Norman ‘Nobby’ Pilcher obituary

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Drugs squad detective who arrested many famous rock stars in the 1960s, including John Lennon, Dusty Springfield and Brian Jones

Norman “Nobby” Pilcher, whose death from cancer two years ago at the age of 85 has just been reported, was the drugs squad detective who arrested John Lennon, George Harrison, Brian Jones and Dusty Springfield, but who eventually ended up behind bars himself.

Photos of Pilcher arresting rock stars for drug offences featured on many front pages in the 1960s, earning him the nickname “Groupie Pilcher” in the underground press. He claimed later, in a memoir, Bent Coppers (2020), that “the Home Office were breathing down our necks to move on more of the big names” and that his fellow officers would tip off the press, in exchange for cash, whenever someone famous was about to be busted.

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