The Beatles and their connection with the drug culture is always going to be a reference point that the legendary band will carry with them until the end of time. Through their experiences with marijuana and LSD, plus John Lennon’s battles with heroin addiction, The Beatles were no strangers to illicit substances.
But the Fab Four’s relationship with drugs was mostly recreational. Apart from Lennon’s heroin habit and the band’s use of amphetamines to continue on their hectic schedule, the dalliances with stimulants and synthetics were largely in parties and social gatherings. Even beyond their Beatles years, none of the members were above hanging loose and breaking out a bit of hash from time to time.
That’s what comedian Martin Short learned when he got the opportunity to meet George Harrison. During a 2019 appearance on Conan, Short explained that of all the famous people he had met over his career, he was most excited to befriend Harrison.
“It was 1990, and this fabulous Hollywood couple that I won’t reveal their names phoned me up and said, ‘We’re having a dinner party. How would you like to meet a Beatle?'” Short recalled. “And then George walked in, and he looked exactly like George Harrison. I mean it was perfect, and he looked so fabulous. At one point he said, ‘Does anyone want to hear my new Wilburys album?'”.
After listening to the second Traveling Wilburys album with Harrison singing lyrics directly to him, Short thought that life couldn’t get any better. That was until the party adjourned to a screening room where The Hunt for Red October was being shown. Harrison sat right next to Short when the director made a proclamation.
“My director friend said, ‘Does anyone mind if I smoke a doobie?'” Martin experienced a conundrum when the joint was passed to him. “And then it’s passed to me, and I take a little puff, and then I think, ‘Ooh, do I pass it to George? Will I offend him? Will the Maharishi Mehesh Yogi be mad at me? Is it a thing not to do?’ I thought, ‘Aw, to hell with it. Just pass it to George Harrison’.
“And he took it, and went, ‘Ah, the sixties.’ Then he took a puff, and then he started talking really loudly. Way too loud for a screening. He was talking to me, and at one point he said, ‘You know I can’t watch Sean Connery. Because it’s like watching a Beatle: he’s too famous.'”
Martin ends his story by getting shushed and playfully calling Harrison an asshole. From that point on, Martin always got to brag that he got high with a Beatle, something most of us could only dream of.
See the clip, below.