John Lennon, one of the founders, co-lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist of the Beatles, would have turned 80 yesterday had he not been shot 40 years ago. On the special day, his son, Sean Lennon, shared a memory of his father that may make you laugh.
Sean recalled an incident that occurred in 1969 where the Beatles singer threw a tantrum when his solo singles, Cold Turkey, failed to make it to the top of music charts. Sean added that because of the same, John even complained to The Queen.
According to John Lennon’s son, Sean, the musician was so infuriated by the lack of success that he wrote to Her Majesty, The Queen of England and complained. In the process, he even returned his MBE. For those who do not know, an MBE is a British honour awarded to a person for a particular achievement. MBE stands for ‘Member of the Order of the British Empire’.
Elaborating about it, John Lennon’s son, Sean told DJ Strombo on Apple Music Hits: “The single didn’t do well, and he hilariously wrote to the Queen returning his MBE. He says something like, ‘Your Majesty, I’m returning the MBE in protest against the Vietnam War. And in protest of Cold Turkey slipping down the charts’.”
Even though the star reportedly tried to return the honour in 1969, an MBE cannot be returned. A Buckingham Palace spokesman had previously confirmed that it was holding the MBE after John Lennon sent it back along with his grumpy letter. As of now, the letter he wrote and his medal is held at the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood.
In a 2009 interview with The Telegraph, the spokesman for the Palace said, “The Central Chancery would, without question, return any Insignia to the original recipient if they request it during their lifetime.” He added that if the person did not ask for it back while living, then it is assumed that they don’t want it back. He concluded saying that the Central Chancery world only considers releasing the insignia if the recipient’s legal next of kin approached them.
For the unversed, John was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1965 along with the other members of the Beatles.