If veteran rabble-rousing, uber-networking, visionary (“Blacklisted”) journalist Al Aronowitz’s lifetime of achievements should be remembered for but one solitary event, may I posit it be for what he managed to pull off in the immediate hours following The Beatles’ concert debut at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, New York, one dreamy midsummer 1964’s night.
For it was within mere minutes after the final shrieks of and around “Long Tall Sally” wafted skyward that our story begins, with the Fab Four safely ensconced back upon the sixth floor of Manhattan’s Hotel Delmonico. Somehow, into that inner sanctum high atop the Beatle-manic corner of Park and 59th, was snuck none other than Bob Dylan, a bottle of cheap wine, and a fateful envelope’s worth of herbal libation.
Ladies and gentlemen, life as we knew it was about to abruptly cut from stark black and white to rich, fully-dimensional stereophonic day-glo from that momentous moment hence.
It seems Bob, misreading a certain “I Want To Hold Your Hand” refrain as “I get high” as opposed to “I can’t hide,” had been convinced to confront those four lyrical Liverpudlians he’d previously dismissed with that cruelest of epithets: “Bubblegum!” In the process, to break the trans-oceanic ice as it were, he decided to introduce his fabulous new pals to the hitherto non-rockin’ accoutrement known as, yep, marijuana.