Paul McCartney On Drugs


McCartney On LSD

The Beatles titan recently claimed, allegedly during a talk with friend and self-proclaimed "king of bitter divorces" Alec Baldwin a few days ago, that he has grown physically sick from the latest charges by his estranged wife in their divorce proceedings. (Her latest claim is that he stole paintings by Picasso and Renoir from their once-shared lodge.) But, let us revisit for a moment one of the more interesting charges leveled by Heather against Paul, shall we? Let us return to the drugs.

In college in the late 1970s, I had a girlfriend from The Hamptons who had been the baby sitter for Paul and Linda McCartney. (Paul and Linda and their children lived in that elegant Long Island suburb through most of the 1970s). Lizzie hated babysitting for the McCartneys because they were slobs (messy house) and because there were "drugs all over the place," right out in the open where theoretically one or all of their four young children could get at them. When I questioned Liz more closely about the drugs, she mentioned white powders, mushrooms and (no surprise) marijuana.

Lizzie detested drugs back then, because she was worshiping a poet named Robert Bly, and Robert Bly hated drugs. But I must admit, for me, this tidbit added substantially to Beatle Paul's always questionable hipster cred.

In the recent divorce case between Paul and his anti-landmine activist soon-to-be ex-wife Heather Mills McCartney, Heather filed a court statement, according to the British tabloid press, stating that McCartney had attacked her with a broken wine glass, and that he used illegal drugs and drank to excess.

I'm in no position to comment on any propensity Sir Paul may have towards violence, although a biography written by the tabloidesque rock writer Christopher Sandford promises, in a synopsis on Amazon.com, that "McCartney is a tale of self-destruction, violence and epic excess." (Imagine that. Paul McCartney: the Great Beast.) And McCartney himself has made clear that he drinks heavily when he's depressed (after the breakup of the Beatles in 1970, after the death of his first wife Linda, and while he toured for his hardest rocking solo album, "Run Devil Run" in 1999).



But when it comes to Macca and drugs, there is quite a bit more to talk about.

Join me then on a magical mystery tour:

Paul McCartney and Drugs: A Timeline

Early 1960s

The Beatles play frequent late night shows in seedy clubs in Hamburg, Germany, popping stimulants — mostly Benzedrine — to stay awake.

August, 1964

Bob Dylan turns The Beatles on to marijuana. He is shocked to discover that they're pot virgins.

April 1965

John Lennon and George Harrison are slipped LSD at a dinner party thrown for them by their dentist. McCartney is elsewhere.

1966

McCartney becomes the last Beatle to try LSD

1967

McCartney is turned on to cocaine by Robert Fraser, an art dealer and a central figure in the London counterculture, who was art director for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover (the image itself was done by Peter Blake). He uses cocaine a bit during his work on Sgt. Peppers, although he apparently doesn't share it around with his mates. Cocaine is very obscure in 1967 and doesn't become second nature to rock stars ’til around 1969.

Spring, 1967

McCartney is the first Beatle and the first major figure in rock to admit that he and the other Beatles had taken LSD. While this would seem to have been obvious to anybody who had been listening to their recent recordings, the great majority of people were way more clueless than they even are now and so the admission stirs up quite a bit of controversy. Lennon is miffed that McCartney came out of the closet as an acid head first.

June, 1967

In Life magazine, McCartney describes himself as "deeply committed to the possibilities of LSD as a universal cure-all."

July 24, 1967

All four Beatles sign a petition published in The Times of London calling for decriminalization of Marijuana. Sir Francis Crick and Francis Huxley also sign the petition. The Beatles also pay for the ad.

1972

Paul and Linda McCartney are busted for smuggling hashish into Sweden. He pays a $2,000 fine.

1973

McCartney is busted for growing marijuana on his farm in Scotland. He is fined the equivalent of $240.

McCartney visits John Lennon and Harry Nilsson, who are living together in L.A. while Lennon produces Nilsson's album, "Pussy Cats." A bleary-eyed Nilsson offers McCartney some PCP. Paul asks, "Is it fun?" "No," Nilsson replied. So McCartney passes on the PCP.

1974

According to a book written by May Pang called Loving John: The Untold Story about the time she spent as John Lennon's girlfriend, John Lennon and Paul McCartney drop acid together one day in New York City in 1974 and decide to go visit David Bowie.

