Was John Lennon A Closet Republican?

John Lennon

Photo: Roy Kerwood (CC)

Via the Toronto Sun:

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.

For more information, see original article.

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  • Jacobhey1

    Bullshit

  • Jacobhey1

    Bullshit

  • Jacobhey1

    Bullshit

  • Jacobhey1

    Bullshit

    • KxBk6U

      I’ll second that

  • KxBk6U

    I’ll second that

  • Anarchy Wolf

    Maybe someone stole or murdered his soul. Or maybe the story is just bullshit.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Maybe someone stole or murdered his soul. Or maybe the story is just bullshit.

    • Bunnyofthekungfu

      It is from Canada.

      • Jin The Ninja

        the toronto sun does NOT represent even 1/5th of canadian opinion. It is a HORRENDOUS far right-wing RAG- unworthy of use as toilet paper.  it is comparable (barely) to some of the murdoch owned tabloids in the UK. it is a just an atrocious racist sexist anti unionist mess. I know- i have to see it every morning when i collect my montreal gazette and it’s sitting on my next door neighboor’s doorstep. the cover and headlines are more inflammatory than words can describe. So in my opinion, this article has all the makings of un truth.

  • Thieves&Liars

    Reminds me of the athiest stories, where famous athiests became christians on their deathbed…total bs.

  • Thieves&Liars

    Reminds me of the athiest stories, where famous athiests became christians on their deathbed…total bs.

  • Thieves&Liars

    Reminds me of the athiest stories, where famous athiests became christians on their deathbed…total bs.

    • SF2K01

      Probably more common than the reverse, honestly. If emotional reasons can take one away, emotional reasons can take one back as well.

  • Bunnyofthekungfu

    It is from Canada.

  • Anonymous

    You mean the same guy who wrote Imagine? 

    I don’t think so.

  • Mr Willow

    You mean the same guy who wrote Imagine? 

    I don’t think so.

    • SF2K01

      Unless he wrote it ironically. It’s a song about a pipedream, so that would almost make sense, but I also think he was baked enough to actually believe it was a possible future if we just would want it bad enough (as if people never wanted such before).

  • Haystack

    This might be why all the legends died young. 

  • Haystack

    This might be why all the legends died young. 

    • Mr Willow

      Except for the fact that most other legends didn’t die because some psycho obsessed with Holden Caulfield decided they needed to die because they didn’t believe in God.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    A long forgotten assistant with a sudden revelation worth $$ if media outlets are willing to pay…ummmm…I’ll have to express some doubt about the accuracy of any claim under that circumstance.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    A long forgotten assistant with a sudden revelation worth $$ if media outlets are willing to pay…ummmm…I’ll have to express some doubt about the accuracy of any claim under that circumstance.

    • http://rockstarmartyr.net JoeBot

      Do you really think Seth Swirsky paid his interviewees to be featured in his Beatles Stories documentary?

      If Fred Seaman’s claims really are bullshit, I would say that attention or his own political views would be more likely motivations.  Or maybe he’s just relating a few surprising anecdotes.

      • Herpderp

        Whether or not this guy was paid by the documentary maker is completely irrelevant to VoxMagi’s point.

        • ArgosyJones

          Moron.  Learn to read.

  • Mr. Coffee

    Maybe he was beginning to lean to the right, but what we call Republican in these times? Thats not leaning to the right, these idiots are leaning to insanity. Getting the poor whipped up in such fervor that programs designed to help the poor are “COMMUNIST” and therefore hurtful to the rich.. which somehow hurts the poor, since, well… to quote Chewbacca “URGGH… RWARRRRRGH”

    John Lennon may well have been coming around to the right side of the scale, but he had a god damn brain and would never be a Republocrat brown shirt hoping der Fuhrer might see that hes not really Jewish, and might give him a shot at joining the SS.

  • Mr. Coffee

    Maybe he was beginning to lean to the right, but what we call Republican in these times? Thats not leaning to the right, these idiots are leaning to insanity. Getting the poor whipped up in such fervor that programs designed to help the poor are “COMMUNIST” and therefore hurtful to the rich.. which somehow hurts the poor, since, well… to quote Chewbacca “URGGH… RWARRRRRGH”

    John Lennon may well have been coming around to the right side of the scale, but he had a god damn brain and would never be a Republocrat brown shirt hoping der Fuhrer might see that hes not really Jewish, and might give him a shot at joining the SS.

