Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Might slip him the answer

One day Maharishi needed to get to New Delhi and back for something, so someone suggested a helicopter. When it arrived we all trooped down, a bouncing line of devotees, coming down a narrow dusty track to the Ganges, singing, being delightful. Very like the Hare Krishnas, marvellous, chatting away. We got down to the Ganges, the helicopter landed and then they asked, 'Does anyone want a quick go before Maharishi takes off?' John jumped up. 'Yea, yea, yeah, yeah!' John got there first, and there was only room for one.
So later I asked John, 'Why were you so keen? You really wanted to get in that helicopter.' 'Yeah,' he said. 'I thought he might slip me the answer!' Which is very revealing about John. I suppose everyone is always looking for the Holy Grail. I think John thought he might find it. I think it shows an innocence really, a naivety. It's quite touching really.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

Lunch with Astrid

Sandals and sock

A smoke and a drink

The newlyweds blending in

George and Pattie wait their turn almost unnoticed at the airport on their way to their Honeymoon.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Belting it out

Great photos of George from 50 years ago

Flowers in the dirt and on the table

I wonder if it was a bit strange for Paul to be sitting there at a press conference table completely by himself.    The charm of a Beatles press conference was the banter and jokes among the four of them.   And even though quite some time had passed, I bet Paul missed the other three being at that table as well.

Mister red shirt

Photo taken by Fred Seaman 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Celebrating George's Birthday in India

It is easy to think of the Beatles time in Rishikesh as well -- boring.    They sat around and meditated, ate nasty meals, slept and wrote songs.     Not exactly the most exciting of days, especially for outsiders.   However, when it was someone's birthday, these campers knew how to party!   Point in case was George Harrison's 25th birthday that was celebrated while in Rishikesh.    

Here is a quote from Lewis Lapham's book With the Beatles that tells a little bit about the party.  

The Maharishi presented George Harrison with a cake and a plastic globe turned upside-down.   "This is the world," he said, "It needs to be corrected."  We sang "Happy Birthday" to George and then when the laughter and applause subsided, the Hindu porters laughed and danced and threw firecrackers at one another in the doorway of the lecture hall.

There were Indian musicians at the party that performed music for everyone.   I am sure George especially enjoyed the music that was provided for his party.

When they arrived the guests were given two sets of flowers to wear around their necks.    After the gift and the music, each guest came up to George and put one of the flowers around his neck.   This must have been quite a funny time, has Mal Evan's flowers got caught up with the others George was wearing and by the end,  George had a large stack of flowers and you could barely see him.   

I love all of these photos because first, they show a celebration of George Harrison and that alone is pretty awesome.   But also because they show the Beatles and their ladies looking really laid back and having a fun time.    Maureen Starkey is laughing in many of the photos and so is Jane Asher.   Even Cynthia is smiling!   Ringo is laying back having a good time.    John and Paul are sitting next to each other.    We often think of 1968 as a dark dreary time for the Beatles --- but there were moments, such as this birthday party where things weren't so dismal. 

George fan

I am posting this because I find it to be so cute!   I love it when I stumble across things that Beatles fans wrote during the 1960's. 

Thanks guys!

George "likes" all of the happy birthday wishes he has received from everyone around the world the past two days.   

Doing what he does best

Washington D.C.

George looks like a member of the press

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Through the gates

When the Beatles first arrived in Rishikesh, they would travel down a pathway that was easy to see from outside of the camp.    There was a ton of photographers and reporters just waiting for them to walk along on that pathway and snap photos and try to get their attention.    There is some video footage of this as well as these snapshots.     Eventually everyone caught on and started using a different path. 

The little musician

Row Row Row your boat

The arrival

It always throws me when the Beatles arrive and there aren't a bunch of people crowding around the plane to see them.   Why only the one photographer and one police?

Apple announcement

Photo by Leslie Samuels 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

With the Beatles: A Book Review

Wednesday Review tonight is right in time for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles in India.   The book I am reviewing is With the Beatles by Lewis Lapham.    The author was hired to write about transcendental meditation and the Beatles involvement with the Maharishi for the Saturday Evening Post.   First, he went to New York and then to California to study and understand TM and have the background information needed to travel to Rishikesh and meet the Maharishi.

This is an extremely small and short book.    Since it just focuses on the experiences of the author during two months of his life, there isn't a lot of unneeded background information.   However, about half of the book is dedicated to explaining what the author learned about TM and then explaining what it was like at the Ashram.

Lapham was one of the few journalists allowed inside the camp and he got to talk to Maharishi.   He really made the guru look like a money-hungry, fame-hungry man that took advantage of the Beatles and other celebrities involved in what he had to offer.       The Beatles were put on a pedestal and he gushed over everything they had to say or do.   He offered them private meditation sessions and didn't allow the press to talk to them.

 However, Lapham did converse some with the Beatles because the guys would occasionally go out into the commons area.    He didn't have any deep talks with them or hear any music being made, but he did get to chat with them a little about things.    His observations were really good -- especially about how Cynthia looked really sad the entire time.      He was even present during George's birthday party and explained some of the confusion in the photos from that day.

Lapham left with Ringo and Maureen after 10 days and traveled the 8-hour drive into the city with Ringo and has some good memories of that trip.

This was far from being the best Beatles book out there, but it was a quick read and was especially interesting to read right now -  50 years after the fact.   I think it is a must-have for anyone that wants to learn more about the Maharishi and the Beatles time in India.