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This Beatles Psychedelic Poster measures 24 x 36 inches.
While The Beatles were no strangers to drugs prior to 1965, their introduction to LSD caused a major shift in their music, personalities and public perception.
The precise date of their first encounter is unknown, although it's likely to have been between March and July 1965. It is known, however, that it took place at Flat 1, 2 Strathearn Place, London W2, in the home of 34-year-old cosmetic dentist John Riley.
Riley invited John and Cynthia Lennon, George Harrison and Pattie Boyd to dinner. After the meal he gave them coffee laced with LSD, which at the time was little-known and still legal.
He laid it on George, me and our wives without telling us at a dinner party at his house. He was a friend of George's, and our dentist at the time. He just put it in our coffee or something. He didn't know what it was, it was just, 'It's all the thing,' with the middle-class London swingers. They had all heard about it and didn't know it was different from pot or pills. And they gave it to us, and he was saying, 'I advise you not to leave,' and we thought he was trying to keep us for an orgy in his house and we didn't want to know.
John Lennon, 1970
Lennon Remembers, Jann S Wenner
After the meal the five, along with Riley's 22-year-old girlfriend Cindy Bury, adjourned from the flat's small dining room into the lounge. On the mantelpiece six sugar cubes had been carefully lined up. The cubes, each of which contained a dose of LSD, were slipped into the guests' coffees.
Riley's intention was to be the first person to 'turn on' The Beatles, in the comfort of his flat, but his plans backfired when his guests insisted on leaving for the Pickwick Club.
One night John, Cynthia, Pattie and I were having dinner at the dentist's house. Later that night we were going to a London nightclub called the Pickwick Club. It was a little restaurant with a small stage where some friends of ours were playing.
After dinner I said to John, 'Let's go - they're going to be on soon,' and John said 'OK', but the dentist was saying, 'Don't go; you should stay here.' And then he said, 'Well, at least finish your coffee first.' So we finished our coffee and after a while I said again, 'Come on, it's getting late - we'd better go.' The dentist said something to John and John turned to me and said, 'We've had LSD.'
I just thought, 'Well, what's that? So what? Let's go!'
The bloke had put it in our coffee: mine, John's, Cynthia's and Pattie's. He didn't take it. He had never had it himself. I'm sure he thought it was an aphrodisiac. I remember his girlfriend had enormous breasts and I think he thought that there was going to be a big gang-bang and that he was going to get to shag everybody. I really think that was his motive.
We'd just sat down and ordered our drinks when suddenly I feel the most incredible feeling come over me. It was something like a very concentrated version of the best feeling I'd ever had in my whole life.
It was fantastic. I felt in love, not with anything or anybody in particular, but with everything. Everything was perfect, in a perfect light, and I had an overwhelming desire to go round the club telling everybody how much I loved them - people I'd never seen before.
George was going, 'Don't make me laugh!' Oh God! But it was fantastic. I did some drawings at the time - of four faces and 'we all agree with you,' things like that. I did a lot of drawing that night - just like that. And then George's house seemed to be just like a big submarine. I was driving it - they all went to bed and I was carrying on on me own - it seemed to float above his wall, which was eighteen foot, and I was driving it.
George Harrison later claimed that the shared experience of LSD brought him and Lennon closer together. After taking acid together, John and I had a very interesting relationship. John and I spent a lot of time together from then on and I felt closer to him than all the others, right through until his death. As Yoko came into the picture, I lost a lot of personal contract with John; but on the odd occasion I did see him, just by the look in his eyes I felt we were connected.
Lennon only took LSD once in the studio, unwittingly, on 21 March 1967 during a recording session for the Sgt Pepper song Getting Better.
I thought I was taking some uppers, and I was not in a state of handling it. Then I said, 'I must get some air.' They all took me upstairs on the roof, and George Martin was looking at me funny. And then it dawned on me. I must have taken acid. And I said, 'Well, I can't go on, I have to go.' So I just said, 'You'll have to do it and I'll just stay and watch.'
In fact, the session was stopped once The Beatles realised that Lennon was tripping. Lennon's car was not at the studio, and so McCartney took him to his nearby home at Cavendish Avenue.
I thought, Maybe this is the moment where I should take a trip with him. It's been coming for a long time. It's often the best way, without thinking about it too much, just slip into it. John's on it already, so I'll sort of catch up. It was my first trip with John, or with any of the guys. We stayed up all night, sat around and hallucinated a lot.
Me and John, we'd known each other for a long time. Along with George and Ringo, we were best mates. And we looked into each other's eyes, the eye contact thing we used to do, which is fairly mind-boggling. You dissolve into each other. But that's what we did, round about that time, that's what we did a lot. And it was amazing. You're looking into each other's eyes and you would want to look away, but you wouldn't, and you could see yourself in the other person. It was a very freaky experience and I was totally blown away.
There's something disturbing about it. You ask yourself, 'How do you come back from it? How do you then lead a normal life after that?' And the answer is, you don't. After that you've got to meditate for the rest of your life. You've got to make a decision which way you're going to go.
I'd just had enough after about four or five hours. John seemed like some sort of emperor in control of it all. It was quite strange. Of course he was just sitting there, very inscrutably.
I've never met anybody who's had a flashback. I've never had a flashback in my life and I took millions of trips in the Sixties, and I've never met anybody who had any problem. I've had bad trips and other people have had bad trips, but I've had a bad trip in real life. I've had a bad trip on a joint. I can get paranoid just sitting in a restaurant. I don't have to take anything.
Acid is only real life in Cinemascope. Whatever experience you had is what you would have had anyway. I'm not promoting, all you committees out there, and I don't use it because it's chemical, but all the garbage about what it did to people is garbage.