    • Guest

      I get so mad I do bad Chewbacca impression all the time these days.

  • irish potato gun

    I probably would’ve liked Reagan too… before he sold out to the Corporate Military Industrial Complex, and Israel.

  • irish potato gun

    I probably would’ve liked Reagan too… before he sold out to the Corporate Military Industrial Complex, and Israel.

  • irish potato gun

    I probably would’ve liked Reagan too… before he sold out to the Corporate Military Industrial Complex, and Israel.

  • Eldudeness

    Why is this bullshit on disinfo? nobody is buying this.  The guy that wrote “working class hero” a republican? bullshit.

  • Eldudeness

    Why is this bullshit on disinfo? nobody is buying this.  The guy that wrote “working class hero” a republican? bullshit.

    • SF2K01

      I’m sure he really felt for the working class with his millions of dollars. They also have a song “Taxman” where they complain about the tax man taking all their money. Sounds like a Republican in that regard.

  • Tyler Durden

    The views Reagan espoused in the 70’s were way more libertarian than what he actually did once he was in office. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lennon agreed with a lot of Reagan’s views before he got into office. I have no doubt, however, that he would have been disgusted with him once he became president.

  • Tyler Durden

    The views Reagan espoused in the 70’s were way more libertarian than what he actually did once he was in office. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lennon agreed with a lot of Reagan’s views before he got into office. I have no doubt, however, that he would have been disgusted with him once he became president.

    • Guest

      Every year there’s a new crop of naive people to dupe with that so-called libertarian cant.

  • Anonymous

    How can anyone take an article seriously when it associates peace with war by using the oxymoron “peace-loving militant”?

  • Transformative

    How can anyone take an article seriously when it associates peace with war by using the oxymoron “peace-loving militant”?

  • Malk

    some dude that worked for john for less than two years write a book with lots of “I think”s and “something like” and we’re supposed to take it as an in depth look from a close personal friend?

    just some dude that got speak to the man here and there, big deal XD

  • Malk

    some dude that worked for john for less than two years write a book with lots of “I think”s and “something like” and we’re supposed to take it as an in depth look from a close personal friend?

    just some dude that got speak to the man here and there, big deal XD

  • http://rockstarmartyr.net JoeBot

    The reason Facebook posters are getting so pissed off is no different than why the Christians flipped out about Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ.  No one likes to have the perfect image of their hero/god fucked with.

    John Lennon died because Mark David Chapman held a grudge against the populist star for being phenomenally wealthy.  He thought Lennon was a hypocrite for espousing egalitarianism publicly while living lavishly in private.  The demons in Chapman’s head agreed.

    By the end of the 70s, the radical left had proven itself to be hypocritical to many observers on the left and the right.  The hippy rock stars had become jetsetting millionaires, the Civil Rights Movement had pulled a few black Americans out of despondency while tax-funded ghettos went to hell, The Weatherman Underground were bombing random government workers in the name of peace, and this made youthful idealism seem unworkable to aging idealists.

    I agree with many posters here–it seems entirely possible that Reagan’s quasi-Libertarian platform was appealing to Lennon toward the end of his life.  The left remembers Lennon as a martyr for “the people,” the right remembers him as an illogical rabble-rouser.  Both images are unfair caricatures, but simple minds always prefer a childish cartoon.  Deep down, so do I.

  • http://rockstarmartyr.net The JoeBot

    The reason Facebook posters are getting so pissed off is no different than why the Christians flipped out about Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ.  No one likes to have the perfect image of their hero/god fucked with.

    John Lennon died because Mark David Chapman held a grudge against the populist star for being phenomenally wealthy.  He thought Lennon was a hypocrite for espousing egalitarianism publicly while living lavishly in private.  The demons in Chapman’s head agreed.

    By the end of the 70s, the radical left had proven itself to be hypocritical to many observers on the left and the right.  The hippy rock stars had become jetsetting millionaires, the Civil Rights Movement had pulled a few black Americans out of despondency while tax-funded ghettos went to hell, The Weatherman Underground were bombing random government workers in the name of peace, and this made youthful idealism seem unworkable to aging idealists.

    I agree with the posters here–it seems entirely possible that Reagan’s quasi-Libertarian platform was appealing to Lennon toward the end of his life.  The left remembers Lennon as a martyr for “the people,” the right remembers him as an illogical rabble-rouser.  Both images are unfair caricatures, but simple minds always prefer an childish cartoon.  Deep down, so do I.

