Yoko Ono has secretly bought the former home of John Lennon, according to sources in Liverpool. Yoko is said to have bought the house as an anonymous ‘over the phone bidder’ in an auction at the Cavern Club last year.
Despite the house being valued at just £150,000 but it ended up selling for £480,000 as two bidders from the US fought it out over the property. At the time of the auction in October 2013 the buyer of the property was described as an “anonymous American Beatles fan”.
However Ono’s purchase is now said to be an “open secret” in the City of Liverpool and is “well known” amongst Beatles experts. The property itself is a small terrace house at 9 Newcastle Road in Wavertree, Liverpool. Its modest size and location mean it is highly unlikely Yoko Ono would ever live it in, leading to speculation over its future.
The red brick house was the first property Lennon’s mother Julia brought her new born son in 1940. It boasts a lounge, upstairs family bathroom, a sitting room, family room and kitchen which leads to a walled yard at the back.
Most significantly of all it is just a stone’s throw from Penny Lane, the Liverpool street that inspired one of the greatest ever Beatles songs. Lennon even claimed the number nine was significant in his life because he was born on the 9th October and moved to 9 Newcastle Road.
Although the identity of the purchaser has not been officially confirmed it is being refurbished by the same team that Yoko Ono sent into another of John Lennon’s former homes, 251 Menlove Avenue also known as Mendips.
Ono refurbished Mendips in a 1950s style in order that it should look as it did when John lived there. After work on the property was complete Ono donated it to the National Trust so it could be opened to the public.
When it opened in 2003 she told Associated Press: “When John’s house came up for sale I wanted to preserve it for the people of Liverpool and John Lennon and Beatles’ fans all over the world.”
A tourist industry source said: “Yoko Ono has a track record of buying property associated with John Lennon. It is a well known amongst Beatles experts in Liverpool that she has bought the property.
“She appears to be putting the house back to what it would have been like in the 1940s when John lived there. I think it’ll be superb when it is finished.”
Liverpool has a number of Beatles related museums already and this week opened a new exhibition about how British culture affected America in the 1960s. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Beatles Story Museum and the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.