Bowie has just received the final mix of his latest album, Young Americans which includes two songs that John Lennon worked on. One was a reworking of The Beatles song, "Across the Universe," and the other was to become Bowie's first number one hit, "Fame," co-written with Lennon. Bowie proudly plays the new album for his two Beatles heroes and they're impressed. And so he plays it again. And again. And again. Eventually, McCartney excuses himself and bolts out the door, Lennon following quickly behind. Bowie's drug of choice in the mid-1970s might explain his obsessiveness that day: mountains of cocaine.

An interesting side note: In The Beatles version of "Across The Universe", the line "nothing's gonna change my world" comes across as a sort of cosmic meditation on the divine perfection of the eternal now. In Bowie's version, the same line becomes an expression of terrified desperation. This might be interpreted as the difference between psychedelics and coke, as well as the difference between the 60s and the 70s.

1975

Linda McCartney is busted for possession of marijuana in Los Angeles, but charges are dropped.

Sometime around 1976-77

I can't find the source so this is from memory, but at some point the McCartneys hosted a party for the original cast of Saturday Night Live. Mescaline was on the menu, according to one of the many SNL histories.

Late 70s

John Lennon, Paul McCartney and wives are sitting around Lennon and Ono's apartment one Saturday night getting stoned on weed and watching SNL, when Lorne Michaels does one of his occasional routines offering The Beatles a ridiculously small amount of cash ($3,200) to reunite. They briefly consider heading down to the show as a lark to claim half of the money, but they're too stoned to deal with it.

January 16, 1980

McCartney famously busted in Japan at the start of a planned tour with Wings with approximately half-a-pound of marijuana in his suitcase. He spends ten days in prison in Japan before being released and deported. After his release, he promises to quit but also argues that it is less harmful than Valium or alcohol. He also later comments that he just couldn't leave the pot behind because "it was such good stuff."

1984

Paul and Linda McCartney busted in Barbados for possession of marijuana. Several days later, Linda is busted again flying into Heathrow Airport in London with marijuana.



1997

McCartney, now a Knight of the British Empire, tells Musician magazine, "I support decriminalization. People are smoking pot anyway and to make them criminal is wrong."

September 22, 1999

At an after-party for a celebration/performance for McCartney's new album, Run Devil Run, held at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, McCartney is observed smoking vast quantities of weed with Woody Harrelson and Laurence Fishburne. McCartney's publicist gives a photo of the red-eyed trio to High Times magazine and encourages them to publish it. High Times published the photo under the heading, "The Three Stoners."

June 22, 2000

McCartney delivers a keynote speech in England on "Drug Awareness Day" about "heightening parental awareness to drug misuse, and to outline Government activity in this area." Rank hypocrisy? In fairness to Sir Paul, the talk repeatedly uses the term "misuse" and singles out heroin and cocaine as "the drugs that cause the greatest harm."

2004

In a prime example of the media's tendency to recycle old news as though it were fresh news, the British press goes wild with headlines like "Sir Paul Admits He Used Drugs!" The articles quote from an interview McCartney gives to "Uncut" magazine. He disclosed that he once smoked heroin, but didn't get high. He says that "Got to Get You Into My Life," off of the Revolver album was about pot and that the hit single, "Day Tripper" was about acid. He also admits the obvious, that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was about LSD, something the song's main author, John Lennon, always denied. While he tells the magazine that he's grown out of using drugs, he also tells them he "was flattered when he was recently invited by a group of Los Angeles teenagers to share their marijuana." McCartney was quoted as saying, "To me, it's a huge compliment that a bunch of kids think I might be up to smoke a bit of dope with them."

Other McCartney Fun Facts

  • McCartney was always uptight that everyone considered Lennon, not to mention Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, a lot hipper than him. Thus, he was known to brag, particularly on the pages of Rolling Stone, about being first to try this and that. It was on the pages of Rolling Stone that he first let it be known that he was the first Beatle to try cocaine, and that he came close to cashing it in on unspecified drugs on a few occasions. "I've seen my soul get up and walk across the floor a couple of times." He also claimed in the mag that he gave Mick Jagger his first taste of marijuana. Sir Jagger vociferously denied the claim, saying that the Stones smoked weed long before The Beatles did (nyah nyah!).

  • Continuing on the Paul-is-hipper-than-you-think theme, McCartney was the Beatle who befriended ultra-hipster hero William S. Burroughs when he settled in London during the late 1960s. McCartney supplied Burroughs with tape equipment to experiment with his cutup method.

  • McCartney was also a lifelong friend with Beat/counterculture poet Allen Ginsberg. He performed, along with Philip Glass, on Allen Ginsberg's 1996 CD release, "Ballad of the Skeletons."

  • Paul and Linda McCartney were financial supporters of the 25th and 30th anniversary celebrations of "The Summer of Love." The celebration of psychedelic counterculture was organized by their long-time friend Chet Helms and took place in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

  • In Blackbird: The Life and Times of Paul McCartney by Geoffrey Giuliano and ex-Wings member Denny Laine, Laine claims that, in the mid-1970s Paul and Linda were heavily into the occult and Aleister Crowley. The 1975 album, Venus and Mars seems to have a bit of an occultist vibe.

    Drugs In Song

    However much McCartney may like his altered states, particularly those derived from cannabis consumption, direct drug references are rare and allusions are subject to debate and interpretation. Nevertheless, aside from the songs mentioned earlier, "Got To Get You Into My Life" and "Day Tripper," I present a few McCartney lyrics that reference drugs, or seem like they probably reference drugs.

    I'm Looking Through You
    1965, Rubber Soul
    Ripped on weed, McCartney sees deeply into his then girlfriend, model Jane Asher, and decides she's a phony. This story has been told by McCartney himself.

    Yellow Submarine
    1966, Revolver
    On the surface, a child's rhyme; but the song was taken as a winking assertion of hippie, psychedelic, drop out escape from the dreary mainstream culture into the upcoming party utopia. It was even adapted by some new left activists as a theme song for those seeking an alternative culture.

    With A Little Help From My Friends
    1967, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
    He gets high with a little help from his friends. What does he see when he turns out the lights?

    Fixing A Hole
    1967, Sgt. Peppers
    Taken by some to be a heroin song (fixing being a term used for shooting up], but also works as a contemplative pothead song or, for that matter, a plain old contemplative person's song. Another song lyric with a drop out vibe.

    Lovely Rita
    1967, Sgt. Peppers
    "When are you free to take some tea with me?" George Harrison has commented that The Beatles frequently used tea as a pseudonym for pot. On the other hand, they were Limeys, so maybe tea is just tea.

    A Day In The Life
    1967, Sgt Peppers
    "Found my way upstairs and had a smoke and somebody spoke and I went into a dream." Probably not a ciggie, but you never know.

    Magical Mystery Tour
    1968, Magical Mystery Tour
    "Roll up!" "A mystery trip." And the whole album/movie concept was taken from Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters.

    Penny Lane
    1968, Magical Mystery Tour
    "The pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray." Hey, wouldn't a florist be selling poppies from a tray? In England, heroin was medicalized and made available to addicts, who were given injections by nurses. Also, "Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes." George Harrison grew up in a suburb near this street, Penny Lane. I recall a story about how George went back there on acid to grok it in all its weirdness. This may have inspired Paul's song.

    Get Back
    1970, Let It Be
    "Jo Jo left her home in Tuscon Arizona for some California grass." Is the grass just grass? What, she couldn't find any grass in Tucson?

    Three Legs
    1971, Ram
    "When I fly above the clouds, when I fly above the crowds, you could knock me down with a feather."

    Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
    1971, Ram
    "Hands across the water. Heads across the sky." Ahh, peace and drugs in the early seventies. References to heads in the late sixties and early seventies were pretty much understood to mean psychedelic drug heads.

    C Moon
    1973, Red Rose Speedway
    "I'd never get to heaven if I filled my head with glue. What's it all to you?" A rejection of a bad high, and yet, ain't nobody's business but his own.

    Hi Hi Hi
    1973, Red Rose Speedway
    This one is blatant and should have been titled High High High. He's "gonna get high high high." Mediocre song, though.

    Band On The Run
    1973, Band on the Run
    Not about drugs, but about being busted for drugs and Macca's concerns about being "stuck inside these four walls, sent away for ever.'

    Rock Show
    1975, Venus and Mars
    "The tension mounts you score an ounce ole!"

    Medicine Jar
    1975, Venus and Mars
    McCartney's first anti-hard drug song for Wings. Wings guitarist, Jimmy McCulloch, had an ongoing problem with heavy drugs, and eventually died from a heroin overdose. It's generally thought that McCartney wrote these lyrics trying to challenge and discourage his behavior. "Dead on your feet, you won't get far if you keep on putting your hand in the medicine jar."

    Wino Junko
    1976, At The Speed Of Sound
    Apparently, McCartney continued to preach it to brother McCulloch. "Pill freak spring a leak you can't say no."

    The Song We Were Singing
    1997, Flaming Pie
    Apparently a bit of misty nostalgia for old-fashioned psychedelic philosophizing and The Beatles heyday, which also seems to permeate the entire album. "For a while, we could sit, smoke a pipe. And discuss all the vast intricacies of life... Take a sip, see the world through a glass and speculate about the cosmic solution."

    Flaming Pie
    1997, Flaming Pie
    "I took my brains out and stretched 'em on a rack. Now I'm not so sure I'm ever gonna get 'em back... Go ahead, have a vision."



    Final Thoughts from Sir Paul

    So there you have it. The world's most complete roundup of Paul McCartney's relationship with drugs over the years. Does it matter? What does it mean? Let's give Sir Paul the last word, from his as-told-to 1997 biography Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, co-written with Barry Miles (Miles has also written bios of Ginsberg, Burroughs, and Charles Bukowski):
    In today's climate, I hate to talk about drugs because it's not the same. You have someone jumping on your head the minute you say anything, so I've taken to not trying to give my point of view unless someone really very much asks for it. Because I think the "just say no" mentality is so crazed. I saw a thing in a women's magazine the other day: "He smokes cannabis, what am I to do. He laughs it off when I try to tell him, he says it's not really harmful..." Of course, you're half hoping the advice will be, "well, you know it's not that harmful; if you love him, if you talk to him about it, tell him maybe he should keep it in the garden shed or something," you know, a reasonable point of view. But of course it was, "No no, all drugs are bad. All drugs are bad. Librium's good, Valium's good, ciggies are good, vodka's good. But cannabis, oooh." I hate that unreasoned attitude. I really can't believe it's thirty years since the sixties. I find it staggering. It's like the future, the sixties, the sixties to me, it hasn't happened. I feel like the sixties are about to arrive. And we're in some sort of time warp and it's still going to happen.

    See also:
    Willie Nelson's Narcotic Shrooms
    Prescription Ecstasy and Other Pipe Dreams
    Hallucinogenic Weapons: The Other Chemical Warfare
  • 147 thoughts to “Paul McCartney On Drugs”

    1. Interesting article, however, ‘Hi Hi Hi’ was released as a single and was not included on ‘Red Rose Speedway’. Also, if you dig deep and pay attention, Paul’s ‘hipness quotient’ has never really been an issue or in doubt. Read a copy of Tony Bramwell’s book ‘Magical Mystery Tours: My Life With the Beatles’ (2005) in which he describes John as more of the ‘poser’, often misquoting misunderstood religious and philosophical points and themes. The book is very well informed and is highly recommended. Paul, with a ready wit, is painted as more pragmatic and sensible, often keeping his mouth shut until actually having something to say.

    2. Cool to hear from a Lennon buddy. The story about McCartney stopping by to see Nilson and Lennon is from McCartney’s own bio, as told to Barry. Miles, Many Years From Now. (I recommend this for those interested in Beatle Paul). The May Pang story was from earlier and involved them dropping in on David Bowie. The song lyrics were self-admittedly subject to interpretation…

      cheers…

      RU

    3. Oh Paul..

      “I support decriminalization. People are smoking pot anyway and to make them criminal is wrong.”

      People are also ‘stealing cars anyway’ – not to mention killing other people.. Celebrities should perhaps leave the vagaries of criminal legislation to those who actually have the first idea of what they’re talking about, no?

      I tell you what, if you carry on writing songs of timeless genius i’ll let you off!

    4. I have a bootleg recording from 1974 of John and Paul recording in Los Angeles with Nilsson and Stevie Wonder. It sounds like utter shite but is still fascinating. It is called “A Toot and A Snort in 74”. You might still be able to find copies at some bootleg dealers.

    5. ‘Penny Lane… “The pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray.” Hey, wouldn’t a florist be selling poppies from a tray?’

      From a tray?!? No, the reference is to the red paper poppies which are sold in the street (from trays, and often by nurses) every November and which are worn on Armistice Day (Nov. 11). The proceeds go to service-mens’ charities and the tradition began after World War I. Why poppies? Because these are the flowers which grow, in their millions, on soldiers graves in Belgium and northern France.

      “In England, heroin was medicalized and made available to addicts, who were given injections by nurses.”

      Until 1970, when Britain (not just England) adopted the US system of methadone treatment, heroin was supplied to addicts on a daily basis. They were also provided with syringes and needles to inject themselves. Afaik, they were never given injections by nurses.

      Apart from that, a very interesting account.
      -m

    6. Just one note of correction. I have read alot about the Beatles and their girlfriends/wives since 1964 and never have I read that Jane Asher was a model. She was and may still be a “serious actress”. Good article but too much specualtion.

    7. gemini posts some fascinating stuff – paul often tried to drop in like an old pal on john in l.a. and later in n.y. – the “feud” ended for all intents and purposes after ringo’s solo lp in ’73 – where all 4 beatles contributed but not together. lennon was unapproachable in l.a. ’74 and i’m surprised to hear he played with macca but everyone was so whacked out – alice cooper and mickey dolenz too- i knew about some things via klaus voormann – then in ’75 sean’s arrival changes everything bye bye johnnie rhythm.

      to gemini – if you knew harry – let me say he was decades ahead of his time in that he pre empted the mash-up collage concept that is “love” when he recorded “you can’t do that” in a similar fashion, reworking over a dozen beatles numbers into a new song altogether. i havent seen one word written about this anywhere. so i’m acknowleding harry here and now. poor crazy brilliant tortured bastard that he was.

    8. Well- written, but this was full of errors.

      The McCartneys never threw a party for the original cast of SNL or any cast of SNL. Check in Live From New York if you don’t believe me – there are several mentions of Paul but never any mention of such a party.

      Paul never toured in 1999 or anytime else in support of Run Devil Run.

      High Times never ran such a photo as you describe.

      Your biggest mistake is this: McCartney delivers a keynote speech in England on “Drug Awareness Day” about “heightening parental awareness to drug misuse, and to outline Government activity in this area.” Rank hypocrisy? In fairness to Sir Paul, the talk repeatedly uses the term “misuse” and singles out heroin and cocaine as “the drugs that cause the greatest harm.”

      Um….dude. That was a speech by MP Ian McCartney, no relation.

    9. “”I support decriminalization. People are smoking pot anyway and to make them criminal is wrong.”

      People are also ‘stealing cars anyway’ – not to mention killing other people.. Celebrities should perhaps leave the vagaries of criminal legislation to those who actually have the first idea of what they’re talking about, no?”

      Smoking pot is a victimless crime so long as you’re responsible with it. The crimes you compared this to are quite different.

    10. I have to say I agree with Paul when he refers to the hypocrisy involving people who condemn marijuana as they’re smoking their cigarettes and drinking their alcohol by the gallon and then taking Vicodin the next day to ease the pain. But that’s okay because they’re legal drugs. Legalize it.

    11. In an interview, I think it was in Playboy about a year before his death, Lennon said that Paul was at his place in New York and they were watching SNL when the offer for the Beatles to reunite for $3000 was made, Paul wanted the two of them to go down to the studio, and John said no.

    12. “Strawberry Fields” is actually a childrens home where John Lennon used to go and hang out as a kid. Its not a reference to heroin.

      “Penny Lane” is actually a road (Ive been there, had my photo taken next to the roadsign!).

      The heads reference is a “nod” to a hairdresser friend not far from Penny Lane, apparently he had a picture of the Beatles and their “new” haircuts in his window (although he never actually did their hair) which attracted all the youngsters\wannabe popstars there to get there hair cut. Hence “heads he used to know”.

      As the “lads” used to meet not far from here (literally 10 yards) you could sit by the hairdresser shop (still there) with a copy of the Penny Lane lyrics and simply look around you as you read them – you will notice the song references all around you. No drugs in sight anywhere.

      Now I’m not a Beatles fan but have recently been on the Beatles tour around Liverpool where they offer an explanation of a lot of stuff thats being discussed here as well as visiting the various places. You should go even for a “non” fan like me it was interesting :)

    13. You are forgiven Preston-but Jesus Christ, boy, Dylan turned the Beatles on to pot much earlier than Abbey Road. Hell, the band was still on the road-Dylan visited them in a hotel room.

    14. You are a stupid culostomy bag for thinking that the line

      “The pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray.” Hey, wouldn’t a florist be selling poppies from a tray? In England, heroin was medicalized and made available to addicts, who were given injections by nurses.”

      This is utter balls, perhaps if you weren’t such an insular redkneck torglodyte then you would know that in merrie olde englande paper poppies are sold to commemorate those who died in the first world war, while you yank wanks sit back and revelled in your policy of laissez faire and all that gobshyte millions of innocents died for the preservation of free government in Europe. That is why the pretty nurse was selling POppies you clunt, especially so as Sir Paul wrote teh song before he was even famous, waiting to meet John Lennon on Penny Lane

    15. McCartney was always such a wimp. I never realized how much he lied/exaggerated to make himself seem more “hip” than he really was.

    16. Though the lyrics to Norwegian Wood must’ve been Lennon’s, i’ve heard that N.W stands simply for Norwegian Pot!

    17. I always felt that what people do to themselves is their business as long as none else is hurt in the process. The illegalization of pot cost America billions of dollars that should be going to education.
      Grow your own!

    18. Awesome reading, thanks. Posted a link to this one.

      By the way, tea is tea to us Limeys, and more important than oxygen almost. I get through 4 or 5 cups a day. :-)
      And the nurses DO sell poppies on Remembrance Sunday, as do lots of service people, in honour of WW1 and 2 vets. I used to buy red paper poppies off a tray from people when I was a kid.

      Thanks for passing my afternoon at work in pleasant education.

    19. Being a great admirer and fan of Paul’s, I’m not disappointed at all by his use of pot. I used it myself for years. (I’m also a songwriter and musician…it can greatly enhance the creative process). However, I, personally got into trouble with pot because I became obsessed with it and used it to self-medicate depression. Let me tell you, I went on a trip all right: towards suicide. I eventually went “clean” and it’s been 13 years.”13″, heh heh. That’s weird. Anyway, I’m extremely happy without ganga, although I understand that there are those who can use it without detrimental effect. Good for them! I hope everyone can keep in mind, though, that pot is not completely harmless. For many of us, it can become a hell on earth.

    20. Re. A Day In The Life.

      The line “Found my way upstairs and had a smoke and somebody spoke and I went into a dream.”

      Probably nothing to do with drugs.

      On the old London double-decker buses, when smoking was still allowed on public transport, it used to be that downstairs was non-smoking and smokers (of ordinary cigarettes) had to sit upstairs.

    21. some dumb messages have been left here.

      marijuana should obviously be legal.

      and to the person who compared marijuana smoking with stealing cars and MURDERING people. what is wrong with you?

    22. its all a buch of sh*t.

      I think they were all of them on L from the Hamburg days.

      Everything said about the and it is disinformation.

    23. John Lennon was shot to death by a delusional paranoid whose insanity he himself helped create. Did he deserve it? Maybe.

      Harrison was stabbed in his own home by a similar victim.

      McCartney talking about LSD as a universal cure-all Dylan said it was ‘medicine’. Them and the DJ’s just selling it all day long year after year pretending … (and now denying but not denying)

      but it was all a bait and switch game.

      Sometimes, I can’t stand any of them and their fearful music and their abusive language.

      That’s when I just hate them. occasionally I can listen to a song or two for a very short while.

      Rock and roll just wants to piss on our heads.

      There isn’t much difference between Rock and the abusive militarist, the abusive school administrator, the power-mad politician, the abusive fake religious leader, my abusive parents, etc.

      Rock vs the establishment and the pigs? sheesh, rock is the establishment and the pigs, just on drugs thats all.

    24. i grew up with the beatles, on minute johnny cash was the number one and suddenly the beatles had taken over and i loved every minute of it. I bought all the 45s, all the lps, all the casetts, all the 8tracks, all cds, and now dvds,
      but:
      when i never realized all the songs that were glorifing dope, and now i see all the kids that lifes are wrecked from dope and feel sad.
      We will all have to answer someday for what we have done, the kids that started dope and were ruined, and the people that told them it was fine, it will make you feel good, got to get you into my life…etc…
      iam sorry i supported the group and allowed them to push how great dope is to the masses.

    25. Did you know if you play part of Band on the Run Backwards (jailer man and sailor sam were searching every one) it sounds like “marijuana will get you banished”. .. and spookily enough he did get banished from Japan several years later.

    26. Paul has lived and grown, just as we all have. He’s human. I LOVE Paul McCartney and I will not listen to anyone trash him. Don’t you think he’s going through enough right now? How about that golddigger?

    27. I have always loved Paul McCartney and nothing can change that. I think to point fingers at him is childish. When you lose your mother at 15, become a rockstar at 21 and you don’t have a mother to nurture you. You’ll fill that void with girls, friends that don’t really want to be around you unless your doing what they’re doingor in Paul’s case, DRUGS. Give him a break and let him do what he needs to do in private to function in this world. If everyone thought of me the way that this writer has than I believeI would have to do something to take the edge off too.
      God Bless You Paul
      I still love you!

    28. WELL, I ALSO GREW UP WITH THE BEATLES, MUSIC TO ME AT THE TIME WAS SO NEW, I WAS ABOUT 6 OR 7, AND HAD AN OLD RADIO ON AM THAT WOULD PLAY THEM. EVERYONE HAS A DEMON, LUCKILY, AND I REALLY BELIEVE THAT IF HE ONLY HAS TWO, OR THREE, HE’S PROBABLY AS NORMAL AS ANY 50 YEAR OLD IS TODAY. I COULDN’T IMAGINE DOING HEROIN, OR METH OR XTASY. BUT UNFORTUNATELY MY CHILD DID. SO IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO YOU ARE, HOW MUCH $$ YOU HAVE, BAD DRUGS TAKE A TOLL ON ANYONE’S BODY.

      I HAVE BETTER HEALTH THAN MY CHILD. WHO IS ONLY 24. HIS CHILDREN AREN’T IN THE NEWS, THEY SEEM NORMAL, EVEN AFTER ALL THE BASHING, HE MUST BE, AS I SEE MYSELF, MISSING SOMETHING IN LIFE, BECAUSE OUR OWN SELF DESTRUCTION WILL TAKE US DOWN.

      AND HE IS BLESSED WITH MUSICAL TALENT, TALENT THAT CHANGED THE MUSIC WORLD FOREVERR. I WISH I COULD PLAY CHOPSTICKS ON THE PIANO.

      HAPPY EASTER PAUL AND TO ALL

    29. the main point is that , paul mcartney i s a drug user, and i agree that hes wrong admitting for his using drugs, maybe he like to share what he experienced, and using music or poem, or hidden words in a lyrics, as his outlet or medium. lets just listen to his music and not to look for its 2nd meaning, lets just believe that the puppy was selling in a tray is an ordinary puppy.
      taking marijuana is a bad habbit,
      a 34 year got road killed because he take marijuana, he trip like hes a super hero. and i believe you’ll lose your head on marijuana or on other drugs…listen to elmos got stoned… lets save our own lives, don’t try drugs. whats wrong if were not hip on pot, lets just live a normal life, with our normal happy family. can i ask for guns and roses songs heheheheh…. whats in their songs,,, MR. BROWNSTONE.

    30. I read how Heather Mills complained that Paul never wanted to go out at night and just wanted to sit around getting stoned and noodling on his guitar.
      This struck me as a sensible thing to do especially for someone with Paul’s talent. Poor old Paul. What a ride he’s had. If anyone deserves to chill he does.
      I daresay these days he needs it less to fuel a drug crazed addiction but to cope with arthritis pain etc. Anyone as bouncy as Paul was and is would be bound to be a sufferer by now.
      It was great to read Gemini’s post re the Harry Nilsson days. Stories about Nilsson are like golddust.

    31. Wow, an amazing array of posts. I too regard the Beatles’ lyrics as sheer scripture, and as far as I’m concerned, as long as the most prolific of them still lives and composes, the gospels rock on. I don’t subscribe to the idea that so many of the images that surfaced in the music were necessarily drug induced. Remember when John was going on about the hallucinagenic experiences he had as a child in L’pool? Now imagine these three giant talents meeting up in the pre-prime of their lives, with Ringo rounding out the alchemy. My God, that’s already a prescription for fantasia! As for Paul’s present days: I’m so sorry he had to realize his image of turning 64 under such sorry circumstances. As for his pot use, if he can smoke and continue to maintain his gorgeous pipes, well – glory be. Hey Paulie, where d’ya get yer stuff? Cheers from a smoke-free singer.

    32. ‘the poppies from a tray’ reference could also be about the poppies that were sold for vetrans. Just a thought, not being an american practice you may not have thought of it.

    33. I knew the McCartneys were into Astrology, but this is the first I’ve heard of them being into Alistar Crowley. I’ve read that Jimmy Page is heavily into the occult. I remember an interview and they asked Paul if he was a believer of God and he said he was, not religious but spiritual. The drug use mentioned in this Blog is old news.

    34. Yes, I agree it is an interesting article. I still refuse, unless irrefutable evidence comes up, to believe Paul would be violent. I understand that in their Cavern and Hamburg days, it was Lennon far more prone to that. I would almost have to hear it from Macca’s mouth himself to actually believe that. Violence aside, I must admire the accuracy of much of this info, at least based on what I know. Frankly, I would believe almost any kind of drug he would have done between 1966 and about 1969. Between 1969 and 1980 though, I would be hard pressed to believe anything besides marijuana. I really find this 1999 reference to drug use a very weak and National Enquirer worthy kind of story. I really believe that his bust in Japan was enough to change him for the rest of his days (which hopefully are still long and prosperous). The NESS (scottish for girl) who is selling poppies from a tray in Penny Lane is a reference to a funeral. Poppies are offered in a blanket in some societies, the use of the word tray also should steer you that way as if it were the coffin. Brilliant intermixing of references there. Paul is so underrated in his ability as a lyricist. I saw someone referred to some of Paul’s earlier teen years as hard. Interesting to note that several sources on Psychology have noted when a person loses their mother in their teen years, they are more artistic people when they grow up. McCartney lost his mother when he was 14 and Lennon when he was 18. Not having a mother was something they felt together as a bond in their early years. Just a few responses from some of the other postings. I like them all, even the ones that say the Beatles suck. I used to hate those people, now they fascinate me. Someone I once knew who loved the Beatles and Dylan once said that if you don’t like the Beatles, you don’t like music. Who doesn’t like music? take care—–

    35. Every song written in the last fifty years will have a drug reference for some one looking for it…

    36. Let’s not overlook “Junior’s Farm,” one of Sir Paul’s most blatantly drug-oriented songs ever.

    37. so many mistakes here. first of all, Jo Jo was a male, not a female. Band on the Run lyrics are “stuck inside the four walls, sent inside forever” not away forever. and it’s about being stuck inside the Beatles and Apple and inside rooms with lawyers. it had nothing to do with a paranoia of getting busted for dope. this whole article is just silly and inaccurate. also McCartney did not write Medicine Jar or Wino Junko, those were written entirely by Jimmy McCulloch. Paul had absolutely nothing to do with the lyrics. what a joke this article really is. just pure rubbish and fabrications. footnote: Hi Hi Hi is not a mediocre song, it is a great song especially when it first came out.

    38. oh yeah Junior’s Farm is NOT about drugs, it is about a farm Wings rented in Nashville to rehearse the band. the farm was owned by a well known country songwriter whos name i cannot remember. it goes to show people will hear anything in a song if they try hard enough. for the person who calls this song one of Paul’s most blatantly drug oriented song ever: where’s the proof? what planet are you on?

    39. and regarding Penny Lane and “every head he’s had the pleasure to know” is about a barber. RU Sirius are you serious????? you’re in a fantasy world.

    40. MARIJUANA IS ALL NATURAL… PEOPLE ARE GONNA SMOKE IF IT’S LEGAL OR NOT. MIGHT AS WELL MAKE IT LEGAL!!!

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