He was the detective who busted John Lennon, George Harrison and Dusty Springfield, the officer who was told by an Old Bailey judge that he had “poisoned the wells of British justice”, and the man Lennon supposedly had in mind when he wrote I Am the Walrus. Now, at the age of 84, Norman “Nobby” Pilcher has written his memoir, Bent Coppers.
Pilcher was famous in the 1960s. He felt the velvet collars of the era’s best-known rock stars and was responsible for some of its highest-profile arrests. But the squad he worked for was riddled with corruption and Pilcher himself ended up behind bars for four years for perjury. His memoir seeks to “set the record straight” and in it he claims that he himself, like so many of the drug squad’s targets at the time, was the victim of a stitch-up.
Pilcher joined the Met in 1956, after a spell in the military police, because he wanted to “do something sincerely useful”. But he soon found that “the squeaky clean officer was never able to remain dirt-free if he wanted to investigate crime … London and the Met were rotten and if you needed to walk through muck you’d need to be prepared to get your clothes dirty”.
[Blogger’s note – Pilcher still telling porkies. He did bust Donovan – and the line in I am the Walrus is NOT about him. It is Pilchard – not Pilcher. John Lennon and Paul McCartney started to write a play as teenagers based on a Jesus-like character called ‘Pilchard’.
“I even had a bash at writing a serious play with Paul. It was about Jesus coming back to earth today, and living in the slums. We called the character Pilchard.
It all fell through in the end, but we aim to do at least one big play or musical together. That’s our ambition – a West End production with our own words and music.” – John Lennon, NME, 30 August 1963Beatles, Sgt Pilcher