John Lennon was not the best friend of those in Washington DC Since releasing his song “Give Peace a Chance” in 1969, an anti-war anthem, John has been on the FBI’s watch list. President Nixon made John’s life miserable for the next three years as he fought to get the musician kicked out of the country.
However, new developments in the story have just surfaced, proving that another musician could have helped Nixon in his fight against John from the start, Elvis Presley. Elvis once told Nixon that the Beatles were “anti-American.” But is that enough to prove that Nixon made him a spy?
The feud between John Lennon and President Nixon
Towards the end of his days as The Beatle, John made known his thoughts on the Vietnam War and other global issues. Songs like âRevolutionâ and âCome Togetherâ sent a clear message. However, John was free to write any anti-war songs he wanted when he left The Beatles.
Straight out of the Beatles, he wrote “Give Peace a Chance,” which took off during anti-war protests and protests. President Nixon and the FBI began to monitor him closely after this. The protest songs and the songs about peace did not stop. John released To imagine in 1971, and the main track was almost as big as “Give Peace a Chance”.
When the FBI sentenced poet, activist and MC5 director John Sinclair to 10 years in prison for possession of two marijuana joints, John wrote a protest song named after Sinclair in 1972. He performed the song during ‘a rally and FBI agents were in the audience.
The song didn’t help John. This pissed Nixon on even more. The President put him under surveillance, watched his every move, and started a silent battle to get John kicked out. If John could influence the 18-year-olds across the country who were about to vote in Nixon’s re-election, John had to go. He was a threat.
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Nixon was re-elected, but the case against John raged, even though the ex-Beatle had already started to curtail his activism for fear of being kicked out. However, when Nixon later resigned in 1974, John’s battle with Washington DC came to an end. John received his green card in 1976.
President Nixon may have asked Elvis Presley to spy on John Lennon
New reports from presenter Bob Harris claim that President Nixon asked Elvis Presely to spy on John. Harris shared his story during a recent appearance on the Rockonteaurs podcast (via The Independent).
“It looked like it was almost the fruit of [Lennonâs] imagination when he said, “My phone was bugged, I’m being followed everywhere”, but it was true. He really did it, âHarris said. “Nixon was there to look for him and that’s why John was stuck in New York, or stuck in the United States: he knew that if he returned to the United Kingdom, he would never come back to America again.” Not while Nixon was in the White House.
As for Elvis’ involvement, Harris said, âNixon was a great friend of Elvis and vice versa. Nixon had [asked] Elvis to gather as much information as possible about John Lennon. Harris went on to explain that at this point John and Elvis had entered into a hateful relationship with each other.
âFor John, it was a very disappointing time because he loved Elvis records, so finding out that he was a southern right-wing fanatic was a big shock,â said Harris. Likewise, Elvis regarded Lennon as that know-it-all upstart Liverpuddlian who had taken his crown. He usurped Elvis and he was resentful.
RELATED: What Paul McCartney & John Lennon Believed âRuinedâ Elvis Presley in the 1950s
Harris’ claims could be exaggerated
The Guardian claims that some of Harris’ statements are exaggerations. Nixon met Elvis in the White House at the time, but to say they were great friends could be a bit dramatic. During their meeting, Elvis was apparently trying to get Nixon to give him a Federal Bureau of Narcotics badge. Notes taken at the meeting indicated that Elvis “believed the Beatles had been a real force in the anti-American spirit.”
Another report said: “He is of the opinion that The Beatles laid the groundwork for many of the problems we encounter with young people through their dirty and unkempt appearances and their suggestive music.”
Elvis couldn’t have wanted the badge so he could be Nixon’s watchdog, however. He wanted the badge for his own reasons. According to Priscilla Presley, Elvis “could legally enter any country carrying guns and carrying any drugs he wanted” with the badge.
However, the conspiracy theory that Elvis faked his death does not help the theory that Elvis could have been a spy. Many believe he faked his death “to get into a witness protection program after helping the FBI infiltrate an organized crime syndicate.”
The only thing that could convince us that Elvis was a spy is proof that he positioned himself around John at the time. For most of the 1970s, Elvis toured across the country. Elvis’s bond with Nixon is fishy, ââbut that doesn’t necessarily make us believe they were in cahoots, either.