The glasses belong to the Let It Be recording session period, on which Lennon recalss: “The Let it Be recordings were the shittiest pieces of shit we (The Beatles) ever recorded. I gave the tapes to Phil Spector because he was known for taking shitty recordings and making them sound good”.
The round, green-tinted glasses by designer Oliver Goldsmith went for a whopping £137,500 — that’s over $187,000 factoring in the current exchange rate. According to the letter of provenance accompanying the spectacles, they were found by former chauffeur Alan Herring after Lennon left them in band mate Ringo Starr’s car in the summer of 1968.
“I had picked John up with Ringo and George [Harrison] in Ringo’s Mercedes and driven the boys into the office,” Herring wrote. “When John got out of the car I noticed that he’d left these sunglasses on the back seat and one lens and one arm had become disconnected. I asked John if he’d like me to get them fixed for him. He told me not to worry — they were just for the look! He said he’d send out for some that fit. I never did get them mended I just kept them as they were as John had left them.”
John was the type of person who was very critical of his own music and had a special disdain for his own voice. He’d often use double tracking, echo chambers, spinning Leslie speakers and other studio tricks to cover it (I know, crazy, right?). By John DonFrancesco.
Paul, on the other hand was somewhat the opposite. If he didn’t like his recordings, he’d simply do them over and over again, sometimes utilizing 50 or 60 takes on one song to get it right. He was somewhat of a perfectionist and this drove the other guys in the band crazy, as it did George Martin, Geoff Emerick and other sound booth engineers. It sorta makes you wonder what Paul’s songs would’ve sounded like without the “perfection polish” on them.
Anyway, it seemed Paul’s interest in the project had waned, so John took the Let It Be tapes to Phil Spector – without Paul’s blessing – thinking that Paul would find some objection to the idea. I suppose John felt that it would be easier to ask for Paul’s forgiveness than it would be to ask him for permission. This was yet one more element adding to the friction between the four lads during their last months together as a band.
Paul’s introduction to Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound came to him via his song The Long And Winding Road. Upon hearing it, Paul became enraged (which is not normally a “Paul” thing). He felt that that Spector had ruined his song by burying the sound that he had worked so hard to achieve.
Although Paul and John had gotten together for brief occasions throughout the mid to late 70’s, the total forgiveness of sins between them truly didn’t take hold in it’s entirety until it was almost too late. There were certainly many factors involved in the tension between these two prolific song writers, and forgiving one another would eventually become part of that long and winding road. Fortunately for them both, Paul and John’s “water-under-the-bridge” moment came to fruition shortly before John’s death in 1980.
A good lesson was learned about forgiveness. First of all, asking for permission can actually sometimes be the better route. Second, there is no situation so bad that it’s worth losing someone close to you over it. Forgiveness is the answer.