Were the Beatles really turned on to LSD by their dentist?
He was a dentist, but not their dentist; it’s not as if the Fab Four went to get their wisdom teeth collectively extracted and walked out with a tab of acid. The Beatles knew him socially, and one evening in 1965, he hosted a dinner party for John Lennon, George Harrison, and their wives. He slipped some LSD into the after-dinner coffee. “It was, at the time, an unrestricted medication,” Harrison said. “I’d heard vaguely about it, but I didn’t really know what it was, and we didn’t know we were taking it.” The dentist didn’t partake himself, Harrison said: “I’m sure he thought it was an aphrodisiac. I remember his girlfriend had enormous breasts and I think he thought there was going to be a big gang-bang and that he was going to get to shag everybody.”
After dinner, as the group traveled around London, the dose hit. When they took an elevator up to a nightclub, they thought the elevator was on fire. “We were all screaming ‘AAAAAAARGH!’,” Lennon said. “It was just a little red light.” After some misadventures, including Pattie Harrison attempting to smash a store window, George Harrison took everyone home in his Mini, driving about ten miles per hour.
Reflecting later, Harrison said, “I presumed, mistakenly, that everybody who took LSD was a most illuminated being. And then I started finding that there were people who were just as stupid as they’d been before, or people who hadn’t really got any enlightenment except a lot of colors and lights and an Alice in Wonderland type of experience. The thing is, after you’ve had it a couple of times there doesn’t seem to be any point to taking it again… to change consciousness with a chemical obviously isn’t a path to self-realization.”
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)