When The Beatles wrote a song about acid (2023)


"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" isn't what you think it's about.
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“Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” is typically thought to be a song about drugs. Mainly because its lyrical concepts are absolutely wild. The track invites you out onto a river as you pass through tangerine trees and marmalade skies, eventually meeting a girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

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The imagery of things like “cellophane flowers”, “rocking horse people” and “newspaper taxis” all sound like references to hallucinations one might experience while on LSD. And upon further inspection of the trippy track, you could also speculate that its title is code for LSD. Even the BBC were quick to ban the tune from radio for it’s supposed drug references. But the band called it all just a coincidence, suggesting the real roots of the track are much more innocent than many may have believed. Let’s discover The True Meaning Behind LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS.


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This video is sponsored by CuriosityStream
Written, voiced and edited by Frank Furtado
Additional Music by Joywalk - www.youtube.com/channel/UCNLMQPU-bm6OTpSZ09bL84Q


Lucy in the sky, with diamonds is typically thought to be a song about drugs, mainly because its lyrical concepts are absolutely wild.

The track invites you out onto a river as you pass through tangerine trees and marmalade skies, eventually meeting a girl with the imagery of things like cellophane, flowers, rocking horse people and newspaper taxis.

All sound like references to hallucinations one might experience.

While on lsd and upon further inspection of the trippy track.

You could also speculate that its title is code for lsd.

Even the bbc were quick to ban the tune from radio for its supposed drug references, but the band called it all.

Just a coincidence suggesting the real roots of the track are much more innocent than many may have believed.

Let's discover the true meaning behind loosing the sky, with diamonds four years into their musical career.

The beatles had already produced seven studio, albums each one pushing the boundaries of creative, songwriting and recording techniques.

By the time they had crafted their album revolver.

It became next to impossible to reproduce those songs for a live setting paired with their growing disinterest in live performances.

The beatles would decide to permanently retire from touring in august of 1966.

shortly after in an attempt to further expand his sense of sonic possibility.

Paul mccartney took lsd for the first time, a trip that would go on to define the group's next project.

Sergeant, pepper's, lonely, hearts, club band mccartney brought forth the idea of the album playing out like a live performance by fictional band, an alter ego that would help free them from their image as the beatles.

They would be completely unrestricted sonically, leaving the band to embrace an even more experimental approach and create a key work in psychedelia released on the cusp of the summer of love, the album reflected the interests of the late 60s, youth and counter-culture, embracing hippie fashion, themes of anti-war, the free love movement and hallucinogenic drugs, their use of sound effects and tape, manipulation even more indian and western classical elements and avant-garde.

Lyricism left many to assume the album's tracks were drug-inspired because they kind of were the beatles admitted to using drugs during the album's roughly 700 hour.

Recording process, and one track in particular, began drawing everyone's attention: loosing the sky with diamonds opens with those signature, otherworldly keys, allow reorgan modified to sound more like a celeste piana.

You have john lennon's vocals that were recorded at a tape, speed of 45 cycles per second instead of the standard 50, making his voice sound, higher and thinner than his usual offerings, and if you listen closely, you'll also notice a subtle drone, sound at moments that would be george harrison playing the tambora, an indian string instrument that adds to the track's mystical atmosphere, and then you have the tracks mind-bending phrases, given that the band were recreationally using hallucinogens and experimenting sonically while delivering far out subject matter, it would seem obvious that the track was truly drug-inspired.

Has it ever been settled whether lucy in the sky with diamonds was a code for anything? It never was, and nobody believes me and somebody noticed that the letters spelt out lsd and I had no idea about it and of course, after that, I was checking all the songs to see what the the letters spelt out there.

They didn't spell out anything.

None of the others- and it wasn't about that at all.

You know they could do that with eleanor right, but nobody believes so if it wasn't an acid song, then what was loose in the sky with diamonds really about lennon said that the true inspiration for the track came when his three-year-old son julian, showed him a nursery school, drawing that he called lucy in the sky with diamonds lennon simply thought the title was beautiful and decided to write a song about it.

He hadn't even bothered to look at the initials of the title.

The track's imagery, on the other hand, would stem from the final chapter of lewis carroll's through the looking glass, the sequel to alice's adventures in wonderland, where alice floats in a boat beneath the sunny sky in a sort of dream world mccartney confirmed, it was pretty obvious.

Drugs influenced some of the group's compositions at the time, but also recalling the writing of lucy in the sky.

