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John Lennon’s First (Surprise) LSD Trip Gets Animated

The story of The Beatles album Revolver has a very innocuous origin—one that begins with some friends having a cup of coffee after a nice dinner. It gets slightly less innocuous when you learn that the coffee was unknowingly served to them with sugar cubes laced with LSD.

The year was 1965, and it was the first time John Lennon and George Harrison ever took LSD. Lennon told the story to Rolling Stone in 1971, which they have now animated, set to Lennon’s own telling of that trippy night.

We came across this wonderful short at LaughingSquid, and it involved Lennon and his wife Cynthia (along with Harrison and his wife Pattie) having dinner at the London home of their friend and dentist, John Riley. Riley insisted they have (and finish) a cup of coffee after dinner, which he then admitted was laced with the hallucinogenic drug. (Riley apparently claimed both men said previously they would use LSD if they didn’t know they were about to try it.)

In the story the four unsuspecting diners left against Riley’s recommendation, and then went on a journey full of terror and giggling, one that (they thought) involved them getting on to a burning elevator, a wild thousand mile per hour drive (at roughly 10 miles-per-hour), a night club with very, very long tables, all ending with Lennon “driving” Harrison’s apartment like it was a giant submarine.

So how did this all lead to Revolver? That’s the fantastic story told by Mikal Gilmore at Rolling Stone, one that tells how Lennon and Harrison began seeing the world in a whole new way after their first time with the drug, and how they then tried to get Ringo Starr and a very reluctant Paul McCartney to use it too.

There’s a lot more that went into making the album, but at it’s core Revolver, one of the band’s best and most important works, started like so many other stories, over a cup of coffee among friends–with some secret LSD involved.

Where does this rank among your favorite Beatles stories? Take a trip to the comments below to tell us yours.

Images: Rolling Stone

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