Why settle for one of those pricey silk neckties designed by Jerry Garcia when you can drop some real dough on a tie once owned by a former Beatle?

That was the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented to one lucky bidder at a recent auction, where a black knit tie that John Lennon wore to one of the Beatles' Cavern Club sessions in 1962 -- and then handed to a fan in a spur-of-the-moment gesture -- sold for more than $5,600.

"The Beatles were recording some numbers and I was sitting on the edge of the stage holding the microphone stand," explained the seller, Joyce McWilliams. "It was very hot in the club and John asked me to lend him a handkerchief to mop his brow with. He handed it back to me, and loosened his tie when I said: 'I thought you were going to give me your tie,' and he just handed it to me."

McWilliams, who was 15 at the time, recalls being devastated when she found out her mother washed the handkerchief, but she's held onto Lennon's tie for all these years. She told reporters that she stumbled across it, along with some signed postcards, while cleaning her house recently, and decided to make the sale.

No word on who the new owner is, but here's hoping they're kind enough to share the tie with any new Lennons that arise from the current efforts to clone him from DNA extracted out of a rotten old molar.

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