John Lennon Was Reportedly “Bubbling Over With Excitement” About UK Return Before He Was Killed

In a newly uncovered letter, Lennon's aunt revealed he had plans to visit Britain for the first time in 10 years

john lennon in 1971
John Lennon being interviewed for "Beat Instrumental" magazine at Apple Records in London, July 19, 1971.
Michael Putland/Getty Images

A newly uncovered letter written by John Lennon’s aunt Mimi Smith shortly after his death has some new insight into what the late Beatle’s plans were before he was killed by Mark Chapman in 1980. According to Smith’s letter, Lennon was “bubbling over with excitement” about returning to the U.K.

The letter, which NME reports was uncovered by the Beatles memorabilia dealer Tracks Ltd., was a response to Daily Express journalist Judith Simons, who had written Smith a sympathy letter in the wake of Lennon’s murder.

“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.”

Of course, there’s no way of knowing if his plans were for a long-term stay or a simple visit to his beloved aunt, but as Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn told the publication, the letter provides “solid confirmation that, but for his murder, Lennon would have returned to Britain during 1981 for the first time in 10 years.”

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