Friday, August 29, 2014

I can't hide....

Photo by Henry Grossman

This is a photo of Bob Dylan outside of the Delmonico Hotel on his way into the hotel to see the Beatles for the first time.   Is that That is Neil Aspinall in the photo?!

50 years ago Bob Dylan showed the Beatles how enjoyable it is to smoke pot.   It wasn't the first time the Fab 4 smoked the drug.   The first time was in 1960 when they were in Hamburg.   I think people get confused and think that the Beatles had NEVER smoked it until they met Bob Dylan because Brian Epstein said "We have never smoked it before."    But Brian, who wasn't with the Beatles in Hamburg, spoke for the entire group when he really was just speaking for himself.    The Beatles had smoked marijuana a few times and George says in the Anthology that they tried it and didn't feel any effects. 

But Bob Dylan did turn the Beatles onto the effects of the drug that night in the New York hotel room and it really changed the Beatles lives.    Once pot was introduced and became part of the Beatles lives,  their music began to change.   John, George and Paul all were arrested at some point in their lives for having marijuana.    It truly was a game changer for the Fab 4.

I am not a pot person.  I don't smoke it.   I don't enjoy being around people who are smoking it.   But everyone is free to make their own choices and what someone does on his or her own time is none of my business.

I do think it is funny some of the stuff that happened that night.
  • Ringo wouldn't pass the joint around (because he didn't know the  proper rules)
  • Brian kept saying that he was "so high I'm on the ceiling."
  • Paul having Mal follow him around with a pencil and paper so that he could write down everything he said
  • Ringo started to giggle and everyone was laughing at his giggling.

If you want to read a great re-telling of what happened by someone who was there.  Check out this page!


  1. I'd guess that's journalist and Bob- (soon to be Beatle-) pal Al Aronowitz between Neil and Dylan…

  2. Of course that's Neil Aspinall in the photo. That's also journalist Al Aronowitz between Neil and Bob. He introduced Dylan to the Beatles that night at the Delmonico. Al was a pioneer in rock journalism and wrote about the Beatles in 1964 for The Saturday Evening Post. He appeared many years ago (I believe in 2004) at the Chicago Fest For Beatles Fans but passed away a year later.

  3. Replies
    1. I was 99.99% sure that is Neil. That is why I put his name is the tags. It just seems like every time I am sure it is someone in a photo, I get corrected. I can't win either way.

    2. Hey Sara. You're as much an expert as anyone I know! The information you provide with each photo you post is invaluable! Sometimes the info may be short, but it's always spot on. And the longer posts that accompany many of your photos (often the stories behind those photos) are fascinating. Your photo blog is one of the best Beatles blogs online. In fact, there are only two Beatles-related sites that I visit every day: Steve Marinucci's Beatles News -- and "Meet The Beatles For Real"! Keep up the great work. You deserve untold kudos for all the work you do to entertain and enlighten Beatles fans!

    3. Thanks Mark! It is nice to hear from you (and see you at the Fest). I try my best to have the right information. Sometimes I am wrong...oh well. I Iike to think that we work on the information as a group. I will openly state that I am not a Neil Aspinell expert. I know very little about him. And the way the light was hitting him in this photo put a tiny bit of doubt in my mind. I always think it is better to ask than to just assume when I have a bit of doubt.

    4. Dear Sara !

      Thank you for your great work in bringing us the Beatles closer in a great way.

      Frederic Artner, Vienna

  4. You're just not an expert do not take it easy baby

    1. Dibo, I have to say emphatically, you are an uncouth imbecile.

      Just for the record: being a Beatles "Expert" is embarrassing. On the other hand, being a true fan (ala Sara!) is beautiful.

      Beatle experts are obnoxious and cloying. Being a true fan is not getting hung up anally on details and having fun with our common interest.

      Obviously she thought it was Neil........but I know what she's saying, it could be a person who looked like Neil (it's a weird photo), and so instead of being a "Beatle expert" (imagine getting your ego boost from being a "Beatle expert!") and emphatically saying it's Neil, she is talking to her fellow Beatlefriends/Beatlefans, throwing it out there to see what they all think. It's actually a very endearing quality!

