On this day: John Lennon returned his MBE to the Queen, as an act of protest against the Vietnam war.
John’s chauffeur Les Anthony returned the insignia of the award to Buckingham Palace in the morning, also delivering handwritten letters to the Queen, prime minister Harold Wilson, and the secretary of the Central Chancery, explaining his actions.
The letters were written on notepaper headed Bag Productions, the company Lennon had recently set up with Yoko Ono.
Your Majesty,I am returning my MBE as a 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.With love. John Lennon of Bag
German police presented on Tuesday diaries, pairs of glasses and other items belonging to late Beatle John Lennon that were stolen from his widow Yoko Ono in 2006 and eventually ended up in Berlin.
“This day contains the entry that on that morning John Lennon and Yoko Ono had an appointment with Annie Leibovitz to take a photo which I think is world famous,” Berlin prosecutor Michael von Hagen told a news conference.
The Leibovitz portrait of a naked Lennon curled up around Ono on their bed ran on the January 1981 cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
Hagen rejected suggestions that Ono might have lent or given away the objects: “The diaries especially … were also treated by Yoko Ono as something sacred. And the idea that she would have given away three original diaries, especially the one that ends on the very day Lennon died, can be completely ruled out.”
Carsten Pfohl, head of property crime for Berlin police, said investigators had found one of the pairs of glasses and a receipt in Lennon’s name hidden in the trunk of the car of the accused on Monday.
Police suspect that the items were stolen by Ono’s former driver and then taken to Turkey and were only brought to Berlin in 2013 or 2014. Another suspect lives in Turkey, they said.
John and Yoko Ono, 1980.
German police say they have arrested a man suspected of handling stolen objects from the estate of John Lennon, including diaries. Berlin police said the 58-year-old suspect, whom they didn’t identify, was arrested in the German capital on Monday. They said another suspect lives in Turkey and is currently “not available” for law enforcement authorities, without elaborating. Police said in a statement that the objects, including diaries written by the late Beatle, were stolen from Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, in New York in 2006.
They reappeared in Berlin, and authorities this year launched an investigation of suspected fraud and handling stolen goods and the objects were seized.
A Christmas card written by John Lennon is on sale for $15,000.
The festive note was penned by John, in 1968 for his wife Yoko Ono’s ex, music producer Tony Cox, and the former couple’s daughter, Kyoko Cox. The card, which is being sold on MomentsInTime.com, is believed to be referring to Yoko – who was married to Tony from 1962 to 1969 – moving out. It reads: “Dear Tony, we took most of the stuff I think … if we picked up anything of yours – or something you need (don’t panic!)
“We’ll put it back or send it depending where you are. Hope it’s o.k. there – it sounds it.
“Merry Xmas etc
“John and Yoko (sic)”
Another page of the note sees John asking Tony where the mastertapes of a 1968 concert Yoko performed are, and two of her short films. He writes: “We can’t find them.”
In the part addressed to Kyoko, the card reads: “To Dear Kyoko, A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, lots of love and kisses, John and mommy.”
In February 2016, a four-inch lock of John’s hair sold for $35,000 at auction. The ‘Imagine’ hitmaker’s tresses were chopped off prior to his 1967 movie role in ‘How I Won the War’. What’s more, his Rolls Royce Phantom V once sold for $2.23 million and lyrics to Beatles hit ‘All You Need is Love’ fetched $1.25 million.
A set of unseen images of John Lennon, which were in a “junk drawer” for over 30 years because they were thought to have no value, have been unveiled.
The 26 negatives, dating from 1970, were brought to a valuation day at Liverpool’s The Beatles Story museum.
Their owner said his late father may have come by them while studying art in the 1970s.
The “intimate portraits” were “a rare find” and could be worth £10,000, auctioneer Darren Julien said.
He added that it was “not often when you find images of John Lennon that have never before been seen by the public”.
The museum’s marketing manager Diane Glover said their owner, who wanted to remain anonymous, had found them among his late father’s possessions.
He told museum staff they had been put in the drawer for at least 34 years, because they were thought to have no value.
The negatives, which date from February 1970, capture Lennon at a pivotal point in his career – The Beatles were breaking up and he had recently released his third single, Instant Karma.
It became the first solo single by a member of the iconic rock band to sell more than a million copies in America.
Ms Glover said the negatives and images taken from them would be on display at the attraction from November, before being auctioned in 2018.
She added that the valuation day had also uncovered a signed Beatles Christmas Show programme from a concert in Bradford in 1963, which was valued at £8,000, and a signed John Lennon postcard, which was estimated to be worth £5,000.