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HOW GRAFFITI ARTIST USED iPHONES AND PAINT TO TRANSFORM THE BEATLES’ ASHRAM

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The street artist Miles Toland has dedicated his career to “finding the beauty in the decay,” as he puts it on his website. In 2016, he got an irresistible invitation: Would he like to come to Rishikesh, India, and cover the walls of the Beatles’ ashram with giant paintings?

The facility where the Fab Four composed The White Album had been abandoned for decades. Its buildings were overrun with creeping plants and covered with amateur graffiti. In 2012, the California-based street artist Pan Trinity Das and his wife, Kyrie Maezumi, started painting a series of large, colorful murals there, but the local forest department asked them to leave. Four years later, the couple received official permission to finish their project, and they asked Toland to help.

“The ashram is one of the most mystical places I’ve ever been,” Toland says. “It’s this intersection between civilization and nature. The metropolis and the jungle. You can see the city from the rooftops, but you don’t hear too much hustle and bustle. If anything, you hear monkeys and peacocks.”

Other artists at the ashram had painted tributes to the Beatles—portraits of the four young Englishmen and lyrics to their songs. But Toland was more interested in celebrating Indian spirituality. “It’s really Maharishi-ji’s ashram,” he says, referring to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Transcendental Meditation founder who led the 1968 course. Maharishi died in 2008, but the city of Rishikesh still bustles with yoga centers and sadhus, or holy men. That’s where Toland gathered his ideas.  “It was a pretty immediate feedback loop,” he says. “I’d go out for breakfast and take my camera phone, and I’d record whatever inspired me. Then I’d come back and paint it.”

One of Toland’s murals, which he calls “The Eggman,” features a local Rishikesh character with a turban and white beard. “I came across him in the streets and asked if I could take a photo to paint him. Later that week, I stumbled across him again and showed him a picture of the finished mural. He jumped with wide eyes and flashed a quick smile. I don’t think he’d realized what I was going to do with his photo.”

What Toland had done with his photo was paint it on an enormous egg-shaped structure. The man’s face now peers out at visitors with intense, wise eyes against a backdrop of mountains. Elsewhere in the ashram, Toland painted a pair of cymbals clicking in the fingers of a blind musician, a woman’s hands folded in prayer, a wandering cow with spare, bony limbs. The video below, which Toland shot on his iPhone, shows his process of turning street scenes into vibrant larger-than-life works of art.

Source: The Smithsonian

RINGO ADDS NEW US DATE TO ALL STARR BAND LINEUP

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A single U.S. date was added to the schedule. They’ll be performing at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic, NJ. (See complete dates below.)

Re-joining the All Starr Band for the 2018 dates is Colin Hay. The former Men at Work frontman previously performed with the lineup in 2008. Joining for the first time is 10cc co-founder Graham Gouldman. In addition to co-writing the 10cc songs “I’m Not in Love” and “The Things We Do For Love,” Gouldman penned such British Invasion hits as the Hollies’ “Bus Stop” and the Yardbirds’ “For Your Love,” among many others. Continuing with the All Starr Band are Santana/Journey star Gregg Rolie, Toto’s Steve Lukather, Warren Ham and Gregg Bissonette.

Ringo recently released a new album, Give More Love, with a little help from his friends Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Peter Frampton, Timothy B. Schmit, Lukather, Richard Page and others.

Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band 2018 Tour Dates:

June 02 – Atlantic City, NJ – Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa 8pm (Tickets HERE)
June 06 – Paris, France – L’Olympia
June 08 – Grolloo, Netherlands – Holland Blues Festival
June 09 – Flensberg, Germany – Flens Arena
June 10 – Hamburg, Germany – StadPark
June 13 – Helsinki, Finland – Kaisaniemi Park
June 15 – Horsens, Denmark – Lunden
June 16 – Berlin, Germany – Tempodrom
June 17 – Zwickau, Germany – Stadhalle
June 19 – Prague, Czech Republic – Congress Hall
June 20 – Vienna, Austria – Stadhalle
June 23 – Tel Aviv, Israel – Menorah Arena
June 24 – Tel Aviv, Israel – Menorah Arena
June 26 – Barcelona, Spain – St. Jordi Club
June 28 – Madrid, Spain – WiZink Center
June 29 – La Caruna, Spain – Coliseum
July 01 – Bilbao, Spain – Bizkia Arena
July 04 – Luxembourg, Belgium – Rockhal
July 06 – Monte Carlo, Monaco – Sporting Complex
July 08 – Lucca, Italy – Piazza Napoleone
July 09 – Marostica, Italy – Piazza Degli Scacchi
July 11 – Rome, Italy – Auditorium Cavea

YELLOW SUBMARINE RETURNS TO BIG SCREEN FOR ONE-DAY CINEMA EVENT

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TO CELEBRATE ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY, THE BEATLES YELLOW SUBMARINE WILL BE RETURNING TO THE BIG SCREEN ON SUNDAY 8 JULY FOR A VERY SPECIAL CINEMA EVENT.

