Bob Dylan introduces The Beatles to Marijuana - August 28, 1964

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Event
Date August 28, 1964
Short description Bob Dylan and The Beatles meet. Dylan introduces The Beatles to marijuana.
Location New York

On this date, Bob Dylan goes to meet The Beatles at the Delmonico Hotel in New York. They were introduced to each other by a mutual friend, Al Aronowitz. When Dylan arrived at the hotel, they sent Mal Evans to go get some cheap wine. During the wait, Bob Dylan asked the Beatles if they wanted a smoke. In Peter Brown's Beatles biography, it describes the event. "Brian and the Beatles looked at each other apprehensively. "We've never smoked marijuana before," Brian finally admitted. Dylan looked disbelievingly from face to face. "But what about your song?" he asked. The one about getting high?" The Beatles were stupefied. "Which song?" John managed to ask. Dylan said, "You know..." and then he sang, "and when I touch you I get high, I get high..." [referring to I Want To Hold Your Hand] John flushed with embarrassment. "Those aren't the words," he admitted. "The words are, 'I can't hide, I can't hide, I can't hide...'"" Dylan then rolled the first joint and passed it to John Lennon. He immediately passed it to Ringo Starr, whom he called his "Royal Taster." Because he did not know the etiquette of sharing a joint, Ringo finished the whole thing himself. Aronowitz rolled more for them. The Beatles spent the next few hours in hilarity, with Dylan watching in amusement. Brian Epstein kept saying, "I'm so high I'm on the ceiling. I'm up on the ceiling." Paul McCartney said that he was "thinking for the first time, really thinking." Paul later recalled, "I remember asking Mal, our road manager, for what seemed like years and years, 'Have you got a pencil?' But of course everyone was so stoned they couldn't produce a pencil, let alone a combination of pencil and paper. I'd been going through this thing of levels, during the evening. And at each level I'd meet all these people again. 'Hahaha! It's you!' And then I'd metamorphose on to another level. Anyway, Mal gave me this little slip of paper in the morning, and written on it was, 'There are seven levels!' Actually it wasn't bad. Not bad for an amateur. And we pissed ourselves laughing. I mean, 'What the fuck's that? What the fuck are the seven levels?' But looking back, it's actually a pretty succinct comment; it ties in with a lot of major religions but I didn't know that then." Mal Evans kept that piece of paper until it was confiscated by police in 1976 and later lost.

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