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Author Topic: Did drugs change Johns personality ?  (Read 3692 times)

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nimrod

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Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« on: September 10, 2012, 12:02:46 AM »

When I read this by Geoff Emerick I cant help feeling that his personality was changed during 1967, in a way like Syd Barret (Pink Floyd) and Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac) but to a lesser degree

Geoff Emerick on the making of Lucy in the Sky: John’s “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” (which also ended up being banned by the BBC because the title words spelled “LSD”) was up next, and it soon became one of my favorite tracks on the album. It was actually done very quickly- including rehearsal, it took only three nights to complete. By this point the four Beatles were starting to get a little fed up with being stuck in the studio. After all, they’d been there for nearly five months and it wasn’t the dead of winter, the weather was starting to brighten, so they were probably starting to get itchy. I know I was
By now it was evident that John’s personality was changing. Instead of being opinionated about everything, he was becoming complacent; in fact, he seemed quite content to have someone else do his thinking for him, even when he was working on one of his own songs. By the spring of 1967, he was becoming increasingly disengaged, and that would more or less continue until the end of the Beatles career. No doubt Paul was aware of the situation, and he was seizing the opportunity to step in and expand his role within the band.
That manifested itself down in the studio as they worked on this song, with John’s lead vocal getting less aggressive and more dreamy with each successive take. That might have been a reflection of what he was smoking behind the screens, but Paul was clearly steering him in that direction, too. We had decided to route George Harrison’s guitar through the Leslie speaker during the choruses, and because that reminded John of the Dalia Lennon vocal effect from “Tomorrow Never Knows”, Mal was duly dispatched to see if he could find a rope so John could try out his theory, that you could get the same effect by swinging around a microphone suspended by a rope. From the wink that Mal gave me when he returned some hours later, empty handed, I suspect that he had spent the evening in the pub instead. He knew how absurd, and potentially dangerous, the request was, and he probably guessed that John would have forgotten all about it by the time he got back, which, of course, is exactly what happened.”
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Dcazz

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2012, 01:17:20 PM »

When I read this by Geoff Emerick I cant help feeling that his personality was changed during 1967, in a way like Syd Barret (Pink Floyd) and Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac) but to a lesser degree

Geoff Emerick on the making of Lucy in the Sky: John’s “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” (which also ended up being banned by the BBC because the title words spelled “LSD”) was up next, and it soon became one of my favorite tracks on the album. It was actually done very quickly- including rehearsal, it took only three nights to complete. By this point the four Beatles were starting to get a little fed up with being stuck in the studio. After all, they’d been there for nearly five months and it wasn’t the dead of winter, the weather was starting to brighten, so they were probably starting to get itchy. I know I was
By now it was evident that John’s personality was changing. Instead of being opinionated about everything, he was becoming complacent; in fact, he seemed quite content to have someone else do his thinking for him, even when he was working on one of his own songs. By the spring of 1967, he was becoming increasingly disengaged, and that would more or less continue until the end of the Beatles career. No doubt Paul was aware of the situation, and he was seizing the opportunity to step in and expand his role within the band.
That manifested itself down in the studio as they worked on this song, with John’s lead vocal getting less aggressive and more dreamy with each successive take. That might have been a reflection of what he was smoking behind the screens, but Paul was clearly steering him in that direction, too. We had decided to route George Harrison’s guitar through the Leslie speaker during the choruses, and because that reminded John of the Dalia Lennon vocal effect from “Tomorrow Never Knows”, Mal was duly dispatched to see if he could find a rope so John could try out his theory, that you could get the same effect by swinging around a microphone suspended by a rope. From the wink that Mal gave me when he returned some hours later, empty handed, I suspect that he had spent the evening in the pub instead. He knew how absurd, and potentially dangerous, the request was, and he probably guessed that John would have forgotten all about it by the time he got back, which, of course, is exactly what happened.”