With diamonds saying we did the whole thing like an alice in wonderland idea being in a boat on a river every so often it broke off, and you saw lucy in the sky with diamonds all over the sky.

This lucy was god the big figure.

The white rabbit lennon would later add that the girl, with kaleidoscope eyes, turned out to be yoko ono, the female that would one day come save him.

So what do you think believe it or not? I mean it would make total sense that a child's idea paired with the fantastical world of alice in wonderland, all set to the musical stylings of the beatles most experimental era would produce a track.

We all thought to be about drugs, despite its bizarre atmosphere.

Losing the sky with diamonds was not about tripping on lsd.

Its title being code for the drug was also just a remarkable coincidence.

Was it, though, regardless of whether it was intentional or not, the song psychedelic quality would have been celebrated either way the tune and sergeant pepper, expressed the psychedelic experience so excellently to listeners who were unfamiliar with hallucinogenic drugs.

That, if such a thing as a cultural contact high is possible, it happened here tomorrow.

Never knows it's totally about lsd, though we all know about woodstock, the most famous rock concert in history, but at the center of it all was this psychedelic symbol-covered volkswagen bus called light after the festival, it would never be seen again.

Curiosity stream, just debuted the woodstock bus, a documentary that solves the 50 year old mystery to find the lost bus that became the iconic emblem of that generation, use the first link in the description to get 26 off curiosity stream and start watching it now, with sergeant pepper, the beetle set out to do something different.

My creator, friends and I have teamed up to do the same.

We've built our own streaming platform where we don't have to worry about copyright claims or how much music we use in our videos.

It's called nebula and it features a ton of exclusive content and originals from some of your favorite creators like adam neely, lessons from the screenplay tom scott and a bunch of others.

Nebula allows me and other creators to continue doing what we love to do create without limitations there.

Our content is ad-free and even pushes some boundaries, since we don't have to worry about youtube's restrictions and the algorithm and we've partnered with curiositystream, so that we can keep making it happen.

Curiositystream is home to some of the best documentaries on the internet.

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You get curiosity stream, you also get nebula.

I've put the link down below for you to get started, treat yourself to a pair of new streaming platforms for only 14.79 a year, but tell me: what's your favorite beatles song? Let me know in the comments below follow us at more middle 8 on twitter and instagram for more middle eight, and that's it from me again.

Thanks for watching and keep listening.



When The Beatles wrote a song about acid? ›

Less well known is that George Harrison, an early enthusiast, abruptly abandoned acid in 1967.

When did George Harrison stop taking acid? ›

Less well known is that George Harrison, an early enthusiast, abruptly abandoned acid in 1967.

What did Billie Eilish say about The Beatles? ›

Billie Eilish Said 1 Song From The Beatles' 'Abbey Road' Defined Her Childhood - IMDb. Billie Eilish revealed she's a big fan of a song from The Beatles' Abbey Road. It stood out to her among all of the Fab Four songs she loved. In addition, she said the track wonderfully conveys a universal human feeling.

Did The Beatles start psychedelic music? ›

The Beatles are frequently cited as the primary drivers behind the popularisation of psychedelic music, but it was the band who followed the group on that iconic episode of The Ed Sullivan Show which helped give birth to the genre.

Why was Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds banned? ›

Lennon's son, Julian, inspired the song with a nursery school drawing he called "Lucy -- in the sky with diamonds". Shortly after the song's release, speculation arose that the first letter of each of the title's nouns intentionally spelled LSD. Although Lennon denied this, the BBC banned the song.

Did the Beatles do a lot of acid? ›

Lennon began to take the drug regularly after his first exposure. McCartney, the last of the Beatles to try LSD, was the first to publicly admit to it during a 1967 interview with ITV. He said he used it "about four times," generating an intense media hubbub.

When did the Beatles stop drugs? ›

26 August 1967: The Beatles renounce the use of drugs | The Beatles Bible.

What did Elvis think of Beatles? ›

Elvis told Nixon: “The Beatles had been a real force for anti-American spirit,” and also claimed, “The Beatles came to this country, made their money, and then returned to England where they promoted an anti-American theme.”

What did Frank Sinatra say about the Beatles? ›

Featured in the book George Harrison on George Harrison, a brutally honest quote from Sinatra reads: “I thought the Beatles would die in New York. I was very surprised by the reception they got. I guess I was wrong.”

What was the biggest Beatles controversy? ›

In 1966, John Lennon entangled The Beatles in what was likely their biggest controversy. In an interview, he spoke about the enduring quality of rock music versus religion. “Christianity will go,” he said, per Rolling Stone. “It will vanish and shrink.

