Hippie icon DONOVAN was amazed by the preferential treatment THE Beatles received from authorities during the heady 1960s - as they were frequently pardoned by sycophantic police officers.

The CATCH THE WIND singer recalls a policeman knocking on Sir Paul McCartney's door regarding an illegally parked car, but Donovan couldn't believe the constable's reaction upon seeing the superstar.

He recalls, "Paul came to the door and the policeman said, 'Oh, it's you, Mr McCartney. Is it your car, sir? A sports car?'

"Paul gave him the keys and the car was parked - by the starstruck policeman!

"A few minutes later he returned with the keys and saluted, would you believe."