Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sgt. Pilchers Lonely Hearts Club Band

A Scotland Yard drug squad headed by Sergeant Pilcher- was determined to demolish the drug-using rock counterculture threatening to take over Britain in the late 60’s.
Pilcher's favorite marijuana-sniffing canine assisted the sergeant under the code name of Willie. He signed the pact by stamping his right front paw print on the document. The rationale behind the blueprint concocted was that rock stars were popular icons worshipped by the fans and were promoting drug use by the copycat effect. Willie did not get along with cats!

As a warm-up, the squad targeted the singer Donovan of ''Mellow Yellow'' fame, who was considered to pose a serious menace to civilized life in Britain. The Sergeant busted him on drug charges. Pilcher himself got a lot of press and TV attention.

At a wild party at Redlands, Keith Richards house in West Sussex, the squad proceeded with Operation Rolling Storm. They found a completely naked young woman (enticingly referred to in press reports as the carpeted ''Miss X'') under a fur rug, high on pot, and a Canadian drug dealer named David Scheidermann in possession of marijuana.

At the trial, which lasted June 27 through June 29, 1967, at West Sussex Quarter Sessions, Keith was sentenced to twelve months in prison plus 500 pound costs for the crime of hosting the party. Mick Jagger and Robert Fraser were convicted of possession of pep pills legally bought in Italy.

In October next year, Sergeant Pilcher's Lonely Heart Club Band, led by their mascot Willie, ransacked the flat at 34 Montague Square, London W.1., owned by Ringo Starr but the temporary home of John Lennon and Yoko Ono who was pregnant at the time. The police claimed to have discovered 219 grains of cannabis resin in the ensuing search. Hours after being bailed free, Yoko had to be rushed to Queen Charlotte's Maternity Hospital, where the doctors confirmed a miscarriage. Bad timing Sergeant Pilchers!
On November 28, John pled guilty to possession of cannabis resin and was fined 150-pound.

In an interview with Andy Peoples on BBC, two days before the Beatle's death, John explained the situation. According to his account, the previous resident, Jimi Hendrix, had left stacks of drugs in the flat. When he found out that Pilcher was coming after him, John contended that he thoroughly cleaned up the premises of the stacks of drugs. John said that Pilcher, who had called the press for some photos ops at the flat, set up the thing. John had pled guilty because the British government would have otherwise deported Yoko, as they were not married at that point.

When Paul McCartney was getting married to Linda Eastman at Saint John's Wood Roman Catholic church in the morning of March 12, 1969, Sergeant Pilcher busted the Harrison’s' estate, Kinfauns, located in Esher, south of London. George and Patti Boyd were charged with possession of marijuana. An expert in this period, writing under the pen name of Mr. Mustard, labels Pilcher the consummate ''scam artist'' in his holy war to stamp out drugs from Britain. According to Mr. Mustard, George did have a lot of pot but not where the cops maintained to have found it.

Fortunately, the squad’s reign of terror ended. As stated in Part 3 of the Beatles Anthology TV series, it was discovered that the Sergeant Pilcher had committed perjury in court. Pilcher was sentenced to serve four years in prison for this crime.

On the other hand, Willie got interested in Paul’s female sheepdog Martha after listening to Paul's song ''Martha My Dear,'' included in the 'White Album.'

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