The Beatles - A Day in The Life: December 29, 1968
At some point early this year, somebody in authority decided that it would be a good idea to kick John Lennon and Yoko Ono out of the country. John Lennon, of course, was one of the Beatles, the four Liverpool boys who dominated the popular music of Britain and the United States for most of the nineteen-sixties. In addition to winning great popular success as a singer and composer, both with the Beatles and since their dissolution, in 1970, he has been a film actor (in “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Help,” and “How I Won the War”) and an author (of “In His Own Write” and “A Spaniard in the Works,” two collections of idiosyncratic, pun-laden short stories and verse). He is now thirty-two years old. Yoko Ono, who will be forty years old in February, was an established conceptual artist and avant-garde composer when she married John Lennon, in 1969; since then she, too, has become a rock singer and songwriter (and, incidentally, the most famous person of Japanese origin in the Western world). In the controversy over whether or not the Lennons should be allowed to stay in the United States, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has taken the position that it is merely enforcing the law, and that because John Lennon was convicted in a British court in 1968 of possessing cannabis resin, one of the drugs derived from the Indian hemp plant, he and his wife must be deported. The Immigration Service is a branch of the Department of Justice. Under President Nixon and his Attorneys General, John Mitchell and Richard Kleindienst, the Department of Justice has made a practice of bringing charges against people, usually in clumps (the Chicago Seven, the Seattle Seven, and the Catonsville Nine, to name twenty-three), for what many civil libertarians regard as political reasons. The Lennons believe that their own frequently expressed political views—unorthodox from the Justice Department’s point of view, though quite ordinary in Greenwich Village, where they live—are the real reason for the government’s desire to show them the golden door.