The man who was an icon for peace and radicalism and full to the brim with songs in protest of American imperialism, the Cold War, and military violence was — in fact — not a liberal. John Lennon was a closet Republican in his final days, according to the former Beatle’s personal assistant.
Fred Seaman, who worked alongside Lennon from 1979 until his death at the end of 1980, also said that at the time of his death Lennon felt a little embarrassed by his radical past, reports the Toronto Sun.
“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 naiveté,” Seaman tells filmmaker Seth Swirsky in the new documentary series “Beatles Stories.”
Later in life, Lennon became a Ronald Reagan fan who found sport in arguing with left-wing radicals reflective of his younger self. Seaman recalls Lennon having “some really brutal arguments” with his uncle, who was a self-declared communist.
Seaman 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.”
“Beatles Stories,” screening at film festivals across the nation, proclaims itself “a Beatle fan’s ultimate journey.” Indeed, Seaman’s comments reveal information about the pop legend even the ultimate fan doesn’t know.
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