Pubdate: Wed, 02 Jun 2004
Source: BBC News (UK Web)
Copyright: 2004 BBC
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney has revealed he once tried heroin at the 
height of the legendary band's success.

"I didn't realise I'd taken it - I was just handed something and smoked 
it," he told Uncut magazine, adding: "It didn't do anything for me."

The musician said he also took cocaine "for about a year" but was "never 
completely crazy" about the drug.

In an interview published in this month's Uncut, Sir Paul admitted drugs 
"informed" much of the Beatles' music.

He said the song Got To Get You Into My Life was "about pot - although 
everyone missed it at the time", and Day Tripper was "about acid".

He added it was "pretty obvious" that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was 
inspired by LSD, and other songs made "subtle hints" about narcotics.

But the singer said it was "easy to overestimate" the influence of drugs on 
the Beatles' material.

"Just about everyone was doing them in one form or another. We were no 
different," he said.

"But the writing was too important for us to mess it up by getting off our 
heads all the time."


Sir Paul said he felt "lucky" he had not taken to heroin as he "wouldn't 
have fancied heading down that road".

He added the "terrible come-downs" had eventually persuaded him to stop 
using cocaine.

According to the singer, The Beatles started experimenting early in their 
career - "right back to the Hamburg days when there were all these pills 
going around".

But he said his own intake was "never excessive". "I suppose I learned from 
an early age to do things in moderation," he said.

Sir Paul also revealed that he and fellow Beatle John Lennon had dabbled 
with another addictive substance during their schooldays - tea.

"We'd stuff some Twining Tea in a pipe, smoke that and write songs."

McCartney's drug use made headlines in January 1980 when he arrived at 
Tokyo's Narita Airport for an eleven-date tour with his band Wings.


The singer was arrested after customs officials discovered half a pound 
(225g) of marijuana in his luggage.

He spent 10 nights in a Japanese prison before being released and deported.

Sir Paul now admits "it was the daftest thing I've done in my entire life".

"I was out in New York and I had all this really good grass," he said. "We 
were about to fly to Japan and I knew I wouldn't be able to get anything to 
smoke over there.

"This stuff was too good to flush down the toilet, so I thought I'd take it 
with me."

He said it was "not too wonderful" being held in a Japanese jail, but he 
kept his spirits up by organising "sing-songs" with his fellow prisoners.

"I don't actually smoke the stuff these days," he told Uncut. "It's 
something I've kind of grown out of."

But he said he was flattered when he was recently invited by a group of Los 
Angeles teenagers to share their marijuana.

"To me, it's a huge compliment that a bunch of kids think I might be up to 
smoke a bit of dope with them."
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