Having changed the world once with The Beatles, at the beginning of the 1970s John Lennon wanted to do it all over again, but this time in line with his personal vision of global concord. Desperate to consign the Moptops to history, he escaped to America with the love of his life, Yoko Ono, and plunged into his new world of activism and giving peace a chance.
But if New York welcomed him with bright eyes and open arms, Washington didn't want him around. Richard Nixon was seeking re-election and had a long list of enemies drawn up; Lennon rose rapidly up that list as he began to make himself at home. His first achievement, according to James A Mitchell, was to get the White Panthers leader John Sinclair out of jail. The Detroit activist was two years into a 10-year stretch for giving two joints to an undercover cop, but days after Lennon headlined a John Sinclair Freedom Rally he was released. It wasn't all down to the Fab One, of course – Mitchell doesn't mention the ruling by Michigan's Supreme Court that the state's marijuana statutes were unconstitutional – but he was certainly the right man to act as a figurehead for those seeking to end the Vietnam war and see off Tricky Dicky.
Source: The Independent, UK