The Beatles Legend’s Heroin Addiction Revealed: ‘A Big Shocker’


Writer Kenneth Womach described The Beatles icon John Lennon’s heroin use in a new Salon article.

“Lennon’s addiction left his bandmates in a state of alarm. By the advent of the Get Back sessions, Ono openly joked about taking heroin being the couple’s form of exercise.”

McCartney said according to the report:

“The two of them were on heroin,” said McCartney, “and this was a fairly big shocker for us because we all thought we were far-out boys, but we kind of understood that we’d never get quite that far out.”

The article also states:

Lennon later claimed that the couple’s addiction developed in the wake of a hashish raid on his Montagu Square flat by Detective-Sergeant Norman Pilcher’s notorious drugs squad. Lennon attributed Ono’s mid-November 1968 miscarriage to the raid’s aftermath, later remarking that “we were in real pain” after the loss of their baby.

Yet at other times, he would attribute his flirtation with heroin to his bandmates’ refusal to accept Ono as their equal, claiming that they began to snort heroin “because of what the Beatles and their pals did to us.”

But in truth, Lennon’s experimentation with the drug had begun much earlier—most likely, during Ono’s summer 1968 exhibition at the Robert Fraser Gallery. “I never injected,” he liked to say. “Just sniffing, you know.”

But as journalist and Lennon confidant Ray Connolly observed, Lennon “rarely did anything he liked by halves. Before long, heroin would become a problem for him.”