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Didn’t Pepper coincide with your cocaine period?
That’s true yeah. I did coke for about a year around that time. Coke and maybe some grass to balance it out. I was never completely crazy with cocaine. At first it seemed, OK, like anything that’s new and stimulating. When you start working your way through it, you start thinking, ‘’mmm, this is not so cool an idea,’’ especially when you start getting those come-downs. But, around the time of Pepper, we were all into one thing or another. We would sneak stuff into the studio, and we had to hide it from George Martin. George, bless him, was such a gentleman, so we´d never do anything like that in front of him. It was only later that we told him that some of the later albums had been drug-influenced. He had no idea. […]
There’s a wonderful evocative story about how The Beatles finishes Pepper and took the just-completed tapes over to Mama Cass’ flat in Chelsea, plating the album at the top volume just as dawn was breaking so that the entire neighborhood woke up to it.
It’s a dim recollection but I think that’s true, yeah. The weekend we finished the album is bit of a blur. I just remember that we all felt so exhilarated. Pepper had taken six months to make – longer than any other album. When we first heard it back, we knew we’d pulled it off. We’d made something a little bit special something that would blow people’s minds. It was mind-blowing for us. To us, it wasn’t so much that it was a great album musically. It was more that it was an anthem for our generation. It was an album that marked the times and summed up the times. As it turned out., Pepper led the times as much as it marked the times. To get the grips with it, you had to spend time with it. It was influential in lots of ways, and not just musically. Suddenly, music writers had to find new ways to respond because, suddenly they weren’t dealing with Perry Como or whatever.