BASED ON THE SONG BY JOHN LENNON & PAUL MCCARTNEY
FEATURING JOHN LENNON, PAUL MCCARTNEY, GEORGE HARRISON AND RINGO STARR
DIRECTED BY GEORGE DUNNING

Picturehouse Entertainment are thrilled to announce the blues-banishing news that The Beatles’ legendary animated hit film YELLOW SUBMARINE is returning to cinemas across the UK and Ireland on 8 July 2018.

An unmissable cinema event, this momentous big-screen revival will give generations of audiences the golden opportunity to revisit Pepperland for the 50th anniversary of the film’s original release.

The visionary feature film designed by the great art director Heinz Edelmann can now be experienced in glorious surround sound with the groundbreaking animation presented in stunningly-remastered 4k. Looking and sounding better than ever before, join John, Paul, George and Ringo on the technicolour adventure of a lifetime.

Illustrated with mind-bending moving images, YELLOW SUBMARINE tells the story of how The Beatles battle the music-hating Blue Meanies armed only with the power of love.

From Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds to Nowhere Man, and Eleanor Rigby to All You Need Is Love, YELLOW SUBMARINE features some of the most-loved songs from the greatest band the world has ever known.

An exuberant fusion of music, film and art, YELLOW SUBMARINE is a landmark cinematic experience that is as fun and vibrant as it was in 1968.

With tickets on sale from 17 April, get ready to set sail for the Sea of Green with the Fab Four once again. Go to the brand new Facebook page for updates and news about this exciting event: facebook.com/yellowsubmarinethefilm

Screening across the UK 8 July 2018
Certificate: U
Tickets on sale 17 April 2018

 

REBUILDING ON THE BEATLES, AN ASHRAM IN INDIA HOPES FOR REVIVAL

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In 1968, The Beatles and a crew of hangers-on traded hip London threads for kurtas and wreaths of marigold, trudging through dense forest to an ashram in Rishikesh, India, where they spent weeks writing songs.

There was George, a devoted follower of Transcendental Meditation; John and Paul, who had started to feud over the band’s direction; and Ringo, who was so perturbed by India’s famously spicy food that he packed a reserve of beans for his stay at the ashram. He lasted 10 days.

“Scan all the photographs of Ringo in Rishikesh, and you’ll find few in which he’s smiling,” said Raju Gusain, a local journalist who has become something of an expert on the band’s trip to India. These days, the forest has swallowed up the ashram’s crumbling buildings, obscuring traces of celebrity from their halls. But the complex is set for a revival, with renovations planned for many of the structures, long unused and only recently reopened to the public.

A new museum on the grounds will showcase the legacy of The Beatles and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the late guru whom band members abruptly fell out with toward the end of their stay in Rishikesh. Across the world in Liverpool, England, The Beatles Story, a museum dedicated to the band, is opening an exhibit next month to mark 50 years since their trip to India.

Over the years, as more spiritual seekers from the West traveled to India looking for enlightenment, Rishikesh ballooned in size. But when The Beatles arrived, the place was a sleepy town straddling the banks of the Ganges.

Bob Spitz, a biographer, characterized the trip as a spectacularly creative time for the band, and as an escape from the “rat’s nest of fame” that consumed their lives in London.With noise from the big city far behind them, Mr. Lennon and Mr. McCartney wrote many of the songs that would later appear on the album “The Beatles” (the White Album), including “Back in the U.S.S.R.” and “Dear Prudence.” Of note, Mr. Spitz said, was a brief thaw in the deteriorating relationship between the men.

“The pressure of being The Beatles had driven a wedge between them individually and that had all percolated in the months leading up to their visit to Rishikesh,” he said. “Once they got there, and they unburdened themselves from all of that, they reconnected with their songwriting and their creativity. It just flowed forth.”

A few months before the trip, George Harrison, who had discovered the sitar and Hinduism, brokered a meeting in England between the band and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the progenitor of Transcendental Meditation, which involves sitting and repeating a mantra silently.

Eventually, the rest of the band agreed to a trip in February 1968 to visit the Maharishi’s ashram in Rishikesh, recruiting their wives, girlfriends and an entourage that included Mia Farrow, Donovan and Mike Love of The Beach Boys, among many others. The band, Mr. Harrison said, was “looking to reestablish that which was within.”

Though most days at the ashram were spent engaged in simple pursuits like meditating and writing, the grounds were not exactly spartan. The Maharishi’s cliffside bungalow, where the band would gather for lectures (and the occasional argument) had a nearby helicopter pad, and living quarters were equipped with electric fireplaces.

