The Beatles 'responsible for recreational drug use increase'
THE Beatles were responsible for a worldwide increase in recreational drug use which continues to harm young people, Russia's top anti-narcotics official has claimed.
Yevgeny Bryun told a press conference in Moscow that the consequences of the Fab Four's propaganda in the 1960s were still being felt.
"After The Beatles went to expand their consciousness in India ashrams, they introduced that idea – the changing of one's psychic state of mind using drugs – to the population," he said. "When business understood that you could trade on that – on pleasure and goods associated with pleasure – that's probably where it all began." Mr Bryun said tough measures were needed to combat mass culture and advertising which promoted drug use today.
The Beatles experimented with various narcotics and Sir Paul McCartney admitted in 2004 that much of their music was "informed" by drugs. He said the song "Got To Get You Into My Life" was "about pot" while "Day Tripper" was about acid. "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" famously referred to LSD.
Beatles music was banned as an iniquitous western intrusion in the Soviet Union, when the state record manufacturer Melodiya said "musicians such as these, who have plunged to the depth of musical decline, do not deserve a place on Soviet records".
However, Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, is a fan of the group and met Sir Paul when he performed "Back in the USSR" and other tunes on Red Square in 2003.
Mr Putin told the singer then that his music had been "like a gulp of freedom" for Soviet youngsters.