Prior to his December 1980 assassination, the Beatles frontman and outspoken peace activist reportedly backed Republican candidate Ronald Reagan in the 1980 election.
His evolving political views were revealed in an interview with Fred Seaman, his former assistant, for the documentary “Beatles Stories.”
“He did express support for Reagan, which shocked me,” Seaman said in the interview.
Although Lennon, a British national, was ineligible to vote in US elections, he famously lived at New York City’s Dakota hotel and was very much engaged in American politics—to the point that the Nixon administration tried to deport him over his subversive leftist agenda.
Lennon’s 1971 anthem “Imagine” is seen as a paean to communism with its denunciation of organized religion, property rights and sovereign territorial borders.
But Seaman said his boss, like many, was disillusioned by incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter and supported his fellow entertainer Reagan’s freewheeling approach to politics.
“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,” said Seaman.
Lennon had met Reagan in the ’70s “at some sporting event,” Seaman recalled, and became enamored of him despite their political differences.
“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 speculated.
Seaman also suggested that Lennon was becoming increasingly embarrassed by his youthful radicalism, even provoking communists in arguments.
“I also saw John embark in some really brutal arguments with my uncle, who’s an old-time communist,” Seaman said. “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.”
According to Seaman, Lennon was even embarrassed about “Imagine” by the time he reached his more conservative years.
“He was a very different person back in 1979 and ’80 than he’d been when he wrote ‘Imagine,’” Seaman said. “By 1979, he looked back on that guy and was embarrassed by that guy’s naivete.”
The conversion gives hope for Hollywood’s avowed leftists during the Biden administration, even as the entertainment industry has become insufferably “woke” in recent years.
Lennon’s own son, Sean, also has roiled left-wing fans with several recent tweets that are critical of the Biden administration and modern Democrats’ elitist worldview.
No we’ve become the church lady as person below says. It’s embarrassing. We’re offended by comedy and science. It’s pathetic.
— Seán Ono Lennon (@seanonolennon) June 21, 2019
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.