      By the way, Dibo, since you can't barely write English coherently (the Beatles' own language!), you really should stick to the language of de Fatherland, and blogs of that ilk.


  5. Hey Sarah - I think you are doing a great job, don´t worry and don´t let it bring you down! :-)

  6. This photo was taken by Henry Grossman and published full page size in his book, Places I Remember - My Time With The Beatles. At the time Grossman was not yet an insider and was only allowed to take photographs outside the Delmonico Hotel where the Beatles were staying on tour. His blurry photos of the Beatles rushing into the hotel were useless for publication at the time. The following is an excerpt from Grossman’s chapter: [August 1964] The Delmonico Hotel New York -

    ...I lingered for a bit. I took a couple more photos of the crowd, who were staring even more intently at the hotel’s upper floors, now that The Beatles were actually inside. I was just about to call it a night when a young man that I recognized as The Beatles’ ever-present assistant darted out of the hotel. After scanning the faces in the crowd for a moment, he rushed to greet three people that had stepped forward from the mass of onlookers. Not knowing who these new arrival might be, I quickly positioned myself near the hotel entrance and snapped a single photo just before they entered the building. It was fairly dark out, so I couldn’t see who it was. It was the last photo I took that night.

    For more than forty years it never crossed my mind to see who those people were. To be honest, I forgot about the picture almost as soon as I took it. Whenever I looked at the contact sheet from that night nothing caught my eye. I’m not sure I ever printed a single picture from that roll.

    It wasn’t until work began on this book, more than four decades after I took the photo, that my editors made the discovery: “You won’t believe this, but that’s Bob Dylan!” I looked at the sheet. By God, it was Dylan. I had no idea. I had simply always overlooked that picture. But I could tell from the excitement of my editors that there was more to the story; this was a unique find. They explained to me why this was such an interesting shot.

    It so happens that this particular night, August 28, 1964, is legendary in the annals of rock history. It is the night The Beatles and Bob Dylan met for the first time. In addition, that evening has gained notoriety for what happened once Dylan and The Beatles were behind closed doors.

    (continued in next post)

  7. (continued from previous post)

    Rock journalist Al Aronowitz, who arranged the meeting and accompanied Dylan to the hotel, later wrote a detailed account of the visit, and The Beatles themselves confirmed the details over the years. It seems that Dylan had misheard some of the lyrics in the song “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. He was convinced The Beatles were singing “I get high!, and upon arriving at their hotel suggested they all light up. When it was explained that The Beatles didn’t , in fact, smoke pot, Dylan was incredulous. But, what about the song? “I get high! I get high!”? John pointed out that the actual lyrics were “I can’t hide! I can’t hide!”. The Beatles didn’t smoke pot, but Dylan promptly set about changing that. According to Aronowitz’ account, Dylan’s roadie, Victor Maymudes, produced joints for everyone, and the entire group – including The Beatles’ reserved manager, Brian Epstein – proceeded to get extremely high. “That was the first time that I’d really smoked marijuana,” sand Ringo many years later, “and I laughed and laughed and laughed.. It was fabulous.” Paul McCartney admitted, “We were kind of proud to have been introduced to pot by Dylan, that was rather a coup ... there was a certain status to it.”

    That evening is now seen as a turning point for the group. Dylan had been escorted into the hotel that night under the radar, and the meeting wasn’t mentioned in the press, nor were there any photos of the encounter. I now understood why my editors were so excited by this discovery. The last picture I took that night turned out to be the sole photographic document of this meeting. The Beatles themselves aren’t pictured, of course, but the other significant players are. On the right is wiry, bushy-haired Dylan himself. Next to him is Al Arononwitz, who arranged the encounter. The foreground is occupied by The Beatles assistant, a man I would soon come to know as Neil Aspinall. Just behind him is Victor Maymudes, Dylan’s tall, dark road manager, and the man reportedly carrying the contraband.

    It was a classic case of being at the right place at the right time. This photo had been sitting in my archive for over 40 years. I never even knew I had it.... - Henry Grossman

    1. Thank you thank you Lynn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!