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John Lennon, Rampant Conservative?

Written by Barnaby Smith on June 30, 2011

Despite his immortal status as a counter-cultural icon and peace activist, a new documentary has suggest John Lennon was a supporter of Republican US president Ronald Reagan, and held some unexpectedly reactionary views.

The Toronto Sun quotes a Mr Fred Seaman, who worked for Lennon as an assistant during the final two years of his life (1979-80). Seaman claims to remember that Lennon used to sing the praises of then-president Reagan.

Seaman said, “John, basically, made it very clear that if he were an American he would vote for Reagan because he was really sour on Jimmy Carter.”

Seaman was talking to director Seth Swirsky in the new documentary Beatles Stories.

He added, “He’d met Reagan back, I think, in the ’70s at some sporting event … Reagan was the guy who had ordered the National Guard, I believe, to go after the young demonstrators in Berkeley, so I think that John maybe forgot about that … He did express support for Reagan, which shocked me.”

Seaman also said that Lennon expressed regret that his public image was one of a liberal, not a conservative, stating, “I also saw John embark in some really brutal arguments with my uncle, who’s an old-time communist … He enjoyed really provoking my uncle … Maybe he was being provocative … but it was pretty obvious to me he had moved away from his earlier radicalism.

“He was a very different person back in 1979 and 80 than he’d been when he wrote Imagine. By 1979 he looked back on that guy and was embarrassed by that guy’s naivete.”



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