Paul McCartney meets with Allen Ginsberg

Saturday, July 15, 1967
Timeline More from year 1967
7 Cavendish Avenue, St John’s Wood, London, UK

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On July 15, 1967, Barry Miles introduced American poet and writer Allen Ginsberg to Paul McCartney at Cavendish Avenue. During the visit, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull happened to be present. Jagger then invited Ginsberg to the Rolling Stones’ recording session on July 19, 1967, where they worked on the songs “We Love You” and “Dandelion.” Paul McCartney and John Lennon were also in attendance and provided backing vocals to the tracks.

I remember him coming round to my house with his harmonium and sitting cross-legged, giving us a little prayer or two. He was charming. The big thing I remember him for was his poetry and his harmonium, his chanting and his singing.

Paul McCartney – From “Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now” by Barry Miles, 1997

They discussed LSD, and Paul told Allen that the Beat Generation and the local eccentrics on the streets of
Liverpool had a lot in common. Mick had been reading Eliphas Levi and for an hour they compared Eastern mysticism and Western ritual magic. It was a typical sixties Cavendish Avenue discussion. As they talked, Paul idly opened some of the parcels that fans had sent him. There was always a sack or two of fan mail waiting in the hall sent over by the fan club in case he felt like browsing through it. In one package there was a red satin shirt and he found some coloured marker pens and began drawing psychedelic paisley patterns on it. When it came time to go, Paul gave the shirt to Allen, saying, ‘A present from Swinging London.’ Though it was rather too small for him, Allen nevertheless wore it to the Legalise Pot Rally in Hyde Park the next day.

From “Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now” by Barry Miles, 1997

Evening with Paul McCartney, and several evenings with Mick Jagger of the Stones — we plan to make a side of Hari Krishna together for next Stones album — what beautiful Karma! Spent one nite watching Jagger, Lennon and McCartney composing “Dandelion Fly” hairy new record at studio. Looked like 3 graces w/ beads and Persian shirts. They’re all turned on and dig the Diggers and new Fresh Planet. McCartney – “We re all one.” They got out of their fame paranoia this year — treated me like familiar holy phantom and all turned on yaketing about high soul – chanted prajnaparamita to all, and all understood already — beautiful blue skies in London. […]

I’m making big TV British poetry conversation chanting scenes wearing bright red satin shirt hand painted by McCartney — color TV — Hari Om Namo Shivai. Maretta [Greer] here.

Allen Ginsberg – From “The letters of Allen Ginsberg“, 2008
From The Beatles History (, July 16, 1967 – Allen Ginsberg at a marijuana legalization event in Hyde Park wearing a shirt given to him the day before by Paul McCartney, photo by Robert Whitaker.

In the living room Paul had a large-scale wooden model of the meditation chapel that he was having built at the end of his garden. It was a glass geodesic dome, like a transparent igloo. A circular platform could be made to rise up into the dome so you were completely surrounded by the glass. It was a perfect place to lie and look at the stars or sit and meditate. Paul took Allen for a walk in the garden to see where it was going to be built. “Build it out of wood,’ Allen advised him. ‘You might want to take it down one day.’

From “Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now” by Barry Miles, 1997

It was a bit too late by then, they were bringing the concrete and the bricks the next day. But I now tell that story because I think it was quite a wise thought. It hadn’t occurred to me then that I might want to take it down. The funny thing is that now it’s got Groucho Marx’s circular bed in it and my kids suspect my motives. I say, ‘It was a meditation dome, I promise you.’ They say, ‘Yeah, Dad. Sure! So why has it got a great big round bed in it?’ And I tell them, well, that’s there because Alice Cooper came to see it, when it was a meditation dome, as part of the tour round the house. And he said, ‘I’ve got just the bed for this in LA.’ I said, ‘What you talking about?’ He said, “Groucho Marx gave me a round bed that was his, and this is the place for it. And of course it fits exactly. It’s changed the vibe of the whole thing; it’s not easy to meditate on a big Hollywood bed, you feel more like getting laid!

Paul McCartney – From “Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now” by Barry Miles, 1997

Groucho came to visit me at my old house one night but I didn’t have any furniture and he refused to sit on the floor. The next day he sent me a round bed that he had slept in for five years. ‘I never had any luck in it. Maybe you will,’ the note read. Some time later Groucho and I decided to give the bed to Paul and Linda McCartney as an anniversary present. We sent it them in London, with a big brass plaque on the head board that says, ‘May all your stains be large ones. From Groucho and Alice.’

