December 4, 2021

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A journey that filled the Beatles with the spirituality of India | Culture

Paul McCartney, John Lennon and the Ringo Starr watch the harp playing when George Harrison visits India in 1968.Garden Magazine

It all started The Beatles It ended with a retreat at an Indian restaurant in London India Three years later. It was 1965 and the band had dinner in full swing, near Twickenham Studios, where they recorded the album. Help !, George Harrison He indulged in a sitar music, an iconic Indian musical instrument, and the four of them began to soak up a culture that ended up being enjoyable. Liverpool, Traveled to the former British colony in February 1968. This phase of meditation and art reflection marked the evolution of training and for John Lennon it no longer felt like “monkeys in a cage”. So they started a strong relationship Ravi Shankar, An artist who enlightened them on Indian spirituality and impressed them and influenced their music.

All of these are appreciated in the exhibition The Beatles and India, Casa de la India de can be found for free Valladolid Until November 7th. The exhibition collects photographs, tools, books, letters and records borrowed from the Beatles and photographer Patty Boyd, Harrison’s ex-wife. Sukanya Shankar, Widow of the legendary Indian musician. During the tour, visitors listen to current editions of Indian authors on themes John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Star.

Four Beatles, in India in 1968 with Guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Four Beatles, in India in 1968 with Guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Guillermo Rodriguez, director of the Valladolid House of India, described these compositions as “closing the circle” in 1968, which had an impact on his later works. Many of them were included on one of his latest albums. Band, Known as White Album. Rodríguez was shared between the artists at this time and the various people around them Ashram, A spiritual retreat home, “a turning point” toward complete dissolution. A long time as a result of meditation and friction, he described, led to a “sunset” two years later.

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The three-site tour of the only museum in Spain dedicated to India begins with details of the Beatles’ visit to the Rishikesh area for baptism in transcendental meditation. Brian Epstein, the band’s representative and nicknamed The Fifth Beatle, died a year ago, and his absence caused a “vacuum” among artists, forcing them to move to an Asian country. There they received English urban youth, who were separated from them United Kingdom After independence in 1947, he reunited with Western culture driven by radio and early television.

Display of the exhibition about the Beatles and India at Valladolid.
Display of the exhibition about the Beatles and India at Valladolid.Javier Alvarez

The overseer of the exhibition, Blanca de la Torre, emphasizes the value of staying in the “metaphor” rather than the “physical” words, since only the “dialogue between East and West” arising from this stage of meditation can be achieved. By an event similar to Beatlemania. India’s Foreign and Culture Minister Meenakashi Laki, in an email, praised the Beatles for brightening their country’s culture and changing the mainstream Western thinking that diminishes the cultural potential of “certain aesthetics”. Similarly, he commented that musicians have expanded autonomous symbols such as the sitar internationally. Yoga Or clothing. “The colonial powers presented India as a poor nation, which was, suddenly, the answer to the identity crisis of the most coveted mob in the West,” he defends.

A documentary that collects images, sounds and audiovisual content at the time illustrates the anticipation created by musicians. The exhibition will conclude during the Valladolid Film Festival Seminci, which runs a film marathon from Liverpool in October to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the band’s first concert. Visitors can also access a “sunken” area, which contains a copy of the biono, a typical Indian tree whose branches reach the ground and can be mistaken for roots. White banners indicating that White Album, With songs showing Indian influence in this situation. An example Dear Prudence, Composed by Lennon for the actress’ sