In February, Fela and Koola Lobitos record a live album at the Afro-Spot. It is released while the band is on a ten-month tour of the US, which begins in May. The group perform in Washington DC, Chicago and San Francisco before ending up broke in Los Angeles. In August, the musicians’ visas expire. Fela hustles the band an under-the-radar residency at a club called Citadel d’Haiti. Towards the end of the year, Fela changes the band’s name from Koola Lobitos to Nigeria 70.
Fela goes through some profound changes during the US tour. The most far-reaching of these follow his befriending of Sandra Izsadore, a black-rights activist in Los Angeles who introduces him to the writings of Malcolm X, Angela Davis, H. Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael, Huey Newton, Frantz Fanon and other revolutionary thinkers. Fela later credits Izsadore with helping inspire his philosophy of Blackism. Izsadore can take credit for something else, too: she affirms Fela's use of weed. Fela had first smoked in London around 1960. During his time with Izsadore, he begins to use weed daily, and continues to do so until the end of his life. As of 2019, Izsadore still lives in Los Angeles