James Taylor Said He Was A “Bad Influence” To The Beatles
via The Late Show with Stephen Colbert/YouTube
Mostly To John Lennon
After The Beatles founded Apple Records in 1968, one of the first artists they signed to their label was James Taylor. He sent a demo to talent scout Peter Asher – Jane Asher’s brother who was Paul McCartney’s then-girlfriend. In early 1968, Taylor flew all the way to London to audition with George Harrison and Paul McCartney. At the time, he’d already been addicted to heroin for a couple of years.
Recalling his performance of “Something in the Way She Moves,” he told The Guardian: “I was very nervous. But I was also, you know, on fire. In my sort of mellow, sensitive way.”
They immediately signed him to work on his eponymous debut LP and he often saw The Beatles in the studio because they were busy recording their White Album too. He would even hang out with them. Back then, Taylor had easy access to heroine and opiates especially since they were rather cheap in London. He said, “You used to be able to buy something called Collis Browne’s Chlorodyne, which was an old-fashioned medication. Essentially, it was a tincture of opium, so you’d drink a couple of bottles and you could take the edge off.”
He then added, “Well, I was a bad influence to be around the Beatles at that time, too. Because I gave John opiates.”
Asked whether he was the one who introduced opiates to Lennon, he admitted that he doesn’t know. A year later, Taylor checked into a rehab facility.