Tales of Rock – Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and a Joint

During the event it was reported that Epstein said “I’m so high I’m on the ceiling. I’m up on the ceiling.”

In late August of 1964, The Beatles started their first official U.S. tour. The group began at Cow Palace in San Francisco and finished at the Paramount Theatre in New York. On August 28-29 The Beatles played at Forest Hills Stadium in New York and were befriended by Bob Dylan. The two parties were introduced by the writer Al Aronowitz at New York’s Delmonico Hotel.

After a brief chat with The Beatles, Bob Dylan asked John, Paul, Ringo, George, and Brian Epstein if they wanted to smoke a joint. Epstein looked apprehensive and said that the band hadn’t tried marijuana for years. Dylan was immediately surprised because he had been under the impression that they smoked weed because of the song I Want to Hold Your Hand. He mistook the lyrics “I can’t hide” with “I get high.”

The Beatles were never one to back down from a new experience and agreed. Lennon took the joint and passed it to Ringo whom he called his “royal taster.” Ringo smoked the entire thing, not knowing the tradition of sharing the joint between people. In response, Dylan rolled a joint for each of The Beatles and they smoked. During the event it was reported that Epstein said “I’m so high I’m on the ceiling. I’m up on the ceiling.” McCartney got more philosophical and asked Mal Evans to write down everything he was saying.

 

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Tales of Rock – Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger Vetoed A Bob Dylan/Beatles/Rolling Stones Super Album

According to Johns, quite a few members were down with the elaborate project/musical death match, but in the end bigger egos prevailed.

Sometime around 1969, producer Glyn Johns had the ambitiously ill-fated idea of having The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan on the same album — because the late ’60s was a period when all of those people famously had a lot of time to kill. Johns had the whole thing planned out, too. He would take all the best material from each group, have them compete for best rhythm section, and then have the winners perform that song on the album — which makes us wonder why The Hunger Games couldn’t just have been that?

According to Johns, quite a few members were down with the elaborate project/musical death match, but in the end bigger egos prevailed:

“Keith and George thought it was fantastic. But they would, since they were both huge Dylan fans. Ringo, Charlie, and Bill were amicable to the idea as long as everyone else was interested. John didn’t say a flat no, but he wasn’t that interested. Paul and Mick both said absolutely not.”

And that was that. Three of the world’s most intensely popular bands wound up not changing history for the same reason no one has ever managed to organize a successful Doodle event.

 

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