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Daily History

March 12 1969 London Police Drug Raid On George Harrison


On March 12th 1969, the London drug squad appeared at house of George Harrison and Pattie Boyd with a warrant and drug-sniffing canines. Boyd immediately used the direct hotline to Beatles headquarters, and George returned to find his home turned upside down. He is reported to have told the officers “You needn’t have turned the whole bloody place upside down. All you had to do was ask me and I would have shown you where I keep everything.”

Without his assistance, the constables, including Sergeant Pilcher who had directed the drug-related arrest of John Lennon the previous year, had already found a considerable amount of hashish. Harrison and Boyd were arrested and as they were being escorted to the police station, a photographer began shooting pictures of the famous couple. Harrison chased after the photographer, with the cops trailing right behind him down the London street. Finally, the man dropped his camera and George stomped on it before the officers subdued him.

Harrison and his model wife, who missed Paul and Linda McCartney’s wedding that same day because of the arrest, were released on bail. A few weeks later, Harrison and Boyd were allowed to plead guilty. Despite the rather prodigious amount of hash recovered from their home, the authorities were satisfied that it was all for their personal use. They were fined 250 pounds each, and even had a confiscated pipe returned to them. Ten years later, Boyd married guitarist Eric Clapton and Harrison sang and played at their wedding.

Sergeant Pilcher, the man behind the raid, was convicted of planting drugs in other cases and went to jail in 1972.

George Harrison died in November 2001 after a struggle with cancer.

About Craig Hill

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Discussion

10 thoughts on “March 12 1969 London Police Drug Raid On George Harrison

  1. Come on craig, rockstars don’t do drugs. Great story, didn’t know that happened. Rather funny.

    Posted by Nate | March 12, 2012, 01:23
    • A little suspect it was on Paul McCartney’s wedding day. One could almost be forgiven for thinking the timing was deliberate and malicious…

      Posted by Craig Hill | March 12, 2012, 08:07
  2. Crap coppers give the real deal a bad name – every time.

    Posted by eideard | March 12, 2012, 02:54
  3. Hi,
    You hear so many stories of police raiding someone home and turning it upside down. I have seen a few pictures of the aftermath in a newspaper a couple of years ago, and really I think in a lot of cases there was no need to make the mess that they do, without any care for that persons belongings.
    I didn’t know about this arrest, he did get off lightly.

    Posted by magsx2 | March 12, 2012, 04:38
  4. Ha! cool reply, all you had to do was ask!!! Great posting, great writing, compelling!

    Posted by pennylibertygbow | March 12, 2012, 06:31
  5. So…whatever happened to Boyd and Clapton? I should know this but get marriages mixed up.

    Posted by Brook | March 12, 2012, 10:49
  6. loved the fact that george “chased after the photographer, with the cops following him . . . then stomped on the mans camera” dude, why didn’t the cops “protect” the “journalist”? my how times have changed . . or have they? nice post!

    Posted by wsj2day | March 12, 2012, 16:58
  7. I am still wondering why would they return his pipe. 🙂

    Posted by mulrickillion | March 14, 2012, 20:35

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