John Lennon FBI files to be released. A judge ruled that the government can't keep 10 pages of the late Beatle's files secret

By Brian Hiatt
Updated September 30, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
John Lennon/AP

Scholars will no longer have to imagine what might be in the late John Lennon’s unreleased FBI files. A federal judge ruled Thursday against government arguments that 10 pages of files kept on Lennon needed to be kept secret, the Associated Press reported. University of California, Irvine professor Jon Wiener sued the government for the release of Lennon’s file back in 1983, and got most of it in 1997. He subsequently published the book Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files.

The FBI closely monitored the former Beatle’s political activities in the ’70s, even as the Nixon Administration sought to have Lennon expelled from the country. Previously released files included the lyrics to Lennon’s song ”John Sinclair” (which lamented activist Sinclair’s imprisonment on marijuana charges), and information on his appearances at rallies. The files also included an agent’s assessment that wife Yoko Ono ”can’t even remain on key.” Tax dollars at work.