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Paul McCartney Was the Last Beatle to Take LSD Because He Was Scared It’d Change Him

By Hannah Wigandt,


Paul McCartney was the last of The Beatles to take LSD. He was scared that the hallucinogen would change him in some way. When he finally took it, Paul realized he was right.
Paul McCartney | William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images

Paul McCartney was the last Beatle to take LSD

In The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present , Paul explained that he was the last Beatle to take LSD. Despite having fears it would change the inner workings of his mind, Paul caved and took the drug under the pressure of his bandmates.

“John and George had urged me to do it so that I could be on the same level as them,” Paul wrote. “I was very reluctant because I’m actually quite straitlaced, and I’d heard that if you took LSD vou would never be the same again. I wasn’t sure I wanted that. I wasn’t sure that was such a terrific idea. So I was very resistant. In the end I did give in and take LSD one night with John.

“I was pretty lucky on the LSD front, in that it didn’t screw things up too badly. There was a scary element to it, of course. The really scary element was that when you wanted it to stop, it wouldn’t. You’d say, ‘Okay, that’s enough, party’s over,’ and it would say, ‘No it isn’t.’ So you would have to go to bed seeing things.”

Paul started seeing a little blue hole whenever he closed his eyes after taking LSD

Around the time that Paul first took LSD, he said he started seeing a little blue hole instead of blackness whenever he closed his eyes.

“It was as if something needed patching,” Paul wrote. “I always had the feeling that if I could go up to it and look through, there would be an answer.”

He said the phenomenon inspired The Beatles’ “ Fixing a Hole ,” not the metaphysical idea of a hole. “This absolutely physical phenomenon – something that first appeared after I took acid,” Paul wrote. “I still see it occasionally, and I know exactly what it is. I know exactly what size it is.”


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Paul said The Beatles’ drug use during their last few years became unbearable

Eventually, The Beatles’ drug use became unbearable. For Paul, it felt “oppressive.”

“We were entering a period in the mid-to-late Sixties when we were doing LSD, staying up all night, then wishing it would wear off, discovering it wouldn’t. A bad trip could leave you feeling a bit heavy, instead of enjoying the normal lightness of youth,” Paul wrote.

“You know, we started off smoking pot, and it was just giggles. It was such fun. We loved it and it was great, and the worst that would happen was you’d fall asleep, and that was fine. Once it got into sort of more serious stuff, then you were just sort of doing it and there wasn’t this light relief. It could be oppressive.”

It didn’t help that The Beatles’ meetings about Apple Records felt even more oppressive. Eventually, the group stopped using LSD. George Harrison said it opened his mind to God-consciousness. However, he stopped taking it after seeing that it looked like old rope under a microscope. Eventually, The Beatles realized LSD wasn’t a miracle drug.

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

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