Backlist Bop: John Lennon knows politics ain’t easy

wienerAs the tumultuous late Sixties and early Seventies retreat into history, the zeitgeist is steadily sanding the many rough edges off John Lennon in order to enjoy his music without all the bummer stuff. But Lennon in his own time merged his music and celebrity with his political causes.

Come Together recreates two decades of rock and rebellion by tracing John Lennon’s ever-evolving politics from the formation of the Beatles in 1960 to his assassination in 1980.

From modest anti-establishment tweaking and a penchant for “more popular than Jesus” pot-stirring, Lennon grew into an influential voice of the peace movement opposed to the Vietnam War. His activism drew the ire of the FBI. In 1972, the Bureau tried to deport Lennon back to Britain–a fabled and failed effort to choke off Lennon’s threat to merge his celebrity and music with radical politics. Wiener brilliantly recreates an amazing, impassioned time in American life that saw Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono holding bed-ins for peace, commenting on current events, and recording antiwar anthems like “Imagine.” He also astutely observes Lennon’s naivete and blind spots while offering details of his own ongoing effort to force the release of Lennon’s FBI file by the US government.