George Harrison’s Angry Message to Richard Nixon Revealed
John Lennon’s battle with then-U.S. President Richard Nixon is well-known – but a recently-discovered telegram revealed that fellow Beatle George Harrison also had an angry exchange with the shamed leader’s administration.
Author Chip Madinger discovered the paperwork while researching the 2015 book Lennonology: Strange Days Indeed. He used a Freedom of information request to view Lennon’s file held by the Immigration and Naturalization Service after his long fight to be allowed to settle in the U.S. in the early ‘70s. Madinger also requested Harrison’s file.
“George came to the States in March of '73 for the Apple meetings and to work on the Ringo [Starr] album," he told Billboard in a new interview. “He came in from Pakistan and was detained at the airport. And they went through some 'he said and she said' and but eventually was allowed to come into the States. And I believe he was given permission to stay until June 1 and he was looking for more time.”
The INS allowed him to remain until June 30, but refused further requests to stay beyond that date. Harrison and wife Pattie left the U.S. around June 28. “And he must have just gotten a bee in his bonnet or something about it and wrote this telegram,” Madinger said.
The spelling errors in the message suggest that it was dictated. It was addressed to Nixon in the White House and read: “Sir, how can you bomb Cambonian citizens and worry about kicking me out of the country for smoking marijuana at the [same] time. Your repressive emperaour war monger ways stop before too piece luv. We will run the world Harry Krisher, Hare Hara Krishne Hare Hara Hare Hara Krishner. George Harrison.”
The INS file also included a response from foreign service officer James Greene, who told Harrison: “I am informed that in denying your application for an extension of stay in May 1973 the district director of our service office in Los Angeles advised you of the reasons for this denial.” A note on the file said Harrison had been “concerned about being denied a visa extension for a marihuana conviction in England.”
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