  • cyndromeda

    even if he said he would vote for reagan rather than carter, i’m not sure how that reveals anything. conservatives of that time period were nothing like conservatives of today. in fact as much as they tout reagans greatness, the truth is even he was a liberal by today’s standards. but, you know how revisionist history goes.
    someone is just trying to get their 15 minutes of fame.

    • SF2K01

      It’s also due in part to the fact that Carter wasn’t exactly an effective president. Fivethrityeight recently mentioned the question that killed his presidency as being “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” and the vast majority (he only lost 4 states against Carter) seemed to answer that with a strong “No.” 538 mentioned it to wonder whether Obama could possibly face the same problem convincing people that he’s actually made things better, but I think he has good ground to go on.

  • Anonymous

    even if he said he would vote for reagan rather than carter, i’m not sure how that reveals anything. conservatives of that time period were nothing like conservatives of today. in fact as much as they tout reagans greatness, the truth is even he was a liberal by today’s standards. but, you know how revisionist history goes.
    someone is just trying to get their 15 minutes of fame.

  • http://rockstarmartyr.net The JoeBot

    Do you really think Seth Swirsky paid his interviewees to be featured in his Beatles Stories documentary?

    If Fred Seaman’s claims really are bullshit, I would say that attention or his own political views would be more likely motivations.  Or maybe he’s just relating a few surprising anecdotes.

  • KxBk6U

    Seaman was found guilty of stealing the late Lennon’s belongings, including his diary, so his credibility is not exactly sterling. He was taken to civil court by Yoko Ono for stealing loads of Lennon’s personal journals, drawings and other memorabilia. The court stayed him from selling, publishing, or profiting from the stolen items for ten years. Bottom line; this guy Seaman is a liar and a thief. Just before his death, Lennon sent a letter supporting striking union workers in San Francisco, and in his last interview, he said the 1960s showed that it was possible to make the world a better place. That’s not exactly what you’d expect from a “closet Republican.”

    • http://rockstarmartyr.net JoeBot

      Interesting.  Do you know when Seaman’s limitation on publishing the stolen journals is up?

  • KxBk6U

    Seaman was found guilty of stealing the late Lennon’s belongings, including his diary, so his credibility is not exactly sterling. He was taken to civil court by Yoko Ono for stealing loads of Lennon’s personal journals, drawings and other memorabilia. The court stayed him from selling, publishing, or profiting from the stolen items for ten years. Bottom line; this guy Seaman is a liar and a thief. Just before his death, Lennon sent a letter supporting striking union workers in San Francisco, and in his last interview, he said the 1960s showed that it was possible to make the world a better place. That’s not exactly what you’d expect from a “closet Republican.”

  • http://rockstarmartyr.net JoeBot

    Interesting.  Do you know when Seaman’s limitation on publishing the stolen journals is up?

  • Guest

    I get so mad I do bad Chewbacca impression all the time these days.

  • KxBk6U

    I’m not sure. From what I gather, the suit occurred around 2001/2002 when he tried to publish photographs and letters. If that’s the case, then the court order has either expired or is about to.

  • http://rockstarmartyr.net JoeBot

    While these relics are somewhat tainted by the act of theft, I will be interested in seeing them.  That would also explain why Seaman has been pulled from the dusty shelf to be interviewed in the documentary.  He’s getting a bit of publicity before his big splash.

    I had no idea who Seaman was before your post–the article doesn’t mention any of this.  Food for thought.  Thanks.

    Any additional links would be greatly appreciated.

  • KxBk6U
  • postpunkprometheus

    It’s true.  Reagan didn’t have Alzheimers.  Lennon got him so baked that it lasted the rest of his life.

  • http://madmonq.wordpress.com madmonq

    It’s true.  Reagan didn’t have Alzheimers.  Lennon got him so baked that it lasted the rest of his life.

  • Anonymous

    Probably more common than the reverse, honestly. If emotional reasons can take one away, emotional reasons can take one back as well.

  • Anonymous

    Probably more common than the reverse, honestly. If emotional reasons can take one away, emotional reasons can take one back as well.

  • Anonymous

    Unless he wrote it ironically. It’s a song about a pipedream, so that would almost make sense, but I also think he was baked enough to actually believe it was a possible future if we just would want it bad enough (as if people never wanted such before).

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure he really felt for the working class with his millions of dollars. They also have a song “Taxman” where they complain about the tax man taking all their money. Sounds like a Republican in that regard.