I tend to agree with this. In one of my books somewhere, the author describes John's desent into his drug induced lethargy similar to his 1966 title "I'm Only Sleeping" to 1968's "I'm So Tired"! I can't imagine doing the amount of drugs that John did wouldn't have some side effects over a few years. In 1968 when Yoko and he were routinely sniffing heroin it got much worse however Yoko's avant garde style probably shook off John's Beatle boredom for a while and reinvigorated his creative mind which carried over to his musical creativity.
There's a film of John and Yoko being interviewed during the Rock and Roll Circus production about what he meant about his song "Revolution". He could barely respond to the questions and probably could have cared less at that point.
In Pauls case, I'm sure he would rather have had John back to his old self but being a competitive perfectionist dove in to make the Beatle projects as good as he could despite the "stuff" going on around him (them). If it looks like the Beatle lineups were in his favor I'm sure they were.
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Snoopy66

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2012, 01:06:06 PM »

I tend to agree with this. In one of my books somewhere, the author describes John's desent into his drug induced lethargy similar to his 1966 title "I'm Only Sleeping" to 1968's "I'm So Tired"! I can't imagine doing the amount of drugs that John did wouldn't have some side effects over a few years. In 1968 when Yoko and he were routinely sniffing heroin it got much worse however Yoko's avant garde style probably shook off John's Beatle boredom for a while and reinvigorated his creative mind which carried over to his musical creativity.
There's a film of John and Yoko being interviewed during the Rock and Roll Circus production about what he meant about his song "Revolution". He could barely respond to the questions and probably could have cared less at that point.
I also tend to agree with this statement (although I'm not a fan of Geoff Emerick's book)... unfortunately, as I don't think the amount of drugs changed John's personality positively. They made him more passive and less interested in the band. Of course it got worse when he met Yoko and sniffed heroin. No wonder that Paul took the opportunity then to lead the band, which was not only due to Brian's death. I can't blame him for that; someone had to push the Beatles further.

Still, the positve effect are those beautiful psychedelic songs with John's dreamy voice like SFF, Lucy in the Sky, Across the Universe etc.

Snoopy
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Dcazz

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2012, 02:46:29 PM »

I also tend to agree with this statement (although I'm not a fan of Geoff Emerick's book)... unfortunately, as I don't think the amount of drugs changed John's personality positively. They made him more passive and less interested in the band. Of course it got worse when he met Yoko and sniffed heroin. No wonder that Paul took the opportunity then to lead the band, which was not only due to Brian's death. I can't blame him for that; someone had to push the Beatles further.

Still, the positve effect are those beautiful psychedelic songs with John's dreamy voice like SFF, Lucy in the Sky, Across the Universe etc.

Snoopy
I agree. He never lost his creativity, just the drive in which he went after it. A couple of authors have described him as a "next big thing" kind of guy so he must get bored easily. Example, moptop, movie star, dream weaver, religious seeker, revolutionary, New Yorker, parent! Drug induced lethargy was probably a symptom of his disallusionment with superstardom and the vehicle (Beatles) that got him there.
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nimrod

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2012, 12:19:23 AM »

It does explain a lot

I wached a prog about Pink Floyd recently and Syd Barratts girlfriend rang Roger waters (in 1969) and said 'Im worried, Syd's been tripping on LSD every day for 3 weeks" next time he saw Syd he was a different person who had lost all his previous sparkle and his eyes were kinda like 'black holes in the sky'
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Yeshelloitsmehereagain

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2012, 01:50:25 AM »

I believe that drugs change you. John had a pretty f***ed up whirlwind life during his 40 years.

