Peter Fonda, a counter-culture icon well known for his role in Easy Rider, passed away from complications associated with lung cancer on Friday. He was 79 years old. The news of his death has triggered a remembrance of several anecdotes about the actor/writer and one of them involves The Beatles.
As Page Six reports, Fonda once told a reporter that he’d helped the “Fab Four” to pen one of their album tracks, “She Said She Said” on Revolver, during a heady LSD trip. According to Fonda, George Harrison panicked under the influence of the drugs, so he decided to share a story from his past to calm him down.
“I was saying, ‘Don’t worry George, it’s OK. I know what it’s like to be dead,” Fonda said.
As The New York Times notes, when Fonda was a child he accidentally shot himself in the stomach. This happened about a year after his mother committed suicide, but in an interview with the Times, he insisted that he wasn’t trying to end his life.
“You shoot yourself in the hand or foot if you want attention,” he said to the interviewer, “not the way I did.”
According to Fonda’s story about The Beatles, his near-death experience sparked some songwriting inspiration in John Lennon.
“Lennon looks over, all pissed off, and says, ‘You know what it’s like to be dead? Who put all that s— in your head? You’re making me feel like I’ve never been born,” he said, before adding that Lennon’s eyes bulged when he realized that he’d uttered a great line for a song.
So based on Fonda’s tale, that’s how the lyrics “You’re making me feel like I’ve never been born,” ended up in “She Said She Said.”
Goodnight, Peter Fonda (1940-2019) pic.twitter.com/g6jW6yxc7Q
— Criterion Collection (@Criterion) August 17, 2019
According to the Beatles Bible, the LSD trip happened during an approximately week-long break in their 1965 North American tour. It was reportedly George Harrison and John Lennon’s second experience with the drug which has been credited with influencing a lot of their songs on Revolver (1966) and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967.)
They were reportedly staying at a home owned by actress Zsa Zsa Gabor and quite a few famous people came over to hang out, one of them being Peter Fonda.
Farewell Peter Fonda. Having featured in some of the most iconic counterculture films of the 60s, including The Wild Angels and The Trip, he will always be remembered for the ground-breaking cult classic Easy Rider, which he produced, co-wrote and starred in. pic.twitter.com/eNWpHwEjff
— BFI (@BFI) August 17, 2019
So based on this and other stories shared about him, it’s pretty clear that Peter Fonda had a full and interesting life.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, his sister, actress Jane Fonda, has hinted that he was at peace at the end.
“I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days,” she said in a statement published by People Magazine. “He went out laughing.”