NYC Landlord Wants Money From Lennon Suit Auction
By: Jennifer Peltz
January 16th, 2011
A New York City landlord has a message for the collector who recently sold the suit John Lennon wore on the cover of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album: You never give me your money.
The seller’s former landlord has sued the gallery that auctioned the late Beatle’s suit for $46,000, trying to get at the proceeds to satisfy a rent debt.
Braswell Galleries was told before the Jan. 1 sale that a court had determined in 2009 that seller Biond Fury — a psychic and memorabilia collector — owed more than $21,000 in rent for his former Manhattan apartment, according to landlord Mark Arrow’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday in a Manhattan state court. Arrow’s lawyers say they told the Norwalk, Conn.-based gallery not to go through with the sale, and that the gallery should now have to fork over at least $21,463.
Arrow had been unable to collect the rent debt from Fury, but the prospects brightened when he learned of the coming auction from a newspaper report last month, said Arrow lawyer Adam Leitman Bailey.
“We’re all coming together over John Lennon,” he said.
Gallery co-owner Kathy Braswell declined to comment.
A lawyer for Fury didn’t return a telephone call this week. No working telephone number could be found for Fury, who in 2008 bought a Durham, N.C. mansion that was the site of a notorious 2001 murder, according to a local newspaper report.
Fury has been involved for decades in buying and selling memorabilia, including items related to the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe, according to news reports.
Co-owner George Braswell told The Hour of Norwalk last month that the “Abbey Road” suit’s owner was selling it because of economic hardship. The seller had bought it in 1996, sold it in 2005 and repurchased it in 2008, according to a timeline on the Braswell Galleries website.
The white suit was custom-made for Lennon by French designer Ted Lapidus.
Released in 1969, “Abbey Road” was one of the Beatles’ most indelible albums, with songs including “Come Together,” ”Something” and the 16-minute medley that includes “You Never Give Me Your Money.”