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Patti Boyd, John Lennon, Mike Love of The Beach Boys, Maharishi Yogi, George Harrison, Mia Farrow, John Farrow, Donovan, Paul McCartney, Jane Asher, Cynthia Lennon at the ashram. Photo: Keystone Features/ Getty Images

50 years ago, The Beatles made the journey from the UK to India to visit and stay at Maharishi Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh to learn and practise transcendental meditation.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (right) conducts a session in meditation at the ashram.

The Beatles met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for the first time in the year 1967 in London. Lead guitarist George Harrison’s wife had signed up to attend a session after coming across a newspaper advertisement. After being unable to complete a 10-day programme due to the untimely death of band manager Brian Epstein, the band decided to explore their meditational journey in India at Maharishi’s ashram. John Lennon and Harrison, two of the most dedicated meditators among the Beatles, arrived with their wives, Cynthia Lennon and Pattie Boyd on 15 February, 1968. The other two arrived three days later, Paul with his girlfriend ­­­­­Jane Asher and Ringo with his wife Maureen.

Paul playing Holi at the ashram.

While several controversies ensued post the visit, the time The Beatles spent at the ashram is often reffered to as a period during which the band was at the height of their creative prowess. While in Rishikesh, they wrote 48 songs for the seminal White Album, that featured songs such as Blackbird, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Dear Prudence and Happiness Is A Warm Gun.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Ringo, George at a party to celebrate Harrison’s 25th birthday at Rishikesh on 25th February 1968.

Paul smears red colour on the face of Scottish singer Donovan during Holi and is watched by Jane Asher on left and fellow guests inside the ashram.

John pictured playing a flute as he walks barefoot through the ashram.

Years later, the ashram— called Chaurasi Kutia for the 84 sheltered structures within the property—remains to be a pilgrimage spot for fans of the band, despite the state of disrepair it is in.

Film director and photographer Paul Saltzman just happened to be in India for similar reasons, and the Fab Four agreed to give him unprecedented access to their experiences. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the journey, Saltzman has released THE BEATLES IN INDIA, a photo book that gives readers insight into the legendary trip.


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The photographs were unearthed in a vault under the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation building
Among them is an image of the Beatles performing at Maple Leaf Gardens in Ontario, Canada, in 1964
Others include a picture of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger in 1965 and one of The Doors in 1967.

These never-before-seen pictures of iconic musicians and bands including The Beatles are set to go on display in the UK this summer.



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After the Beatles’ history-making appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, fans didn’t have to wait too long for another glimpse of the group. On Feb. 16, 1964, only one week after their debut, the Beatles performed again on the popular TV variety show. In the interim, the Beatles had their first U.S. concerts — at the Washington Coliseum in Washington, D.C., and two shows at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Feb. 12. The next day, they, flew down to Miami, where Sullivan’s show was being broadcast from the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach. For the Beatles, so accustomed to the miserable British winters, Florida was a paradise.

“We had never been anywhere where there were palm trees,” said Paul in Anthology. “We had a great time down there. We played at one of the hotels … and we’d look down on the beach where the fans would write ‘I love John’ in the sand, so big we could read it from our rooms.”

After a few days of relative relaxation in the water, it was time for the show. Sullivan introduced them by recognizing the importance of the previous week’s events.

“And now, this has happened again,” he began. “Last Sunday, on our show in New York, the Beatles played to the greatest TV audience that’s ever been assembled in the history of American TV. Now tonight, here in Miami Beach, again the Beatles face a record-busting audience. Ladies and gentlemen, here are four of the nicest youngsters we’ve ever had on our stage … the Beatles! Bring ’em on!”

The performance took place at The Beatles’ Miami hotel, the Deauville, from 8pm-9pm in front of an audience of 2,600. They followed the same format as the first shot — three songs at the start (“She Loves You,” “This Boy” and “All My Loving”) and another three at the end (“I Saw Her Standing There,” “From Me to You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand”). At the conclusion, Sullivan brought them over to say that Richard Rodgers, who wrote the music for dozens of Broadways shows including Pal Joey, Oklahoma and The Sound of Music, contacted S

ullivan to say that he was one of their “most rabid fans.’

