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Black Tie International:
"A Sotheby's Auction - 'Oh Boy' "


"A  Sotheby's Auction - 'Oh Boy'"

Photos & Story by:  Andrew Wargo


Mym Tuma, Albert Maysles and Richard Novak

 Mym Tuma and Marsha Malinowski

Mym Tuma, Albert Maysles and Richard Novak

 Mym Tuma and Marsha Malinowski

Sotheby's executives taking national and international bids Sotheby's sign flanked by F.Scott Fitzgerald's signature(left) and Albert Einstein's signature (right).

Sotheby's executives taking national and international bids

Sotheby's sign flanked by F.Scott Fitzgerald's signature(left) and Albert Einstein's signature (right).

Paul Sladkus (, Joseph Reynoso and Albert Maysles

Paul Sladkus (,
Albert Maysles and Joseph Reynoso.


Joseph Reynoso and Albert Maysles

Lyrics - handwritten by John Lennon. Lyrics - printed by John Lennon

Lyrics - handwritten by John Lennon

Lyrics - printed by John Lennon

Albert Maysles by Don Duga

Beatles by Don Duga/"Sargent Pepper's

Albert Maysles by Don Duga

Beatles by Don Duga/"Sargent Pepper's
Lonely Hearts Club Band".

The morning of Friday, 6/18/10, was a day in which serendipity was in full force.  I was driving with Richard Novak, a major Hamptons East End home builder, to Manhattan.  I called Albert Maysles at 8:30am at his townhouse and explained to him that John Lennon's lyrics for "A Day in the Life" was being auctioned at Sotheby's at 10am and that he should attend.  Al and his brother, David Maysles, had filmed the Beatles during their historic 1964 U.S. Invasion (  He agreed to join us. 

     At Sotheby's, the entourage consisted of Mym Tuma, East End Artist and Sculptress who in the 1960's was mentored by the American icon Georgia O'Keeffe with Mym as her young protege
(, also, Albert Maysles, the world famous award winning documentary film maker, Richard Novak, master builder of over 100 Hamptons homes, Debbie Tuma,famed NYC and Hamptons paparazzo and writter for over 35 years (see, "Just a Day in the Life" - 7/17/10 by Debbie Tuma) and also, c'est moi, Andrew Wargo, writer.

     The lyrics of John Lennon's "A Day in the Life" consisted of a single sheet of letter paper on which one side was written in ball point pen and on the other side the same lyrics in print with a felt pen.  It became part of the Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. 

Debbie Tuma with a Sotheby's auction paddle.

     The auctioneer began the Lennon lyrics at $300,000 and with 7 Sotheby's executives on the phones for national and internation bidding.  It soon rose to $800,000.  I turned to the man standing next to me and excitedly stated "It's getting up there".  He turned to me and said " I'm glad - I'm the one selling it."  I said "you have to meet Albert Maysles who filmed the Beatles USA Invasion in 1964."  He excitedly said "I'd love to meet him after the auction."  We did.

     The bidding moved to $950,000 and the auctioneer said "Will Sotheby's hit the 1 million dollar mark this morning?" and continuing, he calmly said "$950,000, going once, $950,000 going twice, fair warning --- $1,000,000."  It went to an historic $1,200,000 as the final bid.

     We all gathered apres the auction and Paul Sladkus ( taped Albert Maysles and interviewed the seller, Joseph Reynoso of Chicago.  Joseph had bought it 18 years earlier for $100,000. Debbie and I photographed as well.  Afterwards, Al went to his uptown Maysles Films and Institute building courtesy of Richard Novak.  Mym Tuma invited Marsha Malinowski, Sotheby's senior specialist and curator, Debbie Tuma, John Egan, website designer and myself to lunch.  It was fascinating to hear of Marsha's 24 years at Sotheby's and I realized that when it comes to hand written letters she has to be both a scholar and a detective.

     I will remember this morning always and reflect upon the fact that I, "The Fool on the Hill", had become so very much wiser.  The Beatles have touched multi-generations and their influence continues to grow in "value" in so many ways ...  This day, 6/18/10, will be a cherished souvenir, always.

     Merci John Lennon.  Merci Mym Tuma & Marsha Malinowski/Sotheby's.  Merci, Debbie Tuma and Merci Albert Maysles, a world famous icon and true friend for 30 years.

     "My garden is a forest ledge which older forests bound, the banks slope down to the blue lake-edge, then plunge to depths profound ... (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1882)

Andrew Wargo

Debbie Tuma with a Sotheby's auction paddle.


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