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Wood carving of John Lennon's original Sexy Sadie lyrics up for sale

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Sep 11, 2013 | 2:03pm EDT

A piece of wood etched with the original lyrics of John Lennon's Beatles hit Sexy Sadie is set to go under the hammer at an upcoming auction in London. The Imagine icon initially opened the 1968 track with a stinging reference to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi after becoming convinced the Fab Four's spiritual guru was trying to cash in on the band's endorsement. The lyrics read, "Maharishi, what have you done?/You've made a fool of everyone", but the line was subsequently altered to refer to Sexy Sadie after objections from Paul McCartney and George Harrison. However, Lennon used the original words for a special wood carving, topped with the inscription "the private mind of John Lennon". It was kept by Ringo Starr's ex-wife Maureen Starkey for years before a collector acquired it. It is now set to go up for auction at a Fame Bureau sale on 23 September (13), and it's expected to fetch $225,000 (£150,000). Auction representative Ted Owen says, "It is a piece of wood that nearly broke up the Beatles. John Lennon wanted to release the Maharishi version as a single but George Harrison said, 'No way'. Paul McCartney convinced them to keep the song but change the lyrics."

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