It isn’t uncommon to hear rock stars use and abuse drugs. One of the most famous rock bands from the 60s, the Beatles, have been known to take uppers and downers. But did you know the first time they used LSD was not in the way anyone would have expected?
The Beatles did it all. While drug use was part of their lives, they never let it get in the way of work. The Beatles tried LSD or acid first when their dentist administered it to them without their knowledge or consent.
What is LSD?
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), more commonly known as acid, is a synthetic chemical made from a fungus called ergot. This fungus is usually found on rye. LSD is classified as a psychedelic drug, and when small doses are taken, it can create mild mood changes, thoughts, and perceptions. When taken in larger quantities, they may produce visual hallucinations and distort space and time.
Sometimes, dealers would sell other psychoactive substances that are chemically produced but marketed as LSD. The problem with this is that it can be quite dangerous as the quality is inconsistent. There have been reports linking the consumption of this hybrid to several deaths. (Source: Alcohol and Drug Foundation)
The Beatles’ Encounter with LSD
The Beatles were not strangers to drugs even prior to their fame. However, their introduction to LSD caused a significant shift to their personalities and public perception. The encounter was termed The Dental Experience by Geroge Harrison.
The exact date of when this happened is unknown, but it was estimated to have occurred between March and April of 1965. It took place at Flat 1, 2 Strathearn Place, London, at the home of the cosmetic dentist, John Riley. Riley had invited Lenon and Harrison to dinner, and after the meal, he served them with coffee laced with LSD. At the time, there wasn’t much information on the drug, and it was 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
Riley’s supply supposedly had been manufactured at a farmhouse in Wales. It is said that he intended to keep his visitors at the apartment, but everything backfired when they insisted on leaving for the Pickwick Club.
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. Klaus Voormann, Gibson Kemp and a guy called Paddy. They had a little trio. 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.’George Harrison
From the Pickwick Club, they went to Ad Lib at 7 Leicester Place, where they met Ringo Starr. By the time the club closed, Harrison had driven everyone home, and everything else was history. Lennon revealed more about the experience in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. (Source: Beatles Bible)