John Lennon's handwritten THE Beatles lyrics have failed to sell at auction, despite being tipped to fetch $360,000 (GBP200,000).

The I'M ONLY SLEEPING verses, written on the back of a telephone bill, went under the hammer at prestigious London auction house Christies, but bidding fell short of the reserve price.

The item was publicised as highly collectable because it shows the song as a work in progress and is thought to be a first draft. The bill on the reverse is a final demand from the General Post Office for twelve pounds and three shillings in pre-decimal British currency.

However, a previously unheard interview featuring the IMAGINE singer and his second wife Yoko Ono during their Bed-In for Peace protest in May 1969 fetched $32,400 (GBP18,000).

Other lots in the rock 'n' roll themed sale included a banjo once owned by George Harrison, a catsuit worn by late Queen rocker Freddie Mercury and an acoustic guitar from OASIS star Noel Gallagher's collection.