Beatles and Bob Dylan: What happened in ‘dramatic meeting’ between Beatles and Bob Dylan?
The Beatles met some of their idols during the height of their career in the 1960s. Among these were Elvis Presley, and also Bob Dylan, though of course he was up and coming at the time. So what happened when The Beatles and Bob Dylan met?
According to Mark Ellen, the co-founder of Mojo and Q magazines, spoke out about the historic meeting, but said while it was a “game-changer,” it was not quite as “dramatic” as many would have thought.
According to The Guardian it was on August 28, 1964, when the two groups met, after they were introduced by a mutual friend and journalist Al Aronowitz.
The two mega musos met in a room in the Delmonico hotel at Park Avenue and 59th in New York City.
According to legend, this was allegedly when the Liverpudlian rockstars smoked marijuana for the first time, with Sir Ringo Star “going first,” as he told US TV host Conan O’Brien, and ignoring the etiquette of sharing his joint with the group.
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Instead, according to The Guardian, he “chugged through” the joint quickly and soon was giggling, while Brian Epstein, the band’s manager, was reported as saying: “I’m so high I’m up on the ceiling.”
As well as this, Sir Paul McCartney was reported as having instructed roadie Mal Evans to write everything down he said, as he believed he was having some strong epiphanies.
Bob Dylan was reported answering the hotel phone, shouting: “This is Beatlemania here!”
Later, Sir Paul said of the incident, as reported in This Day in Music: “Till then we’d been hard scotch and Coke men.”
Sir Ringo told Conan that Bob was not the supplier, but after the band had smoked they “laughed our a***s off” for the rest of the evening.
Mark said of the meeting: “The meeting was a game-changer but it wasn’t the instant dramatic meeting of superpowers that people imagine.”
In contrast, however, Al thought the moment was revolutionary in rock history, proclaiming in his book Bob Dyland and the Beatles: “Until the advent of rap, pop music remained largely derivative of that night at the Delmonico.
“That meeting didn’t just change pop music – it changed the times.”
In Mark’s reading of the incident, The Beatles were gaining such fame they would have likely preferred the anonymity of Bob’s life, while he was vying for the fame they enjoyed.
He suggests the changes which came in The Beatles’ later music, which saw them focus on more experimental and personal themes, would have come anyway, regardless of the eye-opening experience of meeting Bob.
Mark said: “These changes were probably going to happen anyway.
“And the Beatles and Dylan were eventually going to meet because they had to meet, just as the Beatles had to meet Elvis eventually.
“They were the biggest things on the planet at the time.”
Given the trajectory of both of their work after this point, clearly they did influence each other, however they arguably did not spend too much time in each other’s company.
It certainly opened the Liverpudlians’ minds in terms of recreational drugs, and they were known for experimentation with LSD in their later life.
In 1973, Sir Paul was fined £100 ($170) for growing cannabis at his farm in Campbeltown, Scotland.
However, speaking about that incident, Sir Paul claimed some fans gave the seeds to him and he didn’t know what they would grow.
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