Friday, September 04, 2009

John Lennon Talks About Drugs

BBC interview: December 6, 1980
Lennon: I've never denied having been involved with drugs.

Playboy interview: October 1980
Lennon: ...I took millions of (LSD) trips in the Sixties.

"I Found Out" by John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, 1970
Don't let them fool you with dope and cocaine. No one can harm you. Feel your own pain...

The Beatles Third Christmas Record
Fan Club flexi-disc recorded Oct. 19, 1965

Lennon (singing amid joint passing and overt deep inhaling): "Down in the gym with the old black door, we've got some! We've got some...

Lennon: Christmas comes but once a year. But when it does you know it's here because we've got a (inhaling) hm hm hmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaaw...

Ringo: For Christmas.

Lennon: ...Take. Take bugs.

The Beatles Tapes from the David Wigg Interviews
Interviewed in London, June 1969

Lennon: I don't regret taking drugs, because they helped me. I don't advocate them for everybody because I don't think I should. But for me, it was good. And India was good for me... Meditation, I still believe in, and occasionally I use it.

David Wigg: And what is your attitude to drugs now since the charge. [Lennon's Montagu Square flat in London was searched on October 18, 1968 and police charged him with possession of a small amount of marijuana.] Do you still take drugs?

Lennon: I don't possess drugs, you know. I don't really bother with them much at all these days, actually, you know. But if somebody offered me some at a party, I wouldn't -- it would depend how I felt. The same as it felt for me whiskey now. I don't drink either. But depending on the situation, I might take pot, you know. But I would never carry it again. A, because I don't want to go through that. B, because I don't really want it, you know. The stuff was stuff I'd had previously. I'd already dropped it in India. And I'd taken it occasionally. I take a drink occasionally, you know. That bit.

Lennon as guest DJ improvising off an advertisement script at a New York City radio station, September 1974

Lennon: ...coming next Wenday, huh, Wednesday, October 2nd, to the 'Joint in the Woods.' Nothing like a joint in the woods, he says losing his green card possibilities in one blow. T-Rex on Friday. Now that's a good band...

Interview by David Sheff, October 1980
Published in Playboy magazine, January 1981.

Playboy: What were you depressed about during the "Help!" period?

Lennon: The Beatles thing had just gone beyond comprehension. We were smoking marijuana for breakfast. We were well into marijuana and nobody could communicate with us, because we were just all glazed eyes, giggling all the time. In our own world. That was the song, "Help!"

Playboy: How about "Cold Turkey?"

Lennon: The song is self-explanatory. The song got banned, even though it's anti-drug. They're so stupid about drugs, you know. They're not looking at the cause of the drug problem: Why do people take drugs? To escape from what? Is life so terrible? Are we living in such a terrible situation that we can't do anything without reinforcement of alcohol, tobacco? Aspirins, sleeping pills, uppers, downers, never mind the heroin and cocaine -- they're just the outer fringes of Librium and speed.

Playboy: Do you use any drugs now?

Lennon: Not really. If somebody gives me a joint, I might smoke it, but I don't go after it.

Playboy: Cocaine?

Lennon: I've had cocaine, but I don't like it. The Beatles had lots of it in their day, but it's a dumb drug, because you have to have another one 20 minutes later. Your whole concentration goes on getting the next fix. Really, I find caffeine is easier to deal with.

Playboy: Acid?

Lennon: Not in years. A little mushroom or peyote is not beyond my scope, you know, maybe twice a year or something. You don't hear about it anymore, but people are still visiting the cosmos. We must always remember to thank the CIA and the army for LSD. That's what people forget... They invented LSD to control people and what they did was give us freedom. Sometimes it works in mysterious ways its wonders to perform. If you look in the government reports on acid, the ones who jumped out the window or killed themselves because of it, I think even with Art Linkletter's daughter, it happened to her years later. So, let's face it, she wasn't really on acid when she jumped out the window. And I've never met anybody who's had a flashback on acid. I've never had a flashback in my life and I took millions of trips in the Sixties.

Interview by Andy Peoples, December 6, 1980
Syndicated broadcast by British Broadcasting Corporation December 1980

AP: November 1969, Cold Turkey which was top 20 in the UK and got to number 30 in America, I think.

Lennon: Yeah, It was banned here, as well. They thought it was a pro-drug song.

AP: What was it to you John. Was it something that was very important?

Lennon: Yeah, because I've always expressed what I've been feeling or thinking at the time. However badly or not, from early Beatle records on. It became more conscious later. So I was just writing the experience I'd had of withdrawing from heroin and saying this is what I thought when I was withdrawing. It was banned because it referred to drugs. To me, it was a rock and roll version of "The Man With the Golden Arm." It's like banning The Man With the Golden Arm because it showed Frank Sinatra suffering from drug withdrawal. To ban the record is the same thing. It's like banning the movie because it shows reality.

Yoko: It's just like a trip that we went through, but at the same time, now it's clean up time. And we're really sort of, like, cleaning our bodies. It's very important.

Cold Turkey, by John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band 1969

Temperature's rising. Fever is high.
Can't see no future. Can't see no sky.
My feet are so heavy. So is my head.
I wish I was a baby. I wish I was dead.
Cold turkey has got me on the run.

My body is aching. Goose pimple bone.
Can't see nobody. Leave me alone.
My eyes are wide open. Can't get to sleep.
One thing I'm sure of. I'm in at the deep freeze.
Cold turkey has got me on the run.

Cold turkey has got me on the run.

Thirty-six hours rolling in pain.
Praying to someone free me again.
Oh, I'll be a good boy. Please make me well.
I promise you anything. Get me out of this hell.
Cold turkey has got me on the run.

(primal screams)

.....Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no...
Ahhhh, ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah...
ammmm mmmmm mmm ah ah ahhhhh!!!

Interview by Andy Peoples, December 6, 1980
Syndicated release by British Broadcasting Corporation, December 1980

Lennon: It's just strange when you hear people are snorting in the White House after the misery they put a lot of people through. After they busted us in England. And I have a record for life. I have problems getting in countries because this guy busts me. I've never denied having been involved with drugs. But at that particular time, there was a question raised in the house of parliament. Why did they need 40 cops to arrest John and Yoko. That thing was set up. The Daily Mail and the Daily Express were there before the cops came. He'd called the press. In fact, Don Shorter told us their coming to get you three weeks before. So, believe me, I'd cleaned the house out because Jimi Hendrix had lived there before and I'm not stupid. I went through the whole damn house. It caused me a lot of heartache and it still does... The only reason I'd pleaded guilty was because I thought they'd send Yoko away cause we weren't married. I thought, what's the word, they'd throw her out of the country. So I copped a plea. And the cop said, well we've got it now. So it's nothing personal... The picture on the back of Life with the Lions: Unfinished Music No. 2 is us being dragged out of the police station. It's from a newspaper picture.

1 comment:

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