A Draft Of John Lennon's Protest Letter To The Queen Is Now Worth $72,000

A lost draft of John Lennon's protest letter to Queen Elizabeth II has resurfaced. In 1969, Lennon returned the MBE (Member of the British Empire medal) that he had received for his service as a Beatle in 1965. Basically, the Fab Four were rewarded for their contributions to British culture by receiving honorific titles. 

And they were characteristically glib about the honor (though that could be because they had allegedly smoked a joint in Buckingham Palace before meeting the queen.) Take a look at this clip and decide for yourself.

Four years later, Lennon later returned his medal in protest of British foreign policy...and domestic music.

"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 [Lennon's 1969 single] Cold Turkey slipping down the charts."

He signed the letter John Lennon of Bag, in reference to his protest movement Bagism.

A draft of that letter was discovered in the sleeve of a used record that was sold for £10. The letter is valued at $72,000 USD. 

Experts suspect that the letter is a draft because it appears smudged. 

"You can quite clearly see that the signature in this letter has been smudged," music memorabilia expert Darren Julien told CNN. "My theory is that John Lennon never sent this draft because of the smeared ink. 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."

If you want to check out the letter - that is, if you're not too busy searching for rock memorabilia in your old records - you can check it out at the Beatles museum in Liverpool, where it will be on display for a limited time.

h/t Rolling Stone, Beatles Bible.

Banner image: NeilFraudstrong / Flickr.com 


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