What is the trippiest Beatles song? ›

'It's All Too Much' This George Harrison-penned tune is one of the band's most captivating works from the psychedelic era, and one of the Beatles' great lost songs.

Who gave the Beatles acid? ›

John Riley, a dentist acquaintance of John and Cynthia Lennon, George Harrison and his wife, Pattie Boyd. At a dinner party attended by Lennon and Harrison and their partners in March 1965, Riley had laced their coffee with LSD, providing the two Beatles with their first experience of the drug.

What was the first acid rock song? ›

The first mention of LSD on a rock record was the Gamblers' 1960 surf instrumental "LSD 25".

What does yellow submarine symbolize? ›

Writer and activist LeRoi Jones read the song as a reflection of white American society's exclusivity and removal from reality, saying, "The Beatles can sing 'We all live in a yellow submarine' because that is literally where they, and all their people (would like to), live.

What is the meaning of I am the walrus? ›

The meaning of “I Am The Walrus.”

Long story short, “I Am The Walrus” is nonsense. But it was designed to be so, and craftily at that. John Lennon wrote the majority of the song, and it was then officially credited to the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership.

Which Beatle wrote Yellow Submarine? ›

Who smoked the most out of the Beatles? ›

Ringo Starr

According to a story that's been recounted in multiple books, and most recently, on air with Conan O'Brien, he not only took the first hit, but smoked the entire first joint to himself, not knowing proper puff-puff-pass etiquette at the time. “We got high and laughed our asses off,” he told Conan in 2012.

Do any of the Beatles still smoke? ›

John was the only Beatle who never quit smoking. Shortly before his death, in a 1980 Playboy interview, John indicated that he wasn't too worried about cigarettes harming his health. He called himself a “macrobiotic,” referring to the macrobiotic fad diet that was based on a yin/yang approach to eating.

What is the rarest Beatles? ›

The White Album First Pressing

The four band members were each given one of the first four pressings of the album, and Ringo Starr's copy recently came to auction and dispelled rumors that John Lennon was given the very first copy; instead, it sold for an astronomical and record-breaking $790,000.

Did George Harrison do psychedelics? ›

Along with Beatles bandmate John Lennon and their wives, George Harrison first took the hallucinogenic drug Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in April 1965, when a dentist friend slipped it into their after-dinner coffee.

Which Beatle died of a drug overdose? ›

On August 27, 1967, Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, was found dead of an accidental drug overdose.

Which Beatle went to jail? ›

It was 42 years ago Sunday (January 16th, 1980) that Paul McCartney was arrested in Tokyo, Japan for bringing 7.7 ounces of marijuana into the country.

Why was John Lennon disappointed when he met Elvis? ›

Harris goes on to state that despite being a fan of Elvis' music, Lennon was disappointed when meeting 'The King of Rock and Roll', as he believed him to be a "right-wing southern bigot".

Did Elvis ever meet The Beatles? ›

A secretive meeting between the Fab Four and the King. On August 27, 1965, a turning point in pop culture occurred at 525 Perugia Way in Bel Air, California, one that few knew about while it was taking place: the meeting between the four Beatles and Elvis Presley, in Elvis's home.

What did Elvis think of Led Zeppelin? ›

The group were huge Elvis admirers and three members (Plant, Page and Bonham) gladly accepted along with their infamous manager, Peter Grant. Although not a big fan of hard rock, Elvis knew who Zeppelin were and was amused that his young step-brother, Ricky, was so excited to hear that they'd be in the audience.

What did Mick Jagger say about the Beatles? ›

Mick Jagger dismisses The Beatles as "a pop band"

I mean they were sweet and all that, but we were a blues band. "We played blues and we played in clubs and we didn't play ballrooms and we just played in clubs and we played blues… we didn't play that kind of music, pop music. "We didn't play like… what was it?

What did David Bowie say about the Beatles? ›

Looking back on their influence and album sales, Bowie opined: “Bands like the Beatles (who) were so extremely large in terms of what they sold and the influence they had” clearly had an impact back then but, actually, that “very little of their influence is actually felt now.”

What did Eric Clapton think of the Beatles? ›

The slickness of the group on-stage took Clapton aback, and he admitted that ever before seeing them live, he “was very, very suspicious about what they were up to.” However, Clapton had to admit he was the one in the wrong and reevaluated his opinion.

