Cassette Tape Featuring Unreleased John Lennon Song Fetches Over $58,000 at Auction

A 33-minute audio recording on a cassette tape of John Lennon being interviewed by four Danish teenagers in 1970, as well as an unreleased song, sold at auction for $58,240 Tuesday at Denmark auction.

The January 5, 1970 recording on the cassette features Lennon and his widow, Yoko Ono, discussing their stay in Denmark and achieving world peace. The couple also sing the 1969 hit Give Peace a Chance and the unreleased Radio Peace, which was written for a radio station in the Netherlands but wasn't broadcast.

The couple traveled to Northern Denmark in December 1969 and lived on a remote farm for longer than a month, the auction house said.

Bids started at 100,000 kroner for the cassette tape, which included photographs from the meeting with the teens. The identity of the buyer was not made public.

Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneer put the cassette up for sale alongside 29 still photos and a copy of the school newspaper for which the Danish teenagers interviewed Lennon and Ono. The lot was previously estimated to be worth $31,381 to $47,222.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

John and Yoko
A 33-minute audio recording on a cassette tape of John Lennon as well as an unreleased song by the former Beatle went for more than $58,000 at a recent auction. Portrait of Japanese-born artist and musician Yoko Ono and British musican and artist John Lennon (1940 - 1980), December 1968. Susan Wood/Getty Images

"It is a small item with lots of interest," auctioneer Jesper Bruun Rasmussen said as he brought the hammer down.

"I thought it was extraordinary that it went above the estimate," Alexa Bruun Rasmussen of Denmark's main auction house told the Associated Press. "Unfortunately it is confidential who the buyer is but I can reveal that it went abroad."

The Danish teenagers did the interview in northern Denmark at the height of the Vietnam War and the Cold War because Lennon and Ono had "a message of peace, and that was what was important to us," Karsten Hoejen, who made the recording on a tape recorder borrowed from the local hi-fi shop, told the Associated Press.

After the sale in a packed auction hall, Hoejen said "it exceeded all expectations."

"There is some kind of relief now," he said, adding the three surviving men who did the interview have not decided what to do with the money.

Lennon and Ono were in the northern Danish region of Thy because Ono's ex-husband had moved there and brought their 5-year-old daughter Kyoko with him.

Alternative living communities also mushroomed in Denmark from the late 1960s, attracting people from abroad, and music festivals were organized there, inspired by Woodstock and the ones on the Isle of Wight.

Tuesday's auction was devoted to 20th-century artwork and featured 116 items for sale.