Alice Cooper – From “Me, Alice: The Autobiography of Alice Cooper“, 1976

The story below is about a fan who was invited to Paul’s home in July 1967, likely on July 15, as the story mentions that Mick Jagger and Beat poet Allen Ginsberg were present.

From The Daily Advertiser (, August 21, 2014:

When you’re young, the most unlikely things can happen. Just ask Ann Savoy about the time she hung out with Paul McCartney. Yes, that one — “Sir Paul” to most of us now, back then a Liverpool lad who rocked the planet with his band before Wings.

This week, Savoy, a Eunice-based musical performer, producer and historian, posted evidence of their meeting as the cover photo on her Facebook page. She put it there not knowing that this happens to be International Beatleweek, a festival unofficially launched last Thursday by McCartney’s concert at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, site of the Beatles’ final concert in the United States.

When I was young, I was living with my mother and sister in Switzerland,” Savoy said in a phone interview. “We took a trip to London.” “I was,” she noted, “very interested in the Beatles.” So was almost every teen girl in the developed world as the band prepared to release its sitar-infused album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in mid-1967, three years into Beatlemania. Here’s how Savoy said she, at 15, got past the cordon of celebrity.

I was with my friend Jonathan Bragdon” — then in his early 20s, now a world-renowned visual artist — “and I said, ‘Let’s go see Paul McCartney.’ ” Her idea was to pass by his home in London. Savoy’s friend wanted to push it further.

We went up to St. John’s Wood where he was living. My friend said, ‘I really want to talk to Paul about the influence of Indian music on his work.’ It so happened that McCartney’s brother Mike was driving through the gate,” Savoy said. “So Jonathan wrote a note to Paul, handed him the note and Mike drove in. And the next thing we knew, (Paul) came out and said, ‘Come on in.’ We hung out for hours, talking about the influence of Indian music,” Savoy said, sounding surprised 47 years later that any of this had happened. “He said he was so happy we were there.

But wait — there’s more. “There was a knock on the door and Mick Jagger came in.

Turns out that the Rolling Stones’ frontman had just been released from jail after his first arrest. Somebody had tipped off the police about drug use at a party he had attended.

He was shaken up so much,” Savoy recalled. Jagger and McCartney talked while their young guests were in the room.

After awhile, she remembered, “Paul said, ‘We’re having a party in a couple of nights. Wanna come?’

Here I am, a total innocent,” Savoy said. Her friend Jonathan Bragdon said, “‘Sure!’” Because Bragdon was a trusted family friend, Savoy’s mother allowed him to chaperone. “My mother couldn’t believe it, either,” she recalled, “but she let me go.

The guest list included Jagger, his muse at the time, Marianne Faithfull — wearing a Girl Guide Brownie uniform — Beat poet Alan Ginsberg and the big white dog McCartney name-checked in “Martha, My Dear.”

Savoy described the tone as mellow and congenial with good food and conversation. “The people were quite gentlemanly,” she said. “They weren’t acting like bad boys — they were holding out chairs for the ladies. I just couldn’t believe that. I was one of ’em. The thing was, it was very unbelievable.

But she had proof that it had happened — the photo Mike McCartney took at her friend Jonathan’s suggestion. It ended up in her high school newspaper.

Since Savoy’s memento of what she calls her “once-in-a-lifetime weird little moment” surfaced on Facebook, “I’ve gotten so many comments on it,” she said.

During the years in between — when she moved to Louisiana, married accordion master Marc Savoy, reared four children including Grammy winners Joel and Wilson, and produced well-reviewed albums including “Evangeline Made” and “Creole Bred” — she’s taken some big lessons from that little moment.

The whole thing inspired me on every level. When I produced those (recording) projects with rock stars, I wasn’t intimidated. At that extremely impressionable age, to be invited into such an incredible situation, made me realize that anything can happen,” Ann Savoy said, adding, “Be prepared for it.

From The Daily Advertiser (, August 21, 2014
From Ann Savoy on Facebook (photo retouched) – Photo by Mike McCartney, Mick Jagger in the background reading the newspaper

Last updated on April 3, 2024

Going further

The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years

"With greatly expanded text, this is the most revealing and frank personal 30-year chronicle of the group ever written. Insider Barry Miles covers the Beatles story from childhood to the break-up of the group."

We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!

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