18 December 2012
Chris O’Dell’s book, “Miss O’Dell” is a great source of information, particularly on George and Ringo. I think it’s a much better book than Wonderful Tonight as it covers those same years at Friar Park but in more detail.
“The four of us [Chris, Pattie, Ringo and Harry Nilsson] sat around , snorting coke and chatting happily for an hour or so before Pattie and I headed back to Friar Park with our little packet of cocaine.
That night George, Pattie, and I drank Scotch, snorted coke, and played pool in the game room off the main hall.” (1973) p. 234
“But what the hell was going on? I’d heard a rumor about Pattie and Ronnie having a fling and now I wondered if that might be true. Maureen and George were just old friends, right? I’d also heard rumors about Ringo using a lot of cocaine, and George was definitely in a flirtatious mood.” (Dec. 1973) p. 257
“[George] never was much of a druggie, although at times he drank plenty of alcohol. He’d go through these ‘clean’ phases when he’d stop using any kind of drug but then, without warning, he’d join in and start drinking or using with us. Pattie and I used to joke that we didn’t know if his hand was in the prayer bag or the coke bag.” p. 188
“‘It was the drugs that caused the breakup,’ [Maureen] said. ‘I always thought Ritchie was strong enough to deal with any drug. All those years he never let any drug ever get hold of him and when he thought it was, he’d stop immediately. I always admired that about him. But cocaine changes your brain. It made him paranoid. God ‘s honest truth. It changed his brain. I hate cocaine.'” (Dec. 1974) p. 312
I’m sure there’s more, but that’s what I have for now. George was also friends with Cheech & Chong during the 70’s, and they’ve referenced getting high with him a few times.
“I was hanging out with George Harrison one day, and I sang him the song and asked him, ‘Do you think that’s funny?’ He said, ‘I suppose so.’ It was bizarre because I was smoking dope with George Harrison on one side of me, and Wally from Leave It to Beaver on the other side.” – Cheech Marin
(speaking about that early 1974 “naughty” period) “Splinter were amazed by George’s energy in the studio, but noticed him looking increasingly gaunt. Klaus Voormann had heard he was taking a lot of cocaine. “It was a bad time for him,” Voormann says. “He became unreliable. It started when he was cutting the film for…Bangladesh. I called and said I was coming up, and I heard him say, ‘Klaus is coming. Hide the dope.’ I appreciated George for his weaknesses as well as his strengths, and I could tell he was embarrassed. I didn’t have much contact with him during that period. George, to me, was on a different planet.” – Uncut magazine (Aug. 2008)
“Robben Ford says Jim Keltner later told him that ‘George used to drink everybody under the table,’ while Newmark recalls that ‘we were all doing coke. That was what everyone was doing at that time, smoking weed and doing coke. George would do that with us sometimes, but it’s not like the whole fuel of the tour was substances – it was just normal, that’s what everyone was doing in that period. He never seemed excessive to me, and it would alternate between a few days when he would partake and then a period when he would be more on the spiritual thing. He meditated and had all the incense going, this prayer and that prayer, speaking Indian words. The whole shtick. He was seeking peace of mind and something to balance all that hysteria and Beatles stuff. His spiritual thing was real – he wanted to help people, he had a conscience. It wasn’t clearly defined what his trip was, but he was just seeking the highest person within himself, his best self. He was totally serious about it. He would talk about it, and would sometimes expand on how it was affecting his life and his decisions. He was just trying to live his life and find some truth and reality. Within that, I don’t think he had any conflict in his mind over whether getting high was against any kind of rule.’”
There was also a story Martin Short told on Jimmy Fallon about meeting George in the early 90’s. A joint was being passed around, and when Martin Short passed it to George, he just went, “Ahhh, the 60’s!” and passed it along. Probably not quite what you were looking for, lol, but I thought it might be relevant. There used to be a video of it on hulu, but it’s not there anymore.
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I don’t know whether George continued to use to marijuana after the breakup but I finally found the quote I remember, might not be what you were looking for but anyhoo:
tnntxx asks: George, given the drug experimentation of the 60’s, how do you feel about the legalitzation (sic) of pot
george-harrison-live: Well, I saw someone on TV last night pulling out huge loads of pot of of various fields in California. My feeling is as long as you can go into a store and buy whiskey, bourbon and all the rest of it, then, a little grass is nothing the authorities are just causing the price to be high– ‘scuse the pun
If I find anything else I’ll post it
Thanks again! For the record (and in case anyone else is curious) this is from a 2001 Yahoo! webchat.
Thank you @bewareofchairs. Another book to add to the collection! I’ve just ordered a hardcover copy from Amazon – 45p plus postage
8 November 2012
Another book I haven’t read in years (and got rid of during the spring purge) is You’ll Never Make Love in This Town Again. I don’t know if the chapter on George mentions drug use, but it might be worth looking into.
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20 August 2013
Scottish judge – who represented Paul McCartney in cannabis case – leaves £1.7m behind in his will
He didn’t leave any of it to Paul.
But it’s his rare appearance in the sheriff courts, at Campbeltown, Argyll, in 1973 when McCartney was accused of growing cannabis, that he is best remembered.
Lord McCluskey got all but one charge dropped on technical grounds and the star admitted growing cannabis.
And to the amusement of the court, the QC argued his client had a genuine interest in horticulture and a £30 fine was imposed, with Lord McCluskey asking if his client could be given time to pay the penalty.
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14 November 2017
Thank you. I’ve got May’s email address from when I interviewed her a while back. I’ll ask her about it.
Any info on the Linda/coke thing would be good, especially if you can remember the source.
@Joe has May Pang’s email address? That’s so cool!
I’ve always liked May. She comes across as very open and honest in every interview I have ever seen of hers. I assume it was a pleasure to chat to her @Joe?
Still writing the words to the sermon that no one will hear......
It was a few years ago, but yes she was nice and very helpful. I tried to speak to her again to clarify a few points for my book but she said she wasn’t doing any interviews. I suspect she declined because of the subject matter, and I left the invitation open, but didn’t want to push it.
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