In the evenings, the group would sometimes break the ashram’s no-alcohol rule with “a glass of hooch” smuggled in from a nearby town, Cynthia Lennon,wrote in her memoir. “Giggling like naughty schoolchildren, we’d pass the bottle around, each taking a swig, then contorting as it scorched its way down our throats,” she said.

Today, many of the original buildings have been demolished, but a few unmarked structures from 1968 still stand, said Anand Srivastava, the Maharishi’s nephew, who had helped manage the ashram for many years. These buildings include the post office where John waited for letters from Yoko Ono and the Maharishi’s crypt-like sleeping quarters, now inhabited by bats. A set of 84 blackened meditation caves also survived. The ashram remained operational for many decades after the band left, housing dozens of straight-backed sadhus, or holy men, in small domed huts. But in the early 2000s, the land was taken over by the Indian government, leading to its abandonment, except for wandering leopards and elephants from a nearby nature reserve. In 2008, the Maharishi, who had moved to Europe, died.

By the time the ashram was reopened to the public in 2015, part of a campaign to draw tourists to the area, most of the buildings had been vandalized by young lovers, who had hobbled over broken security walls to scrawl sweet nothings, and the occasional phallus, on the mildewed walls of remaining structures.

An industrial, open-air building nicknamed “The Beatles Cathedral Gallery” was also co-opted by an artist’s collective and filled with hundreds of quotes from the band’s songs.

Tourist numbers are still low, with around 13,000 people, mostly Indians, visiting the ashram last year. But Macarena Arraez, 30, from Spain, brightened when asked about the planned renovations, saying the ashram had great potential for raves and fashion photo shoots. Relaxing outside the meditation caves, Ms. Arraez had spent part of the morning meditating, and the experience had left her overwhelmed. “I was looking for the most spiritual place in the world and that’s what I found,” she said.

Down below the ashram, yoga institutes have mushroomed along the Ganges, where visitors from across the world thumb through books by Osho, smear vermilion on their foreheads and shop for chunks of crystal.

A gluten-free cafe devoted to The Beatles’ music, which overlooks a slab of hills blanketed with mist, also draws steady business. But longtime Indian visitors said the Rishikesh that existed around the time The Beatles arrived and the one today are hard to reconcile.

Bhuvneshwari Makharia, from Mumbai, who has visited Rishikesh for years, said the rigor of the ashrams and yoga programs have been gradually diluted to meet the expectations of foreigners looking for a quick cosmic fix.

“If they come, they should come for our culture, not for it to be westernized,” she said. “We are designing ourselves as per their demands.” For The Beatles, the connection to Rishikesh puttered out. By April 1968, only two band members, George and John, were still at the ashram.

A few weeks before they were set to depart, Magic Alex, one of the band’s business associates, spread rumors that the Maharishi had made sexual advances toward a female student, warning them of “black magic” if they stayed at the ashram. The band members abruptly packed their bags and left the “madman’s camp,” Mr. Lennon said. “We sort of feel that Maharishi for us was a mistake, really,” he told an interviewer. “We thought he was something other than he was. Paul added, “There were we, waiting for someone, the great magic man to come.”

In an interview, Mr. Srivastava, the Maharishi’s nephew, denied that his uncle had made any sexual passes, describing him as warm, humble and fiercely committed to his work.

After the band left Rishikesh, different impressions of their time there also surfaced, with George saying there were “a lot of flakes” at the ashram, including members of the band, and Cynthia Lennon questioning the truth of the rumors and the motives of Magic Alex, “whom I had never once seen meditating.” “I hated leaving on a note of discord and mistrust, when we had enjoyed so much kindness and good will from the Maharishi and his followers,” she wrote in her memoir.

But John was less convinced at the time, writing his last song in India, “Sexy Sadie,” originally titled “Maharishi,” as a thorny tribute to the guru and the chapter of his life he was leaving behind.

“Sexy Sadie, you’ll get yours yet

however big you think you are”

source:nytimes


NEW EXHIBITION PRESENTING RINGO´S PHOTOGRAPHS

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New Exhibition Presenting Ringo Starr's Photographs

This spring marks five years since the publication of PHOTOGRAPH by Ringo Starr, the fastest-selling book Genesis has published, and the PHOTOGRAPH Portfolio 2013. The Portfolio introduced Ringo’s photographs as a series of museum-quality prints that were exhibited worldwide from Sydney to Los Angeles.

Now, Genesis is opening its doors to present the entire collection in full, marking the official unveiling of the PHOTOGRAPH Portfolio 2018. Visitors will see the prints displayed together for the first time, and be able to acquire rarities from previous years, as well as discovering Ringo’s latest photography. Only one or two copy numbers remain available from Ringo’s early editions, offering a last chance to obtain highly collectible artworks.

This show will open at Genesis House in February 2018.The exhibit will be open to view by appointment, weekdays from Monday February 5th onwards.

 

You can order from the PHOTOGRAPH …   H E R E .