sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

June 29, 2011

John Lennon: A Closet Republican?

Filed under: politics, society — Tags: , , , , , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 5:01 pm

That’s according to his former personal assistant:

John Lennon was a closet Republican, who felt a little embarrassed by his former radicalism, at the time of his death – according to the tragic Beatles star’s last personal assistant.

Fred Seaman worked alongside the music legend from 1979 to Lennon’s death at the end of 1980 and he reveals the star was a Ronald Reagan fan who enjoyed arguing with left-wing radicals who reminded him of his former self.

In new documentary Beatles Stories, Seaman tells filmmaker Seth Swirsky Lennon wasn’t the peace-loving militant fans thought he was while he was his assistant.

He says, “John, basically, made it very clear that if he were an American he would vote for Reagan because he was really sour on (Democrat) Jimmy Carter.

“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 (peace) demonstrators in Berkeley, so I think that John maybe forgot about that… He did express support for Reagan, which shocked me.

“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.

Imagine all the people watching John Lennon shake hands with President Reagan.  Nancy is smiling upon them and Yoko is not in the picture because John divorced the pretentious loathsome fiend.  The most important rock star of all time is a Republican!  If only he weren’t dead.  Something like that.

Lennon was an amazing musician, and pretty darn smart for one.  He wrote songs like “Imagine” that are incredibly naive when taken at face value, which is why fans are advised against taking them at face value.  “Imagine” sounds like jingly heroin music.  As far as jingly heroin music goes, it’s a pretty good example:

Mark Steyn noted that real life John Lennon gave money to the IRA, a nationalist religious terrorist organization.  So much for “imagine no country… no religion… nothing to kill or die for”.  Albert Goldman made a convincing case that John Lennon was a manipulative grandstanding junkie.  He wanted his fans’ money, he loved the attention, he felt a need to justify his addiction.  Being in the Fab Four certainly messes up with one’s head, but Lennon was effed up to start with.

He was a misogynist, too, and it’s amazing that feminists gave him a pass on lyrics like “Well, I’d rather see you dead, little girl.  Than to be with another man.”

The Beatle was not without a practical side.  He knew, for instance, a fellow manipulator when he saw one.  To wit, “Sexy Sadie” was written about the Maharishi.

Good song.

I’m not going to make much out of dead rock star’s final political preferences.  I’m sure in his middle age he felt embarrassed by the politics of his youth, but I kind of doubt he ever developed a coherent political ideology.  He got a rise out of irritating his servant’s uncle — what else is new!  A few pop stars did swing to the right in the 80s — together with everyone else.  Lennon was attuned enough to be onto this trend.  In the 90s, though, Lennon would probably be a Clinton fan, and in the following decade he’d be screaming off the top of his lungs about “this illegal war”.  It’s easy, very easy if you try to imagine Lennon boycotting Israel today.  No doubt he’d be headlining Obama stumps in 08.  It’s perfectly possible that he’d sour on him by now because John Lennon was a rock star, and rock stars are flakes (except for one, but he’s more in the widely known in narrow circles category).  The beauty of dead rock stars, though, is that they can to be anything we want them to be.  So whatever you do, don’t rush to buy  any John Lennon solo albums; your money will go to Yoko.



  1. I do prefer Lennon songs to McCartney ones but I’m not sure I buy he was a Republican. After all, Nixon and the FBI kept files on him. Still, it would have been interesting to see what ideology he would have had were he not murdered.

    Comment by Harrison — June 29, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

    • I like Lennon’s music quite a bit. I never heard that Nixon personally had a file on him, though I know he kept files on all sorts of people. No surprise, I guess. I know Lennon had green card problems because he gave to the IRA and that was in his FBI file.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — June 29, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

  2. Sounds like someone is trying to rewrite history to me.

    Comment by Conservatives on Fire — June 30, 2011 @ 7:51 am

  3. Yeah, the fact that Lennon was leaning to the right in the late 70’s/early 80’s is kinda interesting, but I can’t get too excited about it.

    He was such a radical wack-a-doo that it’s hard to believe he was all the sudden a closet conservative just because Jimmah Cawtah was a bad president.

    Comment by KingShamus — June 30, 2011 @ 8:26 am

  4. […] Edge of the Sandbox – John Lennon: A Closet Republican? […]

    Pingback by Last night’s links 6/29/2011 « Fleece Me — June 30, 2011 @ 9:05 am

  5. guess we’ll never know the full story eh? Have a fabulous July 4th weekend u patriot u!.

    Comment by Angel — June 30, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

  6. There is that old saw about being heartless if not liberal when young and stupid if not conservative when old. I certainly have a fair bit of stuff from my younger days when I was naive and/or shortsighted. I agree you wouldn’t likely find him openly supporting non-liberals, but I can believe that he wouldn’t have openly supported hard core liberals either. He probably would have been a Clinton fan.

    Comment by AHLondon — July 1, 2011 @ 8:32 am

  7. Lennon a Republican?

    Paul: All you need is love John!

    John: F$%$ off hippie!

    Comment by Infidel de Manahatta — July 1, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

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