The next week, the Beatles made their third appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, but by this point, they were already back in England. It had actually been taped before the first show on Feb. 9. That first week, Sullivan’s introduction bordered on bemusement. But here, he spoke from the heart about the impact they had made on him personally.

“You know, all of us on the show are so darn sorry — sincerely sorry — that this is the third, and thus our last current show with the Beatles, because these youngsters from Liverpool, England in their conduct here — not only as fine professional singers, but as a group of fine youngsters — will leave an imprint with everyone over here who’s met ’em, and that goes for all of us on our show.”

The Beatles made a few more appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show during their career, but none were live in the way the Feb. 9 and Feb. 16 shows were.

The show was watched by an estimated 70 million people in 22,445,000 homes, and was repeated on 20 September 1964 at 8pm.


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A new special exhibition opens today at The Beatles Story, celebrating 50 years since The Beatles travelled to Rishikesh, India. ‘Beatles in India’ is a new one-of-a-kind exhibition, exploring this key and relatively secretive episode of the Beatles’ story with memorabilia, imagery and exclusive personal accounts from the people who were there with the band in 1968.

A sitar used by Ravi Shankar is on display within the new immersive area, loaned to The Beatles Story by the Ravi Shankar Foundation, he referred to this instrument as ‘Shyama’. As George Harrison’s mentor, Ravi’s influence on the Beatle ultimately helped to popularise the use of Indian instruments in 1960s pop music. Ravi used this particular Rikhi Ram sitar mainly for practice and composition work, it was the twin to ‘Black Beauty’ and is taken directly from his personal regular stable of sitars.

The exhibit also includes photography from Paul Saltzman, a sound engineer for the National Film Board of Canada at the time, who photographed The Beatles during their stay. He is responsible for some of the most iconic and intimate images of the Fab Four in India. A collection of Paul’s limited edition signed prints are available to view within the exhibition, as well as a life-sized version of his famous image depicting the Beatles with their entourage and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Pattie Boyd, former wife to George Harrison, and her sister Jenny Boyd, who were amongst the star-studded list of attendees in India, provide their personal insight into the time through exclusive video interviews. The interviews explore the groups’ inspiration for the trip, their introduction into Transcendental Meditation, the songs they worked on in advance of the White Album and some of the controversies surrounding their visit.

Speaking about her involvement, Pattie Boyd said: “I am delighted to have been invited to be a part of The Beatles Story’s new ‘Beatles In India’ exhibition, marking the 50th anniversary of the trip to Rishikesh. It really was a special, magical time; forming many memories and, of course, an abundance of great Beatles music. I look forward to sharing thoughts and memories of India as part of the exhibition”.

Themed areas within the exhibition encompass some of the authentic colours, sounds and smells of Rishikesh so that visitors can really get a sense of what it was like for the Beatles. ‘The Bungalow’ set provides insight into the Beatles’ living quarters, an area used by the attendees for song writing. It features a 2014 signature version of Donovan’s Gibson 1965 J-45 acoustic guitar, along with an autographed label and personal letter from the singer-songwriter.

Diane Glover, Marketing Manager at The Beatles Story, visited Rishikesh in April 2017 and went to the Maharishi’s Ashram, which is now open as a tourist attraction. She said: “Visiting Rishikesh, ahead of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles staying there, was wonderful. The remains of the Maharishi’s Ashram, overlooking the Holy River Ganges, still stand and it is clearly a place of peace and seclusion.

“The 1968 visit was an important time of reflection for The Beatles as their manager, Brian Epstein had sadly passed away in the summer of 1967, and they escaped away from their fans and the media in search of spirituality”.

‘Beatles in India’ will be one of the highlights of 2018, a year in which Liverpool celebrates its fantastic cultural offering, ten years after the city was awarded ‘European Capital of Culture’ status. February 2018 also recognises what would’ve been George Harrison’s 75th birthday – the Beatle celebrated his 25th birthday with friends at the Ashram. Celebrations for this will form part of a year-long programme of unique Indian-inspired events, including workshops and Q&A sessions.



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Ringo & Goodnight Vienna are back on Vinyl
Ringo’s self-titled 1973 album and 1974’s ‘Goodnight Vienna‘ have been remastered and pressed on to 180g heavyweight vinyl.
 RINGO :  Order Now