John Lennon against the Vietnam war. New documentary film

John Lennon FBI files

From British daily The Morning Star:

The US vs John Lennon (12A)

(Thursday 07 December 2006)

Directed by David Leaf and John Scheinfeld

JEFF SAWTELL finds John Lennon‘s anti-war heart on display in a new documentary on his political roots.

IN THE publicity material for this documentary about John Lennon, Yoko Ono is quoted as saying: “Of all the documentaries that have been made about John, this is the one he would have loved.”

It deals with Lennon’s life between 1966-76, the decade in which he became politicised and made his very vocal stand against the Vietnam war in 1972.

The title is inspired by the fact that president Richard Nixon and FBI chief J Edgar Hoover were determined to have him deported.

This has been documented by historian Jon Wiener, who filed a freedom of information request for the FBI files on Lennon after his death.

Most fans know that the US burnt and banned Beatles records in 1966 after Lennon had declared: “We’re more popular than Jesus now,” even though he later apologised.

However, it was following Lennon’s relationship with Yoko in 1968 that his aesthetic and political journey took a surprising turn, not least their mutual antipathy to the Vietnam war which culminated with their marriage. …

Still, as Angela Davis and Tariq Ali, along with some other notable talking heads, explain, the couple did raise the public profile of the war among a confused generation.

Other contributors include former Black Panther leader Bobby Seale, writer Gore Vidal, journalist Walter Cronkite, anti-war activist Ron Kovic and former presidential candidate John [George] McGovern.

There are also interviews with Yippie campaigners Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin and a couple representing the other side, including former Nixon aides G Gordon Liddy and John Dean.

The songs punctuate the politics throughout, with Lennon’s distinctive nasal wail reminding us of Revolution, Imagine, Working Class Hero and what became a universal protest anthem – Give Peace a Chance.

Still, it wasn’t the peacenik side that upset Nixon, it was Lennon’s declaration of support for the 1972 anti-Nixon campaign, especially the aborted attempt to picket the Republican convention.

More Lennon and Vietnam war: here.

Robert Kennedy and the Vietnam war: here.

Kent State Vietnam war protesters killed: here.

And here.

John Lennon’s piano and George Michael: here.

John Hoyland on his 1968-1969 debate with Lennon: here.

John Sinclair: here.

FBI’s Hoover proposed internment of 12,000 “disloyal” Americans in 1950: here.

21 thoughts on “John Lennon against the Vietnam war. New documentary film

  1. Beatle bits under the hammer

    Music: A unique piece of Beatles memorabilia will go on sale later this month with the original printing plates for John Lennon’s first book set to go under the hammer.

    The metal plates were used to print words and illustrations by the Beatle in the 1964 book John Lennon, In His Own Write.

    The printing plates, being put up for auction by an anonymous seller from London, are estimated to sell for between £3,000 and £5,000 and will go on sale at Omega Auctions in Stockport, Cheshire, on May 19.


  2. Beatles take chart top spot

    MUSIC: The Beatles have held off the likes of Take That and Madonna to be declared the biggest-selling singles act since charts began 60 years ago.

    The Fab Four notched up 17 number ones during their relatively brief eight-year chart domination, but they split more than 40 years ago.

    However performers whose careers have been decades longer in some cases have failed to outsell them, Radio 2 revealed.

    A countdown broadcast on Monday of the all-time biggest sellers since the singles chart began in 1952 shows The Beatles are still number one.


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