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By Posted on 0 17

Charles Manson’s devoted followers, the so-called Manson Family, was influenced by aspects of 1960s counterculture and lived a hedonistic, drug-filled lifestyle. At the center of what became a murderous cult was the music of the time—including some of the Beatles best-loved tracks. According to a series of interviews Manson gave over the course of his life, and in the testimony he gave at his 1970 trial and conviction for nine murders, the serial killer said hidden lyrics in songs on the album The Beatles, more commonly known as the “White Album,” inspired his family’s murderous acts.


Speaking to Rolling Stone in 1970, Manson said it was the Beatles who inspired the Tate-LaBianca murders in August 1969. “This music is bringing on the revolution, the unorganized overthrow of the establishment,” he said. “The Beatles know [what’s happening] in the sense that the subconscious knows.” At the scene of the LaBianca killings, one of the murderers used a victim’s blood to paint the words “Healter Skelter” on the refrigerator. It was a misspelling of Helter Skelter, one of the seminal tracks from the Beatles’ White Album, released in November 1968. In his account of his time in the cult, Manson family member Paul Watkins wrote that Manson began using the phrase “Helter Skelter” to refer to what he described as an oncoming race war. “What it meant was the Negroes were going to come down and rip the cities all apart,” Watkins recounted in My Life With Charles Manson. “Before Helter Skelter came along, all Charlie cared about was orgies,” he added. Manson also believed a series of other tracks made oblique references to race-related violence. The cult leader reportedly believed that the Beatles song “Piggies,” a satirization of bourgeois tastes, foretold of a Black uprising against the establishment. He frequently referenced the track “Revolution 9,” telling his followers that it contained the order to “rise” and referenced the Bible’s Book of Revelations. Similarly, he claimed the song “Blackbird” was an incitement by the Beatles for a race war. The family members wrote “Pigs” and “Death to pigs” in blood at the scenes of the killings, and cult members later described how Manson had explained the album’s significance in relation to the violence.

The Beatles all unreservedly dismissed the claims made about the album’s content. “He interpreted the whole thing…and arrived at having to go out and kill everyone.… It was frightening, because you don’t write songs for those reasons,” Paul McCartney said of Manson in the 2000 book The Beatles Anthology.

“It was upsetting to be associated with something so sleazy as Charles Manson,” George Harrison also said in Anthology.

Manson, who was convicted of nine murders in 1971, achieved unprecedented status in the years that followed as the most notorious American murderer of the 20th century. He died November 19 of natural causes at age 83, having spent the majority of his life inside penal institutions.


By Posted on 0 27

The Beatles in India (Hardcover) will be released on February 13, 2018.

In 1968, the Beatles went to Rishikesh, India, studied transcendental meditation, and wrote music. These intimate photos are the only record of their time in this sacred retreat.

This new edition of The Beatles in India brings intimate images of the group, taken at an ashram in Rishikesh, India, to a wider audience than ever before. No photographers or press were allowed at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in the foothills of the Himalayas, but the Beatles had no objection to fellow visitor Paul Saltzman freely snapping pictures during their time there.

This unprecedented access resulted in an extensive collection of intimate photos of the world’s most beloved rock band during one of their most serene and productive periods, only two years before the official dissolution of the group.

Containing a wide-ranging narrative by Saltzman—about everything from the story of how “Dear Prudence” came to be to George Harrison’s description of the first time he picked up a sitar—this unique and exclusive exploration of one of the Beatles’ most tender and bittersweet periods is a must-have for all fans of the legendary rock group.


PRE-ORDER …..  H E R E .


By Posted on 0 23

Anand Srivastava, a trustee of the Maharishi Yogi Trust (2nd from L) with Rajaji Tiger Reserve director Sanatan Sonkar(2nd from R) at the ashram in Rishikesh.

Almost two years after it was opened for the visitors, fans of English band The Beatles will get a chance to go through rare photos and documents at Rishikesh’s Chaurasi Kutia where the Fab Four stayed in the ’60s.

The members of the band- Ringo, George, Paul and John- visited Chaurasi Kutia ashram in February 1968 (now part of Rajaji Tiger Reserve) to learn transcendental meditation from spiritual guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. During their stay here for nearly two months, the Beatles penned 48 popular numbers.
The Beatles’ India visit will complete 50 years in coming February. The Uttarakhand government intends to showcase the event in a big way, but it lacks access to material of archival value related to the Beatles’ visit. Presently, visitors to the ashram get a chance to see a couple of wall paintings, done by some others.

Due to technicalities of procurement rules and lack of funds, the state government found it difficult to participate in international auctions to buy photos or other stuff associated with the band. Even as the state forest department was busy finding a way out, the Maharishi Yogi Trust has stepped in and offered help. Anand Shrivastava, nephew of Mahesh Yogi and a trustee of Maharishi’s spiritual movement in India, recently held talks with the Rajaji Tiger Reserve (RTR) director and agreed to donate some rare photos and documents – mostly newspaper clippings — which will be no less a treat for the international fans.

“We held a fruitful meeting with the trustees of Maharishi Yogi Trust and they have offered archival material. We plan to have the rare memories related to the band’s India visit by February,” RTR director Sanatan Sonkar told HT. “We are optimistic that visitors will get divine and knowledge experience,” Anand Shrivastava said in an email.
A section of the ashram was thrown open to the visitors in December 2015 after the Uttarakhand Wildlife Board decided to start eco-tourism activities. Since Chaurasi Kutia is inside the RTR, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has given access to a limited part of the ashram as wild animals like leopards and elephants are often spotted there.

The RTR remains open to tourists from November 15 to June 15. But the visitors can go to the Beatles ashram area round the year.
Mahesh Yogi, it is learnt, obtained a 20-year lease of 15 acres from the Uttar Pradesh forest department to set up the ashram where igloo-type huts were erected. The lease expired in 1981 and this area came under the jurisdiction of Rajaji National Park (now RTR) in 2003.


By Posted on 0 29
Attention North American Beatle Fans.

Come together on Saturday night, November 25th, for Ron Howard’s Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years, which is being broadcast on PBS.

It’s a great activity idea for Thanksgiving weekend to bring fans, families and friends together to celebrate the Beatles and support your local PBS station. In most cities this will be followed by an all new pledge event for Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution – the documentary that picks up when The Touring Years end. It’s a PBS Beatles themed holiday marathon not to be missed.

THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS premieres Saturday, November 25, 8:00-10:30 pm ET (check local listings) on PBS.

THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS is based on the first part of The Beatles’ career (1962-1966) – the period in which they toured and captured the world’s acclaim. The film explores how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr came together to become this extraordinary phenomenon, “The Beatles.”  It reveals their inner workings – how they made decisions, created their music and built their collective career together – all the while, exploring The Beatles’ extraordinary and unique musical gifts and their remarkable, complementary personalities. The film focuses on the time period from the early Beatles’ journey in the days of The Cavern Club in Liverpool to their last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966.

THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS features rare and never-before-seen archival footage of shows and interviews, plus new interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and numerous prominent observers. The film captures the exhilaration of The Beatles’ phenomenal rise to fame as well as the toll it eventually took on the band’s members, prompting them to stop touring and devote their prodigious musical talents to their groundbreaking studio recordings.