  • Anonymous

    It’s also due in part to the fact that Carter wasn’t exactly an effective president. Fivethrityeight recently mentioned the question that killed his presidency as being “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” and the vast majority (he only lost 4 states against Carter) seemed to answer that with a strong “No.” 538 mentioned it to wonder whether Obama could possibly face the same problem convincing people that he’s actually made things better, but I think he has good ground to go on.

  • Guest

    He’s a musician, not a politician or a philosopher.

    • Nuggett

      Believe it or not, musicians can also read and think thoughts.  They can even pursue non-musician careers.

  • Anonymous

    He’s a musician, not a politician or a philosopher.

  • Lost in Though

    Has Yoko Ono made any comment to this claim? Has anyone asked her?

  • Lost in Though

    Has Yoko Ono made any comment to this claim? Has anyone asked her?

  • Guest

    No, Lennon was a Humanist and Republicans are Christian Communists !!!!

  • Guest

    No, Lennon was a Humanist and Republicans are Christian Communists !!!!

  • sogullible

    Lennon transcended our politics. 
    As soon as your born they make you feel small, By giving you no time instead of it all, Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all, A working class hero is something to be, A working class hero is something to be. They hurt you at home and they hit you at school, They hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool, Till you’re so fucking crazy you can’t follow their rules, A working class hero is something to be, A working class hero is something to be. When they’ve tortured and scared you for twenty odd years, Then they expect you to pick a career, When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear, A working class hero is something to be, A working class hero is something to be. Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV, And you think you’re so clever and classless and free, But you’re still fucking peasents as far as I can see, A working class hero is something to be, A working class hero is something to be. There’s room at the top they are telling you still, But first you must learn how to smile as you kill, If you want to be like the folks on the hill, A working class hero is something to be. A working class hero is something to be. If you want to be a hero well just follow me, If you want to be a hero well just follow me. 

  • sogullible

    Lennon transcended our politics. 
    As soon as your born they make you feel small, By giving you no time instead of it all, Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all, A working class hero is something to be, A working class hero is something to be. They hurt you at home and they hit you at school, They hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool, Till you’re so fucking crazy you can’t follow their rules, A working class hero is something to be, A working class hero is something to be. When they’ve tortured and scared you for twenty odd years, Then they expect you to pick a career, When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear, A working class hero is something to be, A working class hero is something to be. Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV, And you think you’re so clever and classless and free, But you’re still fucking peasents as far as I can see, A working class hero is something to be, A working class hero is something to be. There’s room at the top they are telling you still, But first you must learn how to smile as you kill, If you want to be like the folks on the hill, A working class hero is something to be. A working class hero is something to be. If you want to be a hero well just follow me, If you want to be a hero well just follow me. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/csaeger Charles Saeger

    Fred Seaman is well-known to have an axe to grind with Lennon. He was a primary source for Albert Goldman’s biography of Lennon, which was very anti-Lennon, and even then, nothing like this ever appeared in it.

    I should note, however, that liberals were very disenchanted with Carter in 1980 since Carter went rightward the latter half of his term. This prompted Ted Kennedy’s challenge, gave John Anderson a clear base of votes (even though Anderson was a Republican), and led the Libertarians to nominate Ed Clark, by far the most liberal candidate that party ever put out (he called libertarianism “low-tax liberalism,” which even suckered in my lefty mother).

  • http://www.facebook.com/csaeger Charles Saeger

    Fred Seaman is well-known to have an axe to grind with Lennon. He was a primary source for Albert Goldman’s biography of Lennon, which was very anti-Lennon, and even then, nothing like this ever appeared in it.

    I should note, however, that liberals were very disenchanted with Carter in 1980 since Carter went rightward the latter half of his term. This prompted Ted Kennedy’s challenge, gave John Anderson a clear base of votes (even though Anderson was a Republican), and led the Libertarians to nominate Ed Clark, by far the most liberal candidate that party ever put out (he called libertarianism “low-tax liberalism,” which even suckered in my lefty mother).

  • http://profiles.google.com/saintzedofourlostyouth R Z

    the toronto sun does NOT represent even 1/5th of canadian opinion. It is a HORRENDOUS far right-wing RAG- unworthy of use as toilet paper.  it is comparable (barely) to some of the murdoch owned tabloids in the UK. it is a just an atrocious racist sexist anti unionist mess. I know- i have to see it every morning when i collect my montreal gazette and it’s sitting on my next door neighboor’s doorstep. the cover and headlines are more inflammatory than words can describe. So in my opinion, this article has all the makings of un truth.

