The Beatles never really were the squeaky-clean boy band many Americans embraced 50 years ago on their debut tour of the United States, but their continued sampling and open use of drugs throughout the 1960s led many to think they tarnished their decent boys-next-door image.
What is clear is that the foursome was fond of certain drugs for years before the famous 1964 trip brought them to Ed Sullivan’s studio in New York City and on stage at the Coliseum in Washington, D.C. — and that, after their splashy U.S. debut, they weren’t squeamish about trying some more. READ: John Lennon, Rebel Beatle Only the most iconoclast of cultural critics will blame the band for single-handedly making drug use cool. Even prominent members of today’s socially conservative movement say that they are lifelong fans who view the Beatles’ drug use in a historical context, though some critics contend that it had a lingering impact. Still, the debate continues: was their years-long trip around the substance smorgasbord a sign of the times, or did their dabbling inspire their fans to follow suit?
Photo Credit: (Mike Mitchell/Christie’s/AP)