The discovery of a previously unknown letter shows that John Lennon was “bubbling over” with excitement about returning to the UK. The letter discusses a phone call with his Aunt Mimi the night before he was shot dead.
On December 8th, 1980, Lennon was brutally murdered by deranged so-called ‘fan’ Mark Chapman when the singer was 40-years-old. The entire world was united in their mourning of the loss of one of the greatest musical artists, in the most tragic circumstances and Lennon’s Aunt Mimi was beside herself. She played a crucial role in caring for Lennon throughout his childhood, and the two of them had a great bond, which stayed until the bitter and devastating end.
A month after his sad death, Mimi Smith responded to a letter written by Daily Express journalist Judith Simons. The journalist had written a letter of condolence following Lennon’s death. His Aunt responded to the message, which provides a fascinating insight into where Lennon’s state of mind was.
“Dear Judith, Thank you for your letter, kind thoughts,” Smith wrote. “I’m trying to accept this terrible thing which has happened, but finding it very hard. He had such faith himself, I’m trying to do the same. He phoned the night before, witty, funny, bubbling over with excitement, coming over very soon. Couldn’t wait to see me. So I’m glad of that. If I’m in London, I’ll get in touch with you. Kind thoughts to you too. Mimi.”
This letter was recently discovered from Simons’ estate by Tracks Ltd. The company provides valuations of music memorabilia.
Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn has commented: “Mimi’s letter provides solid confirmation that, but for his murder, Lennon would have returned to Britain during 1981 for the first time in 10 years, this knowledge supporting other indications he was considering a concert tour.”