Ruling the charts world over and wooing the crowds all over the Europe, 1964 was the year when The Beatles crossed the Atlantic and came to the USA. 28th Auguest 1964 was the date when they were introduced to perhaps the biggest cultural icon of the counter culture movement of 60s, Bob Dylan. As was the case with almost all the musicians of the decade and the era. Dylan wasn’t a person who would prophesize against drugs. The age of rock n roll, free sex, flower power and drugs that it was.
It was in that age of recreational drug usage that Bob Dylan introduced The Beatles to Marijuana. The first meeting of the two Towering figures of the music of 60s was in a hotel in New York where the Beatles were having their stay. The meeting was organized by a writer Al Aronowitz, a mutual friend. A suggestion by Bob Dylan about having a joint in the room which The Beatles’ were occupying sent the Fab Four into a tizzy as the realms of cannabis and the drugs henceforth had hitherto remained a domain unexplored by The Beatles. Getting to a stage where they did it in the toilet of Buckingham Palace in the ceremony to give them OBE is from here was made possible by Dylan.
Bob Dylan with that unquenchable spirit of introducing others to it (like all the stoners have) in that auspicious company of The Fab Four and himself rolled up a joint and passed it on to Lennon from where it went into the hands of Ringo Starr, who finished out the whole joint himself. And thus were born the roots of the beginning of Psychedelic music, a genre which many people worship. Help! The next album to come out of the Beatles studio wasn’t a psychedelic one as such, yet by the time of arrival of Rubber Soul, the influence was seen visibly in songs like Norwegian Woods.
Although it wasn’t until August of 1966, two years after that iconic meeting with Bob Dylan that Beatles came up with Revolver widely hailed as the one which heralded the psychedelic era. All of which attributed to change in recording styles, which changed the way music sounded.
The widespread influence of that single meeting makes it perhaps one of the most influential event in the history of rock (specially Psychedelic) music. The story can be compared to the events on that day in August 1953 when a young lad named Elvis Aaron Presley turned up at the Sun Studios.
As wiki puts it
At the end of the August tour they were introduced to Bob Dylan in New York at the instigation of journalist Al Aronowitz. Visiting the band in their hotel suite, Dylan introduced them to cannabis. They were seen as idolaters, not idealists.” Within six months of the meeting, “Lennon would be making records on which he openly imitated Dylan’s nasal drone, brittle strum, and introspective vocal persona.” Within a year, Dylan would “proceed, with the help of a five-piece group and a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, to shake the monkey of folk authenticity permanently off his back”; “the distinction between the folk and rock audiences would have nearly evaporated”; and The Beatles’ audience would be “showing signs of growing up”.