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I am the Paulrus
Sep 08, 2006, 01:13 AM
Beatles' LSD Dentist Named

Friday September 8, 2006

http://au.launch.yahoo.com/060908/10/vnob.html

The identity of the dentist who first introduced The Beatles to has finally been revealed in a new book about the band.

'The Fab Four: The Gospel According To The Beatles' by Steve Turner claims the man referred to by the late George Harrison as "the wicked dentist", was John Riley, a distinguished professional with a practice in London's Harley Street.

Riley's identity has been shrouded since that fateful occurrence in 1965, but now, 20 years after his death, Turner has decided to life the lid on the sneaky dentist, who spiked the stars' coffees with the drug when they went to dinner with him. John Lennon's first wife Cynthia reportedly has still not forgiven him.

An insider says, "The book is significant as drugs went on to have a big effect on the band. When you go for dinner with your dentist, you don't imagine a professional man would do something like that."

wildewoman
Sep 08, 2006, 06:35 AM
I always wondered who that person was. What he did was incredibly vile. If I were Cynthia, I wouldn't have forgiven him either.

Lucy
Sep 08, 2006, 08:12 AM
I always found it rather amusing that all of them seemed to have forgotten his name!

It certainly was a very sneaky thing to have done. Could so easily have back-fired on him....imagine if he had stuffed up the dosage and he had killed them or something!

twovirgins
Sep 08, 2006, 11:05 AM
yes what a terrible thing to trip out people and not even tell them ! I know they were terrified and poor george was driving the mini home at like 2 miles a hour and cyn thought the elevator they rode in was on fire LSD is too powerful to dose someone unknowlingly that DR is a jerk and I hope he felt bad. altho I think John loved it .

Starshyne
Sep 09, 2006, 06:12 PM
The Beatles didn't forget his name. George says his name in the Beatles Anthology Director's Cut (bootleg version from 1993) but it was changed to protect the dentist I guess.

wildewoman
Sep 10, 2006, 07:49 AM
Protect him? The man was dead. Maybe they were afraid of being sued by his surviving family members for slander or something--but it wouldn't have been slander, since it was true.

After all, the Marquess of Queensbury was acquitted for calling Oscar Wilde "a so(m)domite." :-) 'Tain't libel or slander if it turns out to be true.

FrenziedFan
Sep 10, 2006, 10:10 AM
I would have been pissed off about it too! People were so open about drugs back then I bet he could have just offered it to them rather than sneak it into their coffee.

MacLen Walrus
Sep 11, 2006, 04:53 AM
I sympathize with Cynthia, because I had this very same thing done to me...
And it was at a time when I was taking it regularly; it was slipped to me and a friend in some candy. Whether we were using it at the time wasn't the point; it was still wrong to give it to us without our knowledge, because it is frightening if you don't know you have used it. :angry1:
Needless to say, we never went over to this person's house again! BTW, weren't the Beatles talking about this same fellow in "Dr. Robert?" I guess that was another alias.

I am the Paulrus
Sep 11, 2006, 10:47 AM
Revealed: Dentist who introduced Beatles to LSD

By Ian Herbert

Published: 09 September 2006

http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/music/news/article1431116.ece

Few of those many momentous nights enjoyed by the Beatles at the height of their fame were to have more profound consequences than one spent at an unprepossessing two-bedroom flat near London's Bayswater Place in April 1965.

It had been an inconsequential evening of socialising shared by George Harrison, John Lennon, their wives Cynthia Lennon and Patti Boyd and George's dentist, who had just drifted over their social horizon. Then the five, accompanied by the dentist's wife, adjourned from the small dining room to the lounge, where the dentist slipped LSD - a substance then as little known to the Beatles as to most in Britain - into their coffees.

The details of George and John's introduction to the sense-enhancing drug have, until now, remained one of the most enigmatic aspects of the band's history, despite 1,000 books on the subject, as has the name of the man described only as the "wicked dentist" by George in the one interview which relates a sense of the event for the Beatles Anthology. In a new book the music writer, Steve Turner, reveals the dentist to be John Riley, the son of a Metropolitan Police officer who, after training as a cosmetic dentist in Chicago, became a dentist to the stars.

It was the Beatles' first experience of the drug - one which made the small room of the flat in Strathearn Place "as big as the Albert Hall" according to Cynthia and gave George the impression that he was "falling in love" with everyone he met after later driving the group in his Mini to the Pickwick Club and Ad Lib, near Leicester Square.

The experience spawned the surreal lyrics of Help!, which went to number one in September 1965 with declarations such as "Now I find I've changed my mind, opened up the doors" (after Aldous Huxley's LSD-inspired Doors of Perception and "My independence seems to vanish in the haze." From the Revolver album to the acid-induced "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (LSD?) track on the Sgt Pepper album and later rows with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who disapproved of the substance, the experience shaped the band's destiny.

Turner's book, The Fab Four: The Gospel According To The Beatles (WJK Press, 14.99), discounts the much rehearsed tale that the dispenser of LSD that night was Victor Lownes, the legendary Playboy executive. By research through the Land Registry and dental registration documents, Turner has found Riley's Canadian ex-wife, Cyndy, living near Gibraltar in southern Spain. She, Boyd and Cynthia Lennon have enabled him to piece the story together.

Riley, it seems, was a south Londoner destined for life as an NHS dentist in north London, until heading to the Northwestern University dental school in the US and returning as one of Harley Street's few cosmetic dentists, whose clients also included Dudley Moore. His LSD supply was manufactured at a farmhouse in Wales and he administered it out of curiosity rather than an intent to "turn on" the band to drugs, Riley's wife has told Turner.

It is a matter of dispute whether he and the band had discussed the drug beforehand. "Patti [Boyd] said that the boys were unprepared for this and George told Melody Maker that he had never heard of it when [they took it]," said Turner.

"Yet Cyndy [Riley] says the band had talked about it but said they just wanted the experience to 'happen'." (This might explain why Riley was covert about slipping the dose.) The dentist's decision not to tell the boys what he was doing led to George's term of opprobrium for him. "We were innocent victims of the wicked dentist whom we'd met and had dinner with a few times," he says in the Anthology.

Riley's illicit action certainly went down badly with the band. Though his brush with the celebrities brought him a fleeting role in the film The Texican, all contact with him was severed after the LSD incident. He died in a car crash in Ireland in 1986. Cynthia Lennon evidently still hasn't forgiven him. "When you go for dinner with your dentist, you don't imagine a professional man would do something like that," she told Turner.

A little Help?

* 'HELP!' (1965)

Some see the song as the first LSD-induced Beatles single. Also an expression of the stress John Lennon felt at the band's rapid rise to fame

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody's help in any way
But now these days are gone and I'm not so self assured
[LSD brings an altered state; self-confidence goes]
Now I find I've changed my mind, Opened up the doors
[LSD changes the mind, as in Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception]
Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
[floating, in an LSD-induced haze]
Won't you please, please help me
[helplessness, loss of control]

Few of those many momentous nights enjoyed by the Beatles at the height of their fame were to have more profound consequences than one spent at an unprepossessing two-bedroom flat near London's Bayswater Place in April 1965.

It had been an inconsequential evening of socialising shared by George Harrison, John Lennon, their wives Cynthia Lennon and Patti Boyd and George's dentist, who had just drifted over their social horizon. Then the five, accompanied by the dentist's wife, adjourned from the small dining room to the lounge, where the dentist slipped LSD - a substance then as little known to the Beatles as to most in Britain - into their coffees.

The details of George and John's introduction to the sense-enhancing drug have, until now, remained one of the most enigmatic aspects of the band's history, despite 1,000 books on the subject, as has the name of the man described only as the "wicked dentist" by George in the one interview which relates a sense of the event for the Beatles Anthology. In a new book the music writer, Steve Turner, reveals the dentist to be John Riley, the son of a Metropolitan Police officer who, after training as a cosmetic dentist in Chicago, became a dentist to the stars.

It was the Beatles' first experience of the drug - one which made the small room of the flat in Strathearn Place "as big as the Albert Hall" according to Cynthia and gave George the impression that he was "falling in love" with everyone he met after later driving the group in his Mini to the Pickwick Club and Ad Lib, near Leicester Square.

The experience spawned the surreal lyrics of Help!, which went to number one in September 1965 with declarations such as "Now I find I've changed my mind, opened up the doors" (after Aldous Huxley's LSD-inspired Doors of Perception and "My independence seems to vanish in the haze." From the Revolver album to the acid-induced "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (LSD?) track on the Sgt Pepper album and later rows with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who disapproved of the substance, the experience shaped the band's destiny.

Turner's book, The Fab Four: The Gospel According To The Beatles (WJK Press, 14.99), discounts the much rehearsed tale that the dispenser of LSD that night was Victor Lownes, the legendary Playboy executive. By research through the Land Registry and dental registration documents, Turner has found Riley's Canadian ex-wife, Cyndy, living near Gibraltar in southern Spain. She, Boyd and Cynthia Lennon have enabled him to piece the story together.
Riley, it seems, was a south Londoner destined for life as an NHS dentist in north London, until heading to the Northwestern University dental school in the US and returning as one of Harley Street's few cosmetic dentists, whose clients also included Dudley Moore. His LSD supply was manufactured at a farmhouse in Wales and he administered it out of curiosity rather than an intent to "turn on" the band to drugs, Riley's wife has told Turner.

It is a matter of dispute whether he and the band had discussed the drug beforehand. "Patti [Boyd] said that the boys were unprepared for this and George told Melody Maker that he had never heard of it when [they took it]," said Turner.

"Yet Cyndy [Riley] says the band had talked about it but said they just wanted the experience to 'happen'." (This might explain why Riley was covert about slipping the dose.) The dentist's decision not to tell the boys what he was doing led to George's term of opprobrium for him. "We were innocent victims of the wicked dentist whom we'd met and had dinner with a few times," he says in the Anthology.

Riley's illicit action certainly went down badly with the band. Though his brush with the celebrities brought him a fleeting role in the film The Texican, all contact with him was severed after the LSD incident. He died in a car crash in Ireland in 1986. Cynthia Lennon evidently still hasn't forgiven him. "When you go for dinner with your dentist, you don't imagine a professional man would do something like that," she told Turner.

A little Help?

* 'HELP!' (1965)

Some see the song as the first LSD-induced Beatles single. Also an expression of the stress John Lennon felt at the band's rapid rise to fame

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody's help in any way
But now these days are gone and I'm not so self assured
[LSD brings an altered state; self-confidence goes]
Now I find I've changed my mind, Opened up the doors
[LSD changes the mind, as in Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception]
Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
[floating, in an LSD-induced haze]
Won't you please, please help me
[helplessness, loss of control]

I am the Paulrus
Sep 11, 2006, 11:01 AM
This reply from the John Lennon forum from someone who says they knew Dr. Riley and he says different on things:

http://www.johnlennonforum.com./viewtopic.php?id=8764

Hugh O'Neill says,"I knew Dr.John Riley and he told me the story of this dinner party himself. His version of events differs from the version that appears in this new book by Steve Turner. In short, John Riley did not spike the Beatles drink and he was very fortright in his recounting of this story to me. He told me that George Harrison 'had gotten the wrong end of the stick' regarding the events of that evening. I have not read this book but I believe that Steve Turner also claims that Dr.John Riley was somehow banished from the Beatles circle after this incident. This is also incorrect as I know Dr.Riley was providing dental treatment to a member of the group in 1969.

John Riley had been married 4 times and used to joke that he was searching for the personalised registration plate WED 4 for his motor car. He had strained relations with some of his ex-wives. And as for the suggestion that he was an 'LSD dentist' or that he went about spiking peoples drinks for fun .......well it does not fit with the John Riley that I knew. He enjoyed a large scotch and nothing more.

John was a very intelligent guy and a very kindhearted individual and it's sad to see the headlines that have appeared in some newspapers over the past few days such as 'wicked dentist' etc. Did anyone see John spike the coffee.....I can't imagine John even getting up to make the coffee as he was an 'old school' sort of guy."

lennonluvr9
Sep 12, 2006, 02:36 PM
You know, i just read that section in the book but i never made the connection that i didnt hear his name before!

pattiboyd's slave
Sep 13, 2006, 10:05 AM
The "stuff" my dentist gives me is ten times better than LSD. Tylenol & Codeine. :cross2:

Fluxus
Sep 13, 2006, 09:06 PM
I wanna know more about HIS WIFE based on George's description of her! ;-)