Despite their “nice guy” image, The Beatles were tormented by inner demons that fueled stormy love lives marked by violence against women, drugs, wife-swapping, romps with hookers and gay trysts.
From the very beginning, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were notorious for womanizing and sexually swinging their way through the 1960s. But most of their shocking sexploits and outrageously kinky romps were kept under wraps.
“If we couldn’t get groupies, we would have whores and everything, whatever was going,” John later recalled. “When we hit town, we hit it…crawling about in Amsterdam on my knees, whorehouses and things like that.
“The police escorted me to the places because they never wanted a big scandal!”
The Fab Four’s sizzling secrets included John’s wife-beating and reported homosexual romp, Paul’s marathon session with a Hollywood hooker and Harrison’s cheating with Ringo’s spouse!
Violent temper While John became known for his peace symbols and spouting “All You Need is Love,” he was a heavy boozer with a violent dark side. He’d hit his first wife Cynthia, whom he wed in 1962 after she became pregnant with his son Julian, now a 50-year-old rocker.
He also beat second wife Yoko Ono and other women. “I used to be physically cruel to my woman and any woman,” he later admitted. “I was a hitter. I couldn’t express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women.”
Ironically, he believed his violence went hand in hand with his songs about love and peace. “That’s why I am always about peace,” he explained. “it is the most violent people who go for love and peace. Everything the opposite.”
While booze may have initially helped fuel his abuse of women, Lennon remained violent even after Bob Dylan turned the Beatles on to marijuana when he met the group in Manhattan’s Hotel Delmonico.
“Dylan wondered if the Beatles smoked marijuana and was surprised to learn they had little experience with the drug,” says a source. “He had pot with him and offered to share. The band stuffed wet towels at the bottom of their room’s doors, so the drug’s pungent odor wouldn’t be detected.”
The dope had a huge effect on the group’s music.
“McCartney told the road manager he had found the meaning of life,” says the source. “ ‘till then,’ McCartney recalled later, ‘we’d been hard Scotch-and-Coke men.’ Marijuana would have a bearing on how they heard and made sounds and conveyed ideas.”
But even the peace drug couldn’t quell John’s violent temper. He attacked British DJ Bob Wooler, who touched a nerve asking about John’s gay romp with the Beatles’ homosexual manager Brian Epstein during a holiday in Barcelona, Spain.
When Wooler needled him saying, “Come on, John, tell me about you and Brian – we all know,” Lennon exploded in a fury and attacked the radio star, punching and kicking him furiously.
“I don’t know why he did it,” said Wooler, who suffered a black eye and bruised ribs. “I was booted in the face. I begged him to stop.” Later, John hinted at being a closet homosexual when explaining the violence, by saying, “I must have been frightened of the f*g in me to get so angry.”
His widow, Yoko Ono, also underscored John’s attraction to men. Lennon told her, “Do you know why I like you? Because you look like a bloke (man) in drag.”
Certainly, John admitted Epstein’s gay lifestyle fascinated him. “He was my first experience with a homosexual that I was conscious was a homosexual,” Lennon explained. “We used to sit in a cafe in Torremolinos (Spain) looking at all the boys.”
Just two weeks after son Julian was born, John went on a Spanish holiday with Epstein. “It was almost a love affair, but not quite,” Lennon later said, adding, “it was a pretty intense relationship.”
Inn fact, Lennon’s childhood friend Pete Shotton confirms the Beatle was intimate with Epstein, who was smitten with the star. Later, Paul theorized John was playing band politics by cozying up to their manager. “John was a smart cookie,” says Paul.
“Brian was gay, and John saw his opportunity to impress upon Mr. Epstein who was the boss of the group. I think that was why he went on holiday with Brian. He wanted Brian to know whom he should listen to.”
Paul, now 71 and wed to third wife Nancy Shevell, was no wallflower when it came to kinky sex. In 1968, while John was openly cavorting with Yoko, Paul was checked into a three-bedroom bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel with record executive Ron Kass, who witnessed the antics.
”Paul installed a white Hollywood starlet in one bedroom and a well-known black hooker in another.” Kass, who was in the third bedroom, recalls Paul spending the entire weekend bouncing from one gal’s bed to the other. Kass says McCartney was having his own “Ebony and Ivory” sex marathon.
Amazingly, the only time the musician took a break was to sign for room service delivery of food and booze, said Kass. The fun and frolic ended when the phone rang. it was Linda Eastman, whom Paul had recently met, announcing she had just flown to California for a surprise visit.
When she added that she was calling from the hotel lobby, Paul quickly chased out his playmates and invited Linda to the suite, recalled Kass. Linda would be the love of playboy Paul’s life. They had four children and were married from 1969 until her tragic death from cancer on April 17, 1998.
But even marriage didn’t stop the Beatles and their mates from scandalous sex-swapping romps. Harrison had wed Pattie Boyd in 1966, but by the early 1970s, she felt lost in the shuffle of all of the Beatles’ activity.
Hoping to rekindle her marriage with George, Pattie flirted with guitarist Eric Clapton. Her plan backfired when she ended up falling for Clapton, and eventually left George for the “Layla” singer.
Meanwhile, when he and Pattie were visiting Ringo and his wife Maureen, George blurted out that he was in love with Maureen. Soon after, George and Maureen plunged into a steamy affair. When Lennon learned about it, he went ballistic, calling the romance between George and a band mate’s wife “virtual incest.”
Yoko says the wife-swapping filled John with a paranoid jealousy that made him a control freak in their marriage. “People said I followed him to the men’s room, but he made me go with him,” she says. “He thought that if he left me alone with the other Beatles – even for a minute – I might go off with one of them.”