Facts Behind The Photo: Bob Dylan introduces The Beatles to marijuana

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In August 1964 The Beatles played at Forest Hills stadium in New York. After the show Bob Dylan paid a visit to the band in their suite at the Delmonico Hotel.

While waiting for some “cheap wine”, Bob Dylan asked the Fab Four if they wanted to smoke a joint. Their manager, Brain Epstein, sheepishly admitted that they’d never smoked cannabis before. Dylan was surprised by this as he thought the band were regular smokers, thanks to the song I Want To Hold Your Hand. In fact, Dylan had mistaken the lyrics “I can’t hide” for “I get high”.

John Lennon took the joint from Bob Dylan and passed it to Ringo, who he called his royal taster. Not being familiar with the etiquette of passing the joint around, Ringo smoked the whole thing to himself. In the end, Dylan rolled a joint for everyone, including Epstein.

I don’t remember much what we talked about. We were smoking dope, drinking wine and generally being rock’n’rollers and having a laugh, you know, and surrealism. It was party time. – John Lennon

Paul McCartney took a somewhat more philosophical approach to being high and instructed Mal Evans to follow him round the hotel suite with a notebook, writing down all the profound things McCartney was saying. Evans kept the notebook until his death in 1976, when it was confiscated and subsequently lost by the LAPD.

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