  • Mr Willow

    Except for the fact that most other legends didn’t die because some psycho obsessed with Holden Caulfield decided they needed to die because they didn’t believe in God.

  • 5by5

    Short answer: NO.

    What moron would think ANYONE would buy this drivel? Yeah, I’m sure he absolutely LOVED the Republican Party after Nixon tried to deport him. Seriously get a grip.

  • 5by5

    Short answer: NO.

    What moron would think ANYONE would buy this drivel? Yeah, I’m sure he absolutely LOVED the Republican Party after Nixon tried to deport him. Seriously get a grip.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_55RDTZCZIHEQFLDZXMAMTXMWOE Ariel

    And that would make him a “closet republican”? Sounds like GOP drones just wanted to rack up some cheap point for themselves. Voting for a republican once doesn’t make you a card-carrying republican; and besides, what kind of schizophrenic about-face do these people think Lennon would’ve made? It says he was sour on Carter–that’s one thing, it doesn’t mean he was going to abandon his ideals altogether. And just imagine how much he would’ve liked Reagan if he’d been alive long enough to experience what Reagan was actually like, hm? Do these idiots seriously think Lennon would’ve had a conservative epiphany, and started carrying around books by Milton Friedman? Come on, now. Seriously. Plus, most people get a bit conservative in their later years: radicalism (of any type) tends to be a refuge for the young, generally.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_55RDTZCZIHEQFLDZXMAMTXMWOE Ariel

    And that would make him a “closet republican”? Sounds like GOP drones just wanted to rack up some cheap point for themselves. Voting for a republican once doesn’t make you a card-carrying republican; and besides, what kind of schizophrenic about-face do these people think Lennon would’ve made? It says he was sour on Carter–that’s one thing, it doesn’t mean he was going to abandon his ideals altogether. And just imagine how much he would’ve liked Reagan if he’d been alive long enough to experience what Reagan was actually like, hm? Do these idiots seriously think Lennon would’ve had a conservative epiphany, and started carrying around books by Milton Friedman? Come on, now. Seriously. Plus, most people get a bit conservative in their later years: radicalism (of any type) tends to be a refuge for the young, generally.

  • mrtastycakes

    I really don’t need any additional reasons to hate John Lennon, but thanks anyway.

  • mrtastycakes

    I really don’t need any additional reasons to hate John Lennon, but thanks anyway.

  • Herpderp

    Whether or not this guy was paid by the documentary maker is completely irrelevant to VoxMagi’s point.

  • ArgosyJones

    Moron.  Learn to read.

  • ArgosyJones

    Moron.  Learn to read.

  • Jacobhey1

    My response to this article: What John would say if he were alive today – http://youtu.be/piKsUrEHvz0

  • Jacobhey1

    My response to this article: What John would say if he were alive today – http://youtu.be/piKsUrEHvz0

  • tooCents

    I don’t believe John Lennon was a closet Republican. Or closet anything, man. Save your lies and bullshit.

    • Jacobhey1

      Well he WAS a closet bisexual.

      • tooCents

        Really? Who did John Lennon hook up with? Evidence.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t believe John Lennon was a closet Republican. Or closet anything, man. Save your lies and bullshit.

  • Nuggett

    Believe it or not, musicians can also read and think thoughts.  They can even pursue non-musician careers.

  • 5by5

    Don’t have any good musicians on the Repuke side, so they gotta try to steal ours… LOL. (Or try to rip off Liberal’s music for your campaign theme songs.)

    This is just a manifestation of the depression that comes with having one-hit wonder Ted Nugent on your side.

    • DeepCough

      Well, at least Nugent is consistent in his conservatism, and is actually a likable guy.

  • 5by5

    Don’t have any good musicians on the Repuke side, so they gotta try to steal ours… LOL. (Or try to rip off Liberal’s music for your campaign theme songs.)

    This is just a manifestation of the depression that comes with having one-hit wonder Ted Nugent on your side.

  • DeepCough

    Well, at least Nugent is consistent in his conservatism, and is actually a likable guy.

  • DeepCough

    Well, at least Nugent is consistent in his conservatism, and is actually a likable guy.

  • Jacobhey1

    Well he WAS a closet bisexual.

  • Anonymous

    Every year there’s a new crop of naive people to dupe with that so-called libertarian cant.

  • Anonymous

    Really? Who did John Lennon hook up with? Evidence.

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