Beatles Tour Manager Shares Her Addiction

By McCarton Ackerman 03/29/12

The former Beatles tour manager is a recovering addict, who now works as a substance abuse counselor.

Life with the Fab Four and others took its toll.
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A former tour manager for The Beatles and recovering addict will lecture college students this evening at Arizona State University about substance abuse in the entertainment business. Chris O'Dell had a 20-year career in the music business that took off when she worked for the Beatles' record label in London—she even got to join in the recording for the multi-person chorus of "Hey Jude." She went on to work with other legends like The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. But the rampant drug use in the music industry during that period led her to believe that picking up drugs for the musicians that she worked for was simply "part of the job description." Today, she's an addiction counselor in Tucson, and she leverages her personal recovery to help others on their path to sobriety. For O'Dell, it was only becoming a mother that was able to convince her to get clean once and for all. “It was hard at that time to look back and go, ‘This is a problem,’ because if you’re sitting in the back of a limo and everyone is smoking pot and drinking and doing cocaine, what’s the problem?" she says. “We’re off to a show. We’re listening to music every night. How horrible can your life be at that point?"

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.