A somewhat grisly piece of John Lennon's past sold at auction over the weekend in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The blood-stained shirt that Dakota apartment building doorman Jay Hastings wore on December 8, 1980, the night Lennon was fatally shot, was sold by Heritage Auctions for $40,819. Hastings -- who also included a personally signed copy of Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Double Fantasy" album in the auction package -- got blood on the shirt when he took off his jacket to cover Lennon in the Dakota lobby after he was shot by Mark David Chapman.
In a statement, Heritage's Garry Shrum said that, "Jay Hastings kept this shirt all these years and never really spoke about it. It has just been sitting in a drawer for years and now he is getting older he felt it was time to sell it. There are remnants of blood on the shirt. Some people might be appalled but it's a piece of history. We did ask ourselves 'is this too dark or wrong to sell' but I don't think it is. He is not exploiting John Lennon's death. He is telling the story of how he tried to help John Lennon in the last few minutes of his life."
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.