Paul McCartney and John Lennon were close friends who did many adventurous things together. McCartney was the more cautious of the two, while Lennon was open to experimenting with psychedelics and other trippy experiences. At one point in their friendship, Lennon wanted to have small holes drilled in his head, but McCartney talked him out of it.
Lennon was very open to new experiences that evoked psychedelic sensations. In an interview with GQ, Paul McCartney said John Lennon wanted to try trepanation, where a hole is drilled through the skull to the brain. While it is typically a medical procedure, people have expressed interest in voluntary trephination to increase mental capacity and well-being.
According to McCartney, Lennon told him about this trial, but McCartney was not interested in attending.
“John was a crazy cat,” McCartney said. “We’ve all read about it – you know, we’re in our 60s. The “old art of trepanning” that gave it a little validity, because old has to be good. And all you would have to do is just poke a small hole in your skull and it releases the pressure – well, that sounds very reasonable. ‘But look, John, give it a try and let me know how it goes.’”
While trepanning can be a safe procedure, there are risks associated with it. McCartney hesitated with the idea and said no, discouraging Lennon.
“Yes, but that’s the good thing about John and I – I’d say no. And he knew me well enough that when I said no, I meant no, and I’m not afraid to be uncool to say no,” McCartney told GQ. “And I wouldn’t go so far as to say, ‘You’re fucking crazy,’ because I didn’t have to say that. But no, I won’t trepan, thank you very much. It’s just not something I would like to do.”
To this day, McCartney isn’t sure if Lennon was serious about trepanation or not. McCartney thinks he was joking, but it was hard to know about Lennon as he suggested doing a lot of bizarre things.
“I do not believe that. I don’t think he really meant it,” McCartney said. “He said it, but he said all kinds of shit.”
After the Beatles split, Paul McCartney and John Lennon had a difficult relationship. However, the two were able to reconcile before Lennon’s death in 1980. McCartney told GQ he sometimes wonders what his relationship with Lennon would be like today and would like to tell him what a fan he is of his.
“Sometimes yes. I was very lucky because before he died we had a good relationship, so I think it would have gotten better and better as we matured,” McCartney said. “I could probably have told him now what a fan of his I am. Now I can tell everyone else, and I think I could have told him now. While I hinted at it when we were together, I never did said “Oh you’re freaking awesome man I’m such a fan of yours.” We only hinted at it. We were Liverpool guys and you don’t do that – you don’t compliment yourself. It’s just brought up that way.”
RELATED: The Beatles once called this Paul McCartney song the ‘worst track’ of all time