A British man discovered a smudged letter from John Lennon to Queen Elizabeth II tucked away in a record sleeve in his attic. While the man bought the record for about £10 (approximately $12), an expert valued it at about £60,000, or $73,000.
Music memorabilia expert Darren Julien said he believes the letter was a draft of a note that Lennon sent to the Queen in 1969, explaining why he was returning a Member of the British Empire (MBE) award, the BBC reported.
“My theory is that John Lennon never sent this draft because of the smeared ink,” Julien told the BBC. “If you're writing to the Queen, you want the letter to look pretty perfect, you don't want the ink to be smudged.”
The MBE is given for a notable contribution in some sphere of British society, and Lennon stated in the letter that he was returning it for (mostly) political reasons.
“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,” reads the short letter signed “John Lennon of Bag.”
Lennon released the song “Cold Turkey” the same year, and it appears he blamed Her Majesty the Queen for its dip in popularity.
“Bagism” was a protest term coined by Lennon and his partner Yoko Ono that indicated a movement to break down stereotypes and cultural norms, according to CNN.