MBE stands for Order of the British Empire. It is an honor handed out to civilians on a semi-annual basis, by Queen Elizabeth, and now by King Charles. I do not follow it.
The Beatles were given MBEs in 1965. I was listening to Conan O’Brien discussing this, and he noted that John Lennon had given his back in 1969 while Ringo still wore his (on his forehead) even as it was covered with gravy stains. That’s Conan.
Lennon did some highfalutin excuses for his act of returning the medal. He said it was due to British activity in Biafra and for British support of the US in Vietnam, and, sardonically, because his song Cold Turkey was falling in the charts. I’d never thought about it before, always taking things at face.
We know from following the work of Sage of Quay, Mike Williams, that (as I had long suspected) the Beatles did not perform their studio music live, did not play their instruments on albums, and did not write most of the songs, maybe none of them. (Sage has a Billy Shears fetish, but I forgive him that.) George Harrison referred to his early work as “shit,” so I give him that. He actually did write that stuff. But Lennon and McCartney, no.
An idealist is a person who strives to be consistent, to be the same person on the outside as on the inside. For instance, Ted Danson, who played Sam Malone on Cheers, at an event honoring the entire cast, made it a point of removing his hairpiece so we could all see he was balding. “I’ll be darned,” I thought. “The man is an idealist, and could not stand the idea that he was not true to his real self in his outer appearances.”
Was John Lennon an idealist? Did he return his MBE because he knew he was not worthy of it, that the Beatles were a fake assembled group living a large lie?
NDAs and all of that, he would not be able to go public, but what if the phoniness of the group bugged him constantly over the years, so that he needed to stop being John Lennon, public phony, and go back to his real name, whatever it was (John Stanley?). Was his fake assassination arranged to placate him, and in exchange for his vow of lifetime silence about the Beatles?
That’s a new take on the guy for me, and as with everything ever, I could be dead wrong. Prior to this time I considered Lennon to be a “killing hope” project, raise up as an icon adored by followers, and then taken down. We will never know for sure.