That's about it really.
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Ovi

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 09:32:53 AM »

It does explain a lot

I wached a prog about Pink Floyd recently and Syd Barratts girlfriend rang Roger waters (in 1969) and said 'Im worried, Syd's been tripping on LSD every day for 3 weeks" next time he saw Syd he was a different person who had lost all his previous sparkle and his eyes were kinda like 'black holes in the sky'

Well, Syd has his problems. It's not that simple really. You don't just take LSD and suddenly go insane. Many people did it, and few ended up like Syd, Brian Wilson or Skip Spence etc.
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Snoopy66

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 11:29:07 AM »

You don't just take LSD and suddenly go insane. Many people did it, and few ended up like Syd, Brian Wilson or Skip Spence etc.
I absolutely agree with this statement. They were not the only one who took LSD. We know about those rock-stars because they were/are famous, but it doesn't have to apply automatically to everyone who took LSD.

Snoopy
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Snoopy66

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2012, 11:35:38 AM »

He never lost his creativity, just the drive in which he went after it. A couple of authors have described him as a "next big thing" kind of guy so he must get bored easily. Example, moptop, movie star, dream weaver, religious seeker, revolutionary, New Yorker, parent! Drug induced lethargy was probably a symptom of his disallusionment with superstardom and the vehicle (Beatles) that got him there.
Yeah, John never lost his creativity. While taking LSD it just took another form, a kind of psychedelic one.

As you say, John was the kind of artist who got easily bored and was always searching for "something" new. He started to take LSD when the Beatles were on the peak of their popularity; probably because he got bored of the screaming fans, concerts etc.

Snoopy
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nimrod

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 01:02:36 PM »

I absolutely agree with this statement. They were not the only one who took LSD. We know about those rock-stars because they were/are famous, but it doesn't have to apply automatically to everyone who took LSD.

Snoopy

of course not, no'one suggested that, I took LSD myself with no after effects, but some heavy users paid the price it seems
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tkitna

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2012, 01:14:29 AM »

You don't just take LSD and suddenly go insane. Many people did it, and few ended up like Syd, Brian Wilson or Skip Spence etc.

My wife and I knew somebody who did. When we got married and moved into a little house, the neighbors across the street always had some guy walking around in a daze, looking lost and staring at trees and stuff. I asked somebody what his deal was and they said he dropped some acid when he was about 16 and lost it. The guy was in his late 30's living with mom and dad with an IQ of about 4. Seriously messed up. He just lost all means to operate. I know its not the norm, but something went wrong with this guy.

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2012, 04:08:16 AM »

Quote from: tkitna
Seriously messed up. He just lost all means to operate. I know its not the norm, but something went wrong with this guy.

I've read that it just depends on a person's brain chemistry. With the wrong balance LSD can really lead to disaster.
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Dcazz

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2012, 02:39:48 AM »

The CIA used it to break down willpower and resistance before and during interogation. Sounds like it did the trick on John all by himself.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 11:39:48 AM by Dcazz »
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RICKENBACKER325

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2012, 04:30:15 AM »

Now I don't claim to know a lot about LSD as it was one of the few drugs I never tried 30 years ago that along with coke, crack, heroine or any other street or "designer" drugs. What I do know it seems acid did have a mental effect a lot of the artists back then. Most notably Brian and Dennis Wilson, Peter Green, Syd Barrett causing severe mental issues after multiple trips and on the following artists , but long term will never be know as they never made it out of their early to mid twenties dying from drug over doses Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Graham Parsons, Janis Joplin and many others from back then. Also seemingly John too, but not to the point of say Brian Wilson, but it did seem to alter his personality some. The weaker pysche, the more pronounced the permanent effect was.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 12:10:46 AM by RICKENBACKER325 »
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BeatlesAtTheirBest

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2012, 02:20:14 PM »



All drugs (alcohol included) permanately alter your personality and perspective on life.

John was addicted to taking lots of drugs for his entire adult life.

His personality reflects that.



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nimrod

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2012, 11:09:43 PM »

The CIA used it to break down willpower and resistance before and during interogation. Sounds like it did the trick on John all by himself.

Yeah after reading Fred Seamans book Im solidly behind this reasoning. I mean who the hell knows how much of that book is the truth, but even if 20% of it is fact then John was indeed a sad f***er, couldnt decide what to wear, what image to adopt, hooked on cigs & caffiene, and pretty much regarded Yoko as his mother, very sad for a guy who was a leader..

