FBI Seizes Lennon’s Fingerprints From Auction House


GUARDIAN: John Lennon‘s application for permanent US residence was seized by the FBI this week, in a “raid” on a New York auction house. The 1976 immigration document, which included Lennon’s signature and fingerprints, was expected to sell for at least $100,000 (£62,621), according to the dealer. “I don’t know why it was so important that they had to have it back,” Pete Siegel told Entertainment Weekly. Just a week ago, Siegel added a photograph of thecardboard form to the Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction catalogue. Within days, the FBI called and asked if they could “inspect the card”. “We said, ‘Sure, come in,'” Siegel said. Officials from both the FBI and the US department of homeland security appeared at the Manhattan gallery, citing a mysterious “ongoing investigation”. Wednesday morning, they reappeared with a subpoena and seized the card. The card was being auctioned on consignment, by an unnamed owner who allegedly bought it at a convention 20 years ago. Some have raised the possibility that the item was stolen: according to Lennon’s former lawyer, Leon Wildes, some of the late Beatle’s papers, including a fingerprint form, were stolen in 1976. Not long before, Lennon had been under investigation by the FBI for his anti-war activism. MORE

RELATED: In 1972, John Lennon had a problem. He and his wife, Yoko Ono, had been living in New York for a year, and they wanted to stay. But it happened also to be the year President Nixon was running for reelection. Opposition to the Vietnam War had reached a peak, and Lennon and Ono often showed up at antiwar rallies to sing “Give Peace a Chance” — and to tell their fans that the best way to give peace a chance was to vote against Nixon. The Nixon White House responded by ordering Lennon deported. The administration said Lennon had been admitted to the country improperly. He had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cannabis possession in London in 1968, and immigration law at the time banned the admission of anyone convicted of any drug offense. But unlike most migrants who have problems with their legal status, Lennon and Ono had powerful friends who petitioned the Immigration and Naturalization Service on their behalf. In honor of what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday this month, I pulled a box from my garage containing documents I obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request about Lennon’s deportation case. The government’s response included copies of hundreds of letters sent to the INS, and they revealed the different and fascinating ways artists, writers and others tried to make the case that Lennon, a rock musician and an antiwar activist, should not be kicked out of the country. MORE

SORTA RELATED: A group of frustrated music fans want Weezer to break up, and they’re willing to pay them. Claiming the band has never improved on their 1996 album Pinkerton, the organisers of a new campaign hope to raise $10m to convince Weezer to pack it in and stop “disappointing” fans. “This is an abusive relationship,” the project’s creator said. “It needs to [end].” MORE 

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