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Rare John Lennon-Yoko Ono Issue of Rolling Stone is Being Auctioned for Charity

Rare John Lennon-Yoko Ono Issue of Rolling Stone is Being Auctioned for Charity

The cover was released in 1981.

Rolling Stone announced the auction of a rare collector's edition of its iconic John Lennon and Yoko Ono cover from 1981.

Exactly 42 years anniversary ago today, December 8, 1980 - just hours before he was murdered by a deranged fan near the entranceway to his New York apartment building - John Lennon and Yoko Ono welcomed photographer Annie Leibowitz into their home so she could take Lennon's photo for the cover of  Rolling Stone.

"The session took place in a bright, sunny room overlooking the park," Yoko Ono  recalled in 2004. "We were feeling comfortable because it was Annie, whom we respected and trusted, so John seemed not to have any problem taking off his clothes."

The image of a naked, vulnerable Lennon curled up next to a clothed Ono on their bed appeared on the January 22, 1981 cover without text. The newsstands were flooded with Lennon tributes and the image became instantly iconic. In 2005, it was named the best magazine cover of the previous 40 years by the American Society of Magazine Editors.

The issue has remained a highly valuable collector's item over the past four decades and is the last major interview and photo session of Lennon's.

Recently, a stack was discovered in the Penske Media Archive and Rolling Stone announced it would auction one copy, signed by Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, with 100% of the net proceeds going to gun violence prevention efforts.

"It is incredibly meaningful to be able to both honor John Lennon on the anniversary of his death and auction off one of the greatest and most iconic Rolling Stone issues of all time for such a worthy cause, said Gus Wenner, CEO of Rolling Stone. Gun violence prevention is a cause we are passionate about at Rolling Stone and this auction is just the beginning of our efforts to support it."

The issue, officially known as ISSUE 335, featuring Yoko Ono and John Lennon is stored in a climate-controlled environment and has light wear and tear damage, along with a lightly bent lower left-hand corner from the original shipping back in 1981. The auction is now live and will be open for two weeks only. Bids begin at $1,000. For more information, head to the Rolling Stone Shop: here

Five decades since its founding, Rolling Stone today has evolved into a multi-platform content brand with unrivalled access and authority. Published in 10 languages, Rolling Stone has a global audience of over 75 million across 14 international editions.

Staying true to its mission to tell exceptional stories that illuminate the culture of our times, Rolling Stone is an authority for music reviews, in-depth interviews, hard-hitting political commentary, and award-winning journalism across print, digital, mobile, video, social and events. Operated and published by Penske Media Corporation, Rolling Stone provides "all the news that fits."

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