Who was The Beatles worst enemy and why? ›

It's easy to see why those two extremely popular British bands were pitted against each other, but when it came to innovations in the songwriting, arrangements, and production of pop music in the 1960s, The Beatles' greatest rivals were The Beach Boys.

What song by The Beatles was banned? ›

Of the four Beatles songs that have been banned over the years (including 'A Day in the Life' for references to suicide, 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' for implied drug use, 'Back in the USSR' as part of the bizarre Gulf War ban), the prohibition of 'I Am the Walrus' might be the weirdest.

Who is the least favorite Beatle? ›

Despite being the favorite of one in four, Lennon is also the least favorite Beatle of nearly half (49%) of people who say they are "not a fan" of at least one of the band members.

What was the most aggressive Beatles song? ›

Helter Skelter” was released in 1968 on the second disc of The Beatles' White Album. More than 50 years later, the song has retained its aura of malevolence. Its infamy stems from its association with the cult leader Charles Manson, who claimed to hear prophetic messages in the lyrics.

Which Beatles song is most complex? ›

The List: The most difficult Beatles songs to recreate in concert
  • “It's All Too Much”
  • A simple song on paper: two chords with a drone. ...
  • “Within You Without You”
  • Complex instrumentation and time signatures abound on this one. ...
  • “Please Please Me”
Dec 27, 2017

Which of the Beatles smoked? ›

Yes, all four Beatles smoked. John Lennon smoked until the day he was murdered in 1980 at age 40. George Harrison died as a result lung cancer caused by smoking at age 58 in 2001.

Who famously turned down The Beatles? ›

He is historically presented in popular music history as the man who did not sign The Beatles. In Brian Epstein's 1964 autobiography, Rowe is quoted as having rejected them with the words: "Guitar groups are on their way out, Mr. Epstein", although he denied ever having said this.

Who was the first Beatle to quit? ›

For half a century, Paul McCartney was the man who "split The Beatles". When he announced the release of his first, self-titled solo album in April 1970, the world was shocked to hear that the Fab Four were no more. But, he maintains to this day, he was not the one who quit - it was John Lennon.

Who was the glue of The Beatles? ›

The class clown of The Beatles, Ringo Starr, was the glue that held the group together, not just with his effortless timekeeping as a percussion virtuoso but also in their bond of friendship.

Who is the king of acid rock? ›

In 1968, Life magazine referred to the Doors as the "kings of acid rock". Other bands credited with creating or laying the foundation for acid rock include garage rock bands such as the 13th Floor Elevators and Count Five.

Who started acid music? ›

"Acid Tracks" by Phuture: The music group Phuture pioneered the acid house sound with their 1987 song, "Acid Tracks.” Chicago DJ Ron Hardy debuted the song informally on live playlists until it got a formal release on vinyl via Larry Sherman's seminal Chicago label, Trax Records.

Why is acid called acid music? ›

The acid style was obtained largely through Roland instruments, most prominently the TB-303 bass synthesizer. The term Acid specifically refers to the harsh "acidic" squelching sound of the Roland 303.

What drug is Yellow Submarine slang for? ›

The Drug Innuendo Theory – In the summer of 1966, a popular drug had been released in New York: Nembutal capsules which were large, elongated, bluntly-rounded, and yellow – thus acquiring the nickname “Yellow Submarines.” But McCartney – who had no problem admitting that he used marijuana and enjoyed it – resisted the ...

Why did the Beatles break up? ›

Creative differences, money problems and a certain band member's girlfriend have all been used to explain the split.

Did Ringo write any Beatles songs? ›

Ringo has never aspired to be a principal songwriter. For The Beatles he has two sole writing credits: Don't Pass Me By and Octopus's Garden.

What is the meaning of egg man? ›

eggman (plural eggmen) A man who delivers eggs.

What does Goo Goo G Joob mean? ›

According to Beatles lore, "goo goo ga joob" are "the last words uttered by Humpty Dumpty before his fall." This was a popular notion among the conspiracy theorists who were convinced that Paul McCartney had died in a mysterious accident and looked for clues to his demise in Beatles lyrics.

What does coo coo ca choo mean? ›

'Coo coo ka choo' was used in Simon and Garfunkel's 1968 song “Mrs. Robinson". The phrase was used in the 60s and 70s as a way of saying 'all good' or 'everything is okay'. It was also said by the character Crush in Finding Nemo, and in That 70's Show by a stoned character. It's pretty common in hippy culture.

