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August 28: Dylan Visits the Beatles

August 28, 2013
tumblr_mn4g9mTQwn1r7bg6wo1_500Woodstock writer Al Aronowitz brought his friend Bob Dylan to New York’s Hotel Delmonico on this date in 1964 to visit the Beatles, who had just finished playing at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium (and, that day, made their first appearance on the cover of Life magazine). Here’s the description of the event from Robert Fontenot, curator of “Today in Oldies Music History”: “John Lennon asks the folk singer what he’d like to drink, and Dylan replies simply, ‘cheap wine.’ The Beatles offer Dylan their drug of choice, speed, but Al and Bob instead suggest marijuana, which the band had never tried. This shocks Dylan, who ventures that he always thought the band sang ‘I get high’ in their song ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand.’ John corrects him, telling him that the phrase is, in fact, ‘I can’t hide.’ John makes Ringo smoke the joint first, and eventually each member of the band gets his own private marijuana cigarette. Paul, in particular, is quite taken with the thoughts it produces, ordering Mal Evans to follow him around with a notepad and take down all his pronouncements.” To see Paul, George, and Ringo talking about Bob Dylan, look below. “They were fantastic singers. Lennon, to this day, it’s hard to find a better singer than Lennon was, or than McCartney was and still is . . . .George got stuck with being the Beatle that had to fight to get songs on records because of Lennon and McCartney. Well, who wouldn’t get stuck?” —Bob Dylan