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Rare ‘Rolling Stone’ John Lennon tribute issue being auctioned off to prevent gun violence

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Annie Leibovitz signs her Lennon/Ono ‘Rolling Stone’ cover in 2008; Logan Fazio/Getty Images

One of the best-known covers of Rolling Stone shows a naked John Lennon curled up next to his wife, Yoko Ono. The photo was taken by Annie Leibowitz on December 8, 1980 — just hours before Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman — and appeared on the cover of the magazine’s January 22, 1981, edition. Now, a rare copy of that issue is being sold for a good cause.

That issue is generally hard to find, but according to Rolling Stone, a stack of copies was recently discovered in the archives of the magazine’s parent company. One of them, signed by Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, is being auctioned off, with a starting bid of $1,000. 

The auction runs through Friday, December 16, at 5 p.m. ET. The magazine says 100% of all proceeds will go to “gun violence prevention efforts,” though the exact charities aren’t detailed.

Lennon also appeared on the cover of the very first issue of Rolling Stone in 1967.

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