Which Beatle wrote Sgt Pepper? ›

Which Lennon song was a nostalgic look back to Liverpool? ›

Like "Penny Lane", which Paul McCartney wrote in late 1966 in response to Lennon's new song, "Strawberry Fields Forever" conveys nostalgia for the Beatles' early years in Liverpool. While both songs refer to actual locations, McCartney said that the two pieces also had strong surrealistic and psychedelic overtones.

What did the Beatles think of Yellow Submarine? ›

When they actually saw the film, they all liked it. Both John and Paul belatedly expressed disappointment that they hadn't been more actively involved. There was only one issue. They all liked the voices that were done for the other Beatles caricatures but none of them cared for the one for their own.

What substance was banned by the Harrison Act? ›

The Harrison Narcotics Act made it harder to get opium without a prescription from a registered medical professional. New, specially-trained employees enforced the law. In 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act, which created the Prohibition Unit within the Treasury Department.

When did George Harrison have his tonsils removed? ›

What happened next? George had his tonsils out a week after the rooftop concert, and was laid up for about another week. George breaks up with his tonsils, February 1969. Photo appears in his autobiography, I Me Mine.

When did George Harrison know he was dying? ›

George Harrison announced in July 2001 that he was being treated for a brain tumour. By November that year, he was told by doctors that he did not have long to live. The Beatles singer died on November 29, 2001.

Was John Lennon psychedelic? ›

He was also known for his experimentation with psychedelic drugs, which he used to further explore his creative abilities. Lennon was an advocate for the use of psychedelics, and his experience with these powerful substances was documented in his songs, interviews and writings.

Is Yellow Submarine about drugs? ›

A rumor claimed The Beatles' “Yellow Submarine” was about a certain drug. This rumor was false. Despite this, there were two reasons why fans thought the tune referenced an illicit substance. In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul discussed The Beatles' relationship to illicit substances.

What did John Lennon think of George Harrison? ›

What Did John Lennon Think Of George Harrison's Music? Lennon spoke about George's best songs later in an interview with David Sheff: “One of George's best songs.” In addition to that, this is one of his favorites. There's no doubt about it. His mind is clear, and the music he produces is clear as well.

Which president passed the Controlled Substances Act? ›

The CSA was enacted by the 91st United States Congress and signed by President Richard Nixon into law in 1970. This statute was an effort to combine all previous federal drug laws and allow for federal law enforcement of controlled substances, serving as the legal foundation in the federal fight against drug abuse.

What drugs were used in the 70s? ›

In the mid to late-1970s disco club scene, there was a thriving drug subculture, particularly for drugs that would enhance the experience of dancing to the loud dance music and the flashing lights on the dancefloor. Substances such as cocaine (nicknamed "blow"), amyl nitrite ("poppers"), and Quaaludes.

What did the Boggs Act of 1951 do? ›

The Boggs Act of 1951 amended the Narcotic Drugs Import and Export Act and set mandatory sentences for drug convictions. A first offense conviction for marijuana possession carried a minimum sentence of 2 to 10 years and a fine of up to $20,000.

What was George Harrison's last word? ›

Passing away at Sir Paul McCartney's American home, George Harrison had wife Olivia Harrison by his side until the end. According to those present, his final words were: “Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.”

Why did doctors stop removing tonsils? ›

Why? Dr. DeMarino says that, “There are fewer tonsillectomies due to skepticism in the medical community over its usefulness in infection control and more stringent guidelines.”

Why did doctors remove tonsils? ›

A tonsillectomy was once a common procedure to treat infection and inflammation of the tonsils (tonsillitis). Today, a tonsillectomy is usually performed for sleep-disordered breathing but may still be a treatment when tonsillitis occurs frequently or doesn't respond to other treatments.

What did Paul McCartney say when George Harrison died? ›

We will miss George for his sense of love, his sense of music and his sense of laughter." Yoko Ono: "George has given so much to us in his lifetime and he contiues to do so even after his passing with his music, his wit and his wisdom. His life was magical and we felt we had shared a little bit of it by knowing him.

What was John Lennon's last words? ›

Although their intimate conversations remained private, Paul's wife Linda McCartney once revealed John Lennon's last words to his former band mate. As Ultimate Classic Rock reveal, they were: “Think about me every now and then, old friend.”

Who inherited George Harrison's money? ›

At the age of 58, George Harrison passed away after battles with lung and brain cancer. He left a will directing his estate to his wife, Olivia, and his son, Dhani. Olivia was appointed as executor. There was no will contest—no allegation of fiduciary misconduct.

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