"When I arrested Lennon and Yoko she opened me naked": the memories of "Nobby", the agent who handcuffed the celebrities

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Last Update: 2020-10-21 12:10:25 IST

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In the UK the memoir of Norman Pilcher, former Scotland Yard policeman, comes out: he took Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and was himself at the center of scandals

John Lennon? "A gentleman". Dusty Springfield? '' What bad words ... '' It's called Bent Coppers, Corrupt Cops, but the book by Norman Pilcher, former Scotland Yard agent who became a celebrity himself, offers a new dive into the London of the swinging 60s, its music and its excesses.

Today he is 85 years old and has cancer, but Pilcher has made excellent arrests: George Harrison of the Beatles, his wife Patti Boyd, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Prince Stanislas Klossowski and many others. He was known at the time to the point that Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and singer Donavan pointed to him as responsible for their troubles with justice, although Pilcher denies and gives the credit to others.

With Lennon, the arrest for drug possession marked the beginning of a long relationship. “Generally when I knocked I said I was the postman, but with Lennon and Yoko Ono it didn't work,” Pilcher recalls of the search at 34 Montagu Square. “It took a while to get them to let us in. First Yoko showed up and opened the door completely naked. Then John got out, naked too.

We had a warrant so they eventually gave in. They got dressed and called their lawyers. We waited for them to arrive and then let the dog in. The dog immediately went to the binocular case, inside was a ball of cannabis the size of a thumb. At the time it was enough to proceed with the arrest ».

Once at the station, Pilcher and Lennon began talking. "Lennon explained to me his philosophy of life, the fact that he believed in peace, friendship, love and that the body was his after all and if he wanted to smoke a joint it was his business." Lennon's words had an effect on Pilcher. "The drug laws were wrong then and still remain wrong," he explains today. "They are outdated and outdated," he stresses, siding in favor of decriminalization.

"I knew that the arrest would have a big impact on his life, it would give him problems, for example, in the US, and I was sorry." Lennon, on the other hand, didn't take it. “When it was all over, he sent us some autographed records and a dozen bottles of brandy, without resentment or hostility. He also sent me some postcards. I remember getting one from Japan where Lennon said, 'I hope you're okay, Nobby. Now you can't take me! '' Unfortunately I lost them when I moved ''.

Pilcher also admits in the book that it was used by Lennon for the song 'I am the walrus' . "Yes, I think I'm the walrus of the title." A short time later, Pilcher found himself in the dock. He was accused of being part of a group of corrupt cops, ready to invent evidence in order to frame someone. He was sentenced to four years in prison. If he wrote the book it is to provide his version of events.

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