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« Iran election results | Main | ACORN here, ACORN there »

June 12, 2009



It's was Julian's drawing of her that gave John a fictitious explanation for writing a song about LSD.

Frank Warner

Or something.


If that something was LSD.


Heh. Exactly.

jj mollo

How can you be cynical about the Beatles? Octopus's Garden is about group sex maybe?

I think the Beatles had a lot of common sense. How about this one:

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right
all right, all right, all right
all right, all right, all right

There is also an argument that the Beatles trip to Russia actually had as much to do with the fall of the Soviet Union as anyone else.


Despite the years of denial, it's now pretty well known that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was indeed about LSD. Google for Paul McCartney's interview with Uncut Magazine and you'll find that he admits it.

Interestingly, both and still get this wrong (remember this next time you rely on these as sources of information). The myth perpetuates.

Frank Warner

The Beatles never performed in the Soviet Union. McCartney went there in 1989, after Reagan and Gorbachev already had agreed to the first-ever reductions in nuclear arsenals, after U.S. aid to the mujahideen had forced a Soviet Union decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, and after several other reforms were beginning to undo the Soviet police state.

In fact, by this time, 1989, Reagan saw enough progress that he said the Soviet Union, which he had labeled "the evil empire" in 1983, was no longer the evil empire. (George Will said Reagan was premature to say this, but Will turned out wrong.)

So McCartney goes to Russia in September 1989 and East Germans are crawling over the Berlin Wall without getting shot in November 1989. McCartney has been trying to take credit for this historic liberation ever since, but then again, McCartney tries to take credit for everything.

Those who can't bear the fact that a Republican, Ronald Reagan, had most to do with leading the Soviet Union to its long-deserved collapse are only to happy to consider McCartney's bizarre claim. Or else, they spend endless hours watching "Charlie Wilson's War," which never once mentions Reagan as commander-in-chief during Democrat "Charlie Wilson's war" to defeat Soviet aggression in Afghanistan.


McCartney deserves half of the credit for the fall of the USSR, but I deserve the other half. I once wore a t-shirt that said 'Communism is Bad' when visiting West Berlin, and the whole thing snowballed. Like two days later, the wall came down.

ps - You're welcome.

Hehe. I don't think anyone is denigrating the Beatles here, jj. Sure, Lennon took a lot of acid, but it was in the days where LSD was new, and instead of being taken as a 'fun' drug, it was taken to open up your mind. I doubt that it does that, but that was the purpose at the time.

Update: Ok I admit it. Reagan/Thatcher deserves all of the credit :(.

Frank Warner

The credit can go to many, and certainly the Communists' censorship of the Beatles for more than 20 years was a reminder of how unfree the people of the Soviet Union were.

Another note: Lennon's line about "Chairman Mao" got him banned from China.

jj mollo

George, When I follow your link I get some Romanian site. I'm willing to concede your point, anyway. There's little doubt they went through a druggie phase. I also listened to the BBC link again and realized that the Beatles' visit to Russia was actually a Russian urban legend. If you're interested in the Beatles, though, you should definitely listen to it.

Frank Warner

The popular soul song "Judy in Disguise (with Glasses)" came out a year later. It was clearly influenced by "Lucy in the Skies," which was clearly influence by who knows what.

And George, what's with your Romanian link?


HAHA! Thanks JJ. I'm laughing so hard that tears are coming out. We used to sing that song on long trips, but I didn't know it was a real song. I thought my older sister made it up :). I'm listening to it now on youtube, and it's the same song.

Not sure why I thought she made it up. Perhaps because she sang it as 'Judy in the Skies', I assumed she was ripping on Lucy in the Skies.

A little embarrassing, but too funny to keep secret :).


I felt you guys needed a little Romanian culture.
Heh. Actually it was a copy/paste error.
Here is the link I meant to give.

Frank Warner

Having read that link, I'm now sure it wasn't about LSD.

jj mollo

Yeah, that's my reaction too. Although, it could be that they were both telling the truth. For John, it may have been about the picture. Then Paul thinks, OK it's obviously about acid, and starts giving suggested additions based on the acid idea. Then after it's written, Paul thinks it's about acid until he hears John tell the story, then he goes along with John out of loyalty.

But given the choice of who to believe, I have to ask myself, which of these guys would embellish a story to make it more palatable, or possibly just for the sake of publicity, or maybe even because he was tired of correcting it.

Frank Warner

I think it started with the picture, and maybe they noticed that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds could become an LSD acronym, and thought that would add a little kick, but that's all.

There's no evidence the song was inspired by LSD or that it describes a real LSD experience.

If it was about experiencing LSD, Paul would have said, yeah, I remembered seeing newspaper taxis when I dropped acid, or I remember John saying doing LSD was like a great kaleidoscope. But Paul never refers to anything like that.

Paul made the "it was about acid" statement in his older years, when he had started pushing how cool and important he was. (I have no idea why he thought he'd ever have to defend his coolness. He was a Beatle, for godssake, but the ego often misses the big picture.) He said "it was about LSD" just to brag to younger fans how edgy he was.

But no, the song wasn't about LSD.


Frank, you are once again in denial.

From "The Daily Texan":
"A song like 'Got to Get You Into My Life,' that's directly about pot, although everyone missed it at the time," McCartney said.

"'Day Tripper,' that's one about acid (LSD). 'Lucy in the Sky,' that's pretty obvious. There's others that make subtle hints about drugs, but, you know, it's easy to overestimate the influence of drugs on the Beatles' music."

Another link:
"Update -- June, 2004:

In a new interview in Uncut Magazine, Paul detailed his drug use for the first time with the Beatles, which centered mostly around cocaine and that he had tried heroin once. In that interview, although Paul acknowledged that Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds had indeed been named for the drawing by Julian, he also said "it's pretty obvious" that the song is about an acid trip."

Frank Warner

Did Paul ever say anything like that before he turned 40?

The only thing "obvious" is that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" has an L, an S and a D in it. So does Lake Shore Drive. So does "16 Candles." Did Paul ever say that anything in that song reflected something that either he or John saw in an LSD trip? No.

Saying it "obviously" was about LSD is just insecure old Paul trying to act cool.

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