deposition and cover (illustrated here is the section where Lennon answers Krasilovsky’s questions,) a page with a ribbon and seal issued by the Vice Counsel of the United States in London and a British Commissioner of Oaths certifying Lennon’s signature as authentic (as would a Notary in the U.S.,) a multiple page comparison of the two songs by a musicologist, a xeroxed copy of the relevant page of the settlement agreement, an original copy of John Lennon’s very rare ‘Roots’ album (on which he recorded Big Seven compositions; in VG condition,) and a copy of Lennon’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ album. Also included is a signed letter of authentication from Frank Caiazzo, the world expert in Beatles autographs and handwriting, and a letter of authenticity from Kraslovsky’s daughter, noting that the deposition and supporting materials are from her father’s files. We have never had such an important piece of Beatles history, and are proud to offer this truly historic, museum-quality Beatles document with ironclad provenance. (Larger scans available.)
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