Paul McCartney recalled when Bob Dylan introduced the Beatles to marijuana in 1964, saying Ringo Starr was the first band member to try the drug.

Though he recalled hearing that Dylan wasn’t happy being called “the guy who turned the Beatles on,” McCartney described the experience at New York's Delmonico Hotel as a positive one.

During the same interview where he labeled Elvis Presley the second-coolest person he’d ever met, McCartney told the Adam Buxton Podcast: “I remember it pretty well. We were staying in that hotel, and I think we were on tour. So we were all together in the hotel suite; we were having a drink, and then Bob arrived. We said ‘hi,’ and he vanished into a back room, one of the rooms off the suite. So we just carried on ... but Ringo went back to see him.”

The drummer returned a few minutes later, “looking a little bit dazed and confused,” he continued. “We said, ‘What’s up?’ He said, ‘Oh, Bob’s smoking pot back there.’ We’d never had it. So we said, ‘What’s it like?’ Ringo said, ‘Well, the ceiling feels like it’s coming down a bit.’ We go, ‘Whoa!’ And we all just dashed in the back room to partake of the evil substance. That was quite an evening. It was crazy. It was great fun.”

McCartney — who said in 2015 that no longer smoked pot — added: “I’m not sure Bob is keen on being labeled as the guy who turned the Beatles on. I’ve heard that he’s sort of trying to play it down a bit — but whatever, that’s the truth. We met him on other occasions under those kind of circumstances, but it was very nice.”

Adding that he “hung out with Bob a few times,” including other evenings in hotels, he said, “We had some good times together. He’s a great bloke.”

 

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