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Why Wasn’t John Lennon at Woodstock?

John Lennon
(Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)

President Nixon was the reason why John Lennon did not perform at Woodstock. Promoter Michael Lang says, “We really wanted John Lennon but Nixon didn’t want him in the country at the time and we tried to figure out ways of getting him in. Funnily enough, when I was doing my (2009) memoir I found a letter from (Beatles label) Apple offering the Plastic Ono Band. The letter arrived the day we lost our site and I never saw it until the day I wrote the book.”

Also invited to perform was Bob Dylan, who was living in Woodstock, New York at that time. “I wanted Bob, but because he was such a big presence in those days and seen as a prophet, I didn’t book him,” says Lang. “It would have been too much pressure on him. I invited him but he didn’t show.”

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