Oct. 5, 2000 -- Did the Beatles really smoke pot in the men’s room of Buckingham Palace?
How wild were the Fab Four in their early days? And why is it we’re all still fascinated?
More than 400 books have been written about the Beatles. But finally, the surviving Beatles, along with Yoko Ono, the wife of the late John Lennon, will tell the most legendary of all rock ‘n’ roll fables.
The Beatles Anthology, was released in Britain at midnight last night. British publisher Cassell & Co says the official biography will trace the band members’ history from childhood in Liverpool to their breakup in the 1970s.
Marijuana: The Myth and Dylan
The 370-page autobiography puts to rest the myth that American singer-song writer Bob Dylan first turned the band on to marijuana in the United States in 1964.
George Harrison says, “We first got marijuana from an older drummer with another group in Liverpool.”
“Everybody was saying ‘this stuff isn’t doing anything.’ It was like that old joke where a party is going on and two hippies are up floating on the ceiling and one is saying to the other ‘this stuff doesn’t work man.’”
However, the band members have very differing memories on the story of smoking pot in the men’s room in Buckingham Palace.
While Lennon said they did smoke marijuana in the toilets before receiving an MBE (Member of the British Empire) award from the queen, Harrison and McCartney say they did not and Ringo Starr says he can’t remember.
Epstein ‘Wanted Beatles Fortune’
The book also claims Beatles manager Brian Epstein asked the band to sign away all future earning for a guaranteed weekly wage for life.
“He once tried to get us to sign a deal saying he would guarantee us $75 a week forever and he would keep the rest,” said Harrison.
The deal would have made them just $160,000 each to date rather than the millions they actually earned.
Epstein hoped to pocket the rest of the cash for himself for guiding the group to stardom, the band claims in the book.
“We thought, ‘No we’ll risk, Brian. We’ll risk earning a bit more than 50 pounds ($75) a week,’” said Harrison.
The publishers say they already have more than 1.5 million orders placed for The Beatles Anthology. The book, which is being released worldwide, is expected to be the publishing phenomenon of the fall.