Do you believe "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" was intentionally about LSD?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Mike Bass, Aug 26, 2015.

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  1. Mike Bass

    Mike Bass Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    NY
    "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" is obviously influenced by LSD, as that was the choice drug, of the Beatles at the time. What I'm curious about is, do you believe it was John's main intention to write this song, promoting the use of the drug? He was a very real/honest person, and admitted to several of his other song being about drugs, and defended those that were misinterpreted, including this one, with a "coincidental acronym". What are your thoughts? His explanation, about being influenced by Julian's painting seems genuine to me, yet many still think he's lying...

     
  2. petem1966

    petem1966 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    I believe the painting story and I also believe they didn't make the LSD/Lucy in Sky with Diamonds connection, but the song itself is absolutely acid infused--you could probably get a contact by just touching the grooves on the record. But I do believe him in the clip above.
     
  3. GreenFuz

    GreenFuz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Yes, very much.

    "Lucy In The Sky" seems as much intended as instructions for the tripper as "Tomorrow Never Knows," only the emphasis is on imagery. The opening "Picture your self on a boat" parallels "Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream."

    I think of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" as a companion or sequel to "Tomorrow Never Knows."
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
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  4. guppy270

    guppy270 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown, NY
    I believe John that it was based on the painting, and that it was a painting of Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds......but I do that that they realized the initials before the album came out, and in that acid-fueled winter of 1966/67 probably chalked it up to a great cosmic coincidence. I just think John didn't admit to that part :)
     
  5. theMess

    theMess Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kent, UK
    I don't believe that the song title refers to 'LSD', or else John would have said as such. I believe that he was inspired to write a song by his Son's painting, and he used his experiences with LSD to make a psychedelic classic.
     
  6. dumangl

    dumangl Senior Member

    Was "If U Seek Amy" a sexual innuendo?

    Only a Beatle (or maybe a Byrd) could spout such a line of utter BS and have people actually believe it. Not that I blame him. Druggy songs were very popular at the time and also prone to being banned from the radio. John Lennon probably didn't consider that he was lying to his fans. He was just making an excuse to confuse the censors and couldn't imagine that some fans would actually believe him.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
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  7. GV1967

    GV1967 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeastern US
    Nope. Just as the poll choice suggests, he would have admitted it.
     
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  8. Mainline461

    Mainline461 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tamiami Trail
    It was such an obvious reference to LSD that I feel he was too embarrassed to say it was. He strived to be more stealth in his references, on this one he wasn't. IMO
     
  9. Zack

    Zack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Easton, MD
    Julian was, what, four at the time? Sounds pretty elaborate for someone of that age. This is it, apparently now owned by one David Gilmour.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. guppy270

    guppy270 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown, NY
    Now, Jimi Hendrix' "Stars That Play with Laughing Sam's Dice" is a different matter... ;P
     
  11. Rne

    Rne Sufferin' succotash!

    Location:
    Malaver
    Well, teh song it's beautifully psychedelic all over, it might be about hallucigenic trips, but I do believe in John's explanation about Julian's drawing.
     
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  12. petem1966

    petem1966 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Well, a four year old that was raised in a house that was likely full of pot smoke most of his early life...
     
  13. jeatleboe

    jeatleboe Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY
    I'd bet Cynthia Lennon did not go for that sort of thing. And John was off with The Beatles on tour.
     
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  14. empirelvr

    empirelvr "Give me the chocolate, and nobody gets hurt!"

    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    And yet the painting exists, and "Lucy" herself was very real and passed away a few years ago.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Mus...the.sky.with.diamonds/index.html?iref=24hours

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbi...young-girl-inspired-classic-Beatles-song.html

    Even Julian in interviews has affirmed what John always said about the origins of the song.
     
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  15. Rne

    Rne Sufferin' succotash!

    Location:
    Malaver
    I've got to admit, though, that it's a pretty elaborate drawing for a 4-year-old kid.
     
  16. dumangl

    dumangl Senior Member

    I could give any one of my children or grandchildren a title and they would happily paint anything I wanted them to.
     
  17. PlushFieldHarpy

    PlushFieldHarpy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Indiana
    It's a very subversive album. Hidden initials spelling LSD does not seem out of place. Also a lot of celebrities think its their prerogative to make things up as it suits them.
    I think John was in the midst of being hounded by the gov't during the period of that interview. It's not like admitting to such things would help his case.
     
  18. jeatleboe

    jeatleboe Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY
    Just curious -- are you into conspiracy theories?
     
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  19. empirelvr

    empirelvr "Give me the chocolate, and nobody gets hurt!"

    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    True, but look at the parents! John, aside from his musical accomplishments drew and painted and his mother was also a very talented artist. The deck was stacked that Julian would show some aptitude one way or another for the creative arts. So it doesn't surprise me that he would draw that well. It's in his DNA! :)
     
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  20. Chuckee

    Chuckee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Upstate, NY, USA
    Inspired somewhat by taking it, but not about.
     
  21. dumangl

    dumangl Senior Member

    No. That's one reason I don't believe John Lennon's hoax.
     
  22. jeatleboe

    jeatleboe Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY
    I think you may have it backwards.
     
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  23. longaway

    longaway Forum Resident

    Location:
    Charlotte, NC, USA
    I think he saw Julian's drawing of Lucy first. Like any parent with a small child, had to ask a few questions to understand the image, some of which were a bit leading.

    "Who's this?"

    "It's my friend, Lucy."

    "Okay. What's she doing?"

    "I don't know..."

    "Come on, Jul. You drew it. Is she swimming, maybe?"

    "No. She's flying!"

    "And these things? Are they supposed to be stars? They look a lot like diamonds."

    "Um, yes, Daddy! They're diamonds!"

    *mischievous smirk*

    "So it's Lucy, in the Sky, with Diamonds?"

    "Yeah. Yeah! You got it, Daddy, you got it!"

    *Julian hops around delighted*

    *John snickers to himself about the joke he just made. Thinks it might make for a cool song*


    As to why he'd never admit it, there are multiple reasons. First, John would never want to be seen as being that obvious. Second, he learned a bit from the "Bigger than Jesus" drama. Third, after that period, LSD just wasn't cool.
     
  24. AppleCorp3

    AppleCorp3 Forum Resident

    The title is most certainly derived from the child's painting. So if people want to draw a conclusion based on an acronym, that doesn't work.

    The imagery within the song seems acid influenced but it also doesn't seem that far flung from his poetry and other writings that were created well before he began taking hallucinogens.

    So no, I don't think it was specifically crafted as a drug reference but maybe some acid influence crept in. Penny Lane had some acidy moments too but I don't think Paul had started tripping yet...
     
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  25. Eh, who knows. This sort of "oooh, aren't we clever?" hidden drug referencing was common at the time, but I also tend to think that if it was a deliberate LSD reference then Lennon would've eventually said as much.

    EDIT: Longaway's theory-in-dialogue above sounds pretty good, and I'd bet something like that is what happened.
     
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