Rare John Lennon record gifted to Newcastle store for Christmas

  • Jonny Blair speaks with Richie Lattimore from RPM Music in Newcastle

A record shop in Newcastle is just one of fifty charities or businesses across the country to receive an early Christmas gift courtesy of musical Royalty. 

Yoko Ono and Sean Ono Lennon - the wife and son, respectively, of John Lennon - sent out the extremely rare copies of the song Happy Xmas (War Is Over) to 'spread Xmas cheer.'

Through a letter, recipients are advised to do whatever they choose with the vinyl, be it "sell, auction, raise money to help your business or your favourite charity."

The record is an acetate, hand-cut at the famous Abbey Road studios to mark the 50th anniversary of the single's first release.

Vinyl enthusiasts have been monitoring where they crop up. Staff at RPM Music were "lost for words" when a copy unexpectedly arrived in the post.

"The first thing i really knew something strange was happening was a notification on the shops Twitter saying John Lennon was following us, and then Yoko Ono, and then Sean," said Richie Lattimere.

"And then there was a delivery, I opened the mailer and there was this unbelievably rare record. "

They say they currently have no plans to sell it, and instead want to let music lovers in the North East enjoy the moment. They're also trying to decide a permanent way to mark the historic occasion.

The rare record is kept, periodically, in the shop but is largely stored elsewhere for security reasons.

Listen to our entertainment podcast, Unscripted: