Being a Beatle has undeniably got to be pretty awesome, but Paul McCartney recalled one of his less-than-sunny occasions.
During his appearance on the Monday night CBS special Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live from Liverpool, the music icon told the jovial host about the time he was incarcerated for nine days in a Japanese prison on drug charges. “I still am hazy as to how that happened, but it did,” he says.
The incident occurred in January 1980, when McCartney and his band Wings — which included his wife, Linda — arrived at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport to begin their 11-date concert tour of the country. “In my suitcase, yes, there was some marijuana in the suitcase,” he recalls. “And I ended up in jail.”
The drug laws were particularly strict in Japan at that time, and McCartney faced a steep sentence: seven years hard labor. Ultimately he did nine nights in a four-by-eight cell before he was eventually released. “I got out ’cause of my celebrity,” he admits. He was deported from the country and the tour was canceled — and Wings folded shortly thereafter.
Before he was sent home, McCartney — temporarily known as Prisoner 22 — was persuaded to take a communal bath with his fellow inmates. “It was funny, you know, being in a tub with all these Japanese guys,” he remembered.
McCartney’s new album Egypt Station is due out Sept. 7.