I remember george saying in an interview 'if you were soldiers, John was the guy who would lead the charge and you would naturally follow him'
what happened to that guy ?
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Dcazz

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2012, 11:06:47 AM »

I think one of Yoko's nicknames was "Mother" and the song Julia was about both of them. I think John had lots of problems and by his own addmission he'd had "thousands" of trips, something had to give. His needs seem to have regressed back to what he missed out on or went through (sort of) as a kid. Being an creative person probably saved his life but not all of his pshyc came out alive.
If you extrapolate further his "retirement" from 1975-1980 could have been a neccessary ulitimate symptom of his psyc retreat after his "long weekend" in LA. which was IMHO the lowpoint in his descent that started years before.
John's ability to reinvent himself always seemed to pick him up and keep him going, this time as a dad and husband ,etc... 5 years later he was back.
An interesting article in Readers Digest a few years ago, detailed a chance meeting a woman had with John and Yoko riding bikes at a Christian Compoud in Japan before his death. She said he seemed very happy, open and approachable. Maybe he finally found what he needed was right in front of him all the time.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 03:17:10 PM by Dcazz »
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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2012, 04:44:17 PM »

I think drugs massively changed John Lennon but  so did becoming so incredibly rich and famous and acclaimed. I've always felt the end was so messy beccause John had become unhappy on account of his heroin addiction. I'm convinced if he hadn't have got on that stuff things would have been much different even to the extent they mightn't have split up at all. I think heroin made John incredibly irritable and testy which was the prime factor in the bands demise. Without heroin John would have been more room in his life for The Beatles and to maybe want to keep the band together more.
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nimrod

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2012, 11:36:26 PM »

I put it down to LSD more than Heroin, I think LSD can change a personality as it has done with Barrett, Green etc

We'll never know for sure though..
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fabfour

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Re: Did drugs change Johns personality ?
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2012, 10:11:14 AM »

When I read this by Geoff Emerick I cant help feeling that his personality was changed during 1967, in a way like Syd Barret (Pink Floyd) and Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac) but to a lesser degree

Geoff Emerick on the making of Lucy in the Sky: John’s “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” (which also ended up being banned by the BBC because the title words spelled “LSD”) was up next, and it soon became one of my favorite tracks on the album. It was actually done very quickly- including rehearsal, it took only three nights to complete. By this point the four Beatles were starting to get a little fed up with being stuck in the studio. After all, they’d been there for nearly five months and it wasn’t the dead of winter, the weather was starting to brighten, so they were probably starting to get itchy. I know I was
By now it was evident that John’s personality was changing. Instead of being opinionated about everything, he was becoming complacent; in fact, he seemed quite content to have someone else do his thinking for him, even when he was working on one of his own songs. By the spring of 1967, he was becoming increasingly disengaged, and that would more or less continue until the end of the Beatles career. No doubt Paul was aware of the situation, and he was seizing the opportunity to step in and expand his role within the band.
That manifested itself down in the studio as they worked on this song, with John’s lead vocal getting less aggressive and more dreamy with each successive take. That might have been a reflection of what he was smoking behind the screens, but Paul was clearly steering him in that direction, too. We had decided to route George Harrison’s guitar through the Leslie speaker during the choruses, and because that reminded John of the Dalia Lennon vocal effect from “Tomorrow Never Knows”, Mal was duly dispatched to see if he could find a rope so John could try out his theory, that you could get the same effect by swinging around a microphone suspended by a rope. From the wink that Mal gave me when he returned some hours later, empty handed, I suspect that he had spent the evening in the pub instead. He knew how absurd, and potentially dangerous, the request was, and he probably guessed that John would have forgotten all about it by the time he got back, which, of course, is exactly what happened.”


I hope that this a plausible reason for John turning into a bit of wacko....No Beatle changed more than John
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