Read John Lennon's Letter To The Queen
Mon, 31 Oct 2016 11:39:02
On October 26th 1965 The Beatles were awarded MBE's (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth. However, just four years later, on November 29th 1969 John Lennon returned his medal.
Now, a letter sent by Lennon to Queen Elizabeth - at the time of his returning of the medal - was unearthed Wednesday at a Fab Four exhibition in Liverpool.
In the letter, Lennon's famous wit with a serious edge is displayed as his playfully explains why he was sending back his MBE medal. "I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts," referring to the singer's 1969 single.
Lennon added a further line with a signature "John Lennon of Bag" referring to his and Yoko Ono's "Bagism" Campaign while mocking the British monarchy, and antiquated aristocratic titling conventions.
At the Beatles Story exhibition Wednesday, a memorabilia expert put the value of the letter at roughly $72,000, surely a pleasant surprise for the anonymous owner who discovered the letter in the sleeve of a used record they purchased for just £10.
The letter is believed to be the first draft of the note Lennon ultimately sent to Queen Elizabeth; it's speculated that because the handwriting on the letter became smudged, Lennon instead sent a more pristine copy.
"You can quite clearly see that the signature in this letter has been smudged. My theory is that John Lennon never sent this draft because of the smeared ink," remarked music memorabilia expert Darren Julien "If you're writing to The Queen, you want the letter to look pretty perfect, you don't want the ink to be smudged. This suggests that he wrote a second version of the letter, which was the one that was actually sent to The Queen."
—The ARTISTdirect Staff