John Lennon's youngest son yesterday blamed the fatal shooting of his father almost 20 years ago on a conspiracy backed by the United States government.
Sean Lennon, who made his debut as a solo artist last month, told New Yorker magazine that the ex-Beatle was a "counter-cultural revolutionary" who the American government could not ignore. He said: "He was dangerous to the government. If he had said, 'Bomb the White House tomorrow', there would have been 10,000 people who would have done it. These pacifist revolutionaries are historically killed by the government.
"Anybody who thinks that Mark Chapman [who shot Lennon outside his New York apartment in 1980] was just some crazy guy who killed my dad for his personal interests, is insane. Or very naive. Or hasn't thought about it clearly. It was in the best interests of the United States to have my dad killed. Definitely. And, you know, that worked against them because, once he died, his powers grew . . . They didn't get what they wanted."
The young Lennon, 22, told the magazine that his childhood with mother Yoko Ono was "as close to normal" as it could be, except that he had two armed detectives as companions. Like his father, he has an elder Japanese girlfriend - 37-year-old Yuka Honda - and is passionate about racism, rain forests and sexual harassment. He is also a big Beach Boys fan.
While his half-brother Julian's singing career faded quickly, Sean Lennon told New Yorker he wanted to be known for his own style of music. He said "The more I make my own path, the less people will associate me with my parents. If you go to a high school and ask kids to tell you the difference between John Lennon and Paul McCartney, they don't even know what band they were in."
New York Police Department's exhaustive investigation into John Lennon's killing found no evidence that the disturbed Chapman did not act alone.
The young Lennon's debut album, Into the Sun, has recently appeared in American record shops. In 1995, he sang with his mother on an album, Rising. He said of his new album: "This is a time when a lot of people are making records that are negative and sad, and I just wanted to do the antithesis of that, so I tried to do something that was light and romantic and beautiful and positive. I felt that would be a kind of rebellious thing to do."