Watch And Discover Why Paul McCartney Was Arrested In Japan In 1980
via pierluigi stivala/YouTube
In The End, There Were No Charges Filed
Paul McCartney arrived at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport on January 16, 1980 and it marked his first time in Japan in over a decade – the last time was during The Beatles’ tour in 1966. His original plan was to embark on an 11-city concert tour with Wings. Unfortunately for him, he spent nine days in the Tokyo Narcotics Detention Center after he was caught with almost half a pound of marijuana in his possession. Customs officials found it in his baggage.
As inmate no. 22, he was regularly interrogated but while there, he decided to become a model prisoner instead by being the first one up when the light goes on etc. The amount of cannabis he was caught with was large enough to charge him with smuggling which could land him a seven-year prison sentence. McCartney assured the authorities it was all for personal consumption.
But on January 25, 1980, the former Beatle was quickly released and deported with zero charges filed. His scheduled concerts were all canceled and since more than 100,000 tickets were sold, they lost around 100 million yen.
In a 2004 interview, McCartney recalled that as they were flying to Japan, he knew he “wouldn’t be able to get anything to smoke over there”. Besides, he thought the “stuff was too good to flush down the toilet, so I thought I’d take it with me.” Not his most clever decision, for sure.