People have been collecting rock-and-roll memorabilia since the beginning of rock-and-roll, everything from guitars and outfits worn at concerts to personal items owned by famous musicians. Now, Canadian dentist Michael Zuk has something a bit more personal, John Lennon’s tooth!
John Lennon, Tooth Fairy
The story goes that in the 1960’s Lennon pulled his own tooth in his Surey Southwest London home and gave it to his housekeeper, Dot Jartlett, saying, “Keep it, it might be worth some money someday.” And of course, she did.
When Jartlett needed money for her daughter’s wedding it was put up for auction at the Omega Auction House in Stockport, England and sold to Michael Zuk for £19,500, almost double the asking price of £10,000.
Dr. Zuk DDS is an avid collector of celebrity teeth, recently purchasing Elvis Presley’s crown, nicknamed “The King’s Crown.” He also has John Lennon’s son, Julian Lennon’s baby tooth and is waiting for Tom Cruise’s dental crown. Zuk still needs to submit his application to Guinness for purchasing the world’s most expensive tooth.
After buying John Lennon’s tooth he then had a “DNA necklace” made by Beverly Hills jeweler, Ari Soffor, who has made similar DNA jewelry pieces for stars like Tommy Lee, Axl Rose and Slash. Dr. Zuk then had his brother, artist Kirsten Zuk incorporate another small piece of the molar in a clay model of Lennon and it was displayed at the Edmonton Fringe Festival in Canada. The tooth was also broken up and used in two more necklaces.
Imagine all the people…
Now if you’re thinking that this is all just a frivolous use of money or obsessive Beatle-mania gone to the extreme, think again.
The necklace is going on tour much like Mr. Lennon himself, being passed around 16 UK dental practices to highlight National Mouth Cancer Month, including free screenings, promotion and fundraising, and a chance to be photographed wearing the DNA necklace. The campaign is targeted at people over 55 who grew up in the Beatles’ hay-day, but hopes to attract younger people to whom the Beatles’ music still appeals, even now.
There are about 1700 deaths in the UK per year from oral cancer and 6500 diagnosed with the disease annually. Around 80% of suffers will survive if the disease is caught early, but only about 30% if not. Dr. Hall can conduct a cancer screening at his Colorado Springs dental office. So now, what started out as one’s mans’ eccentric hobby has become a fantastic cancer awareness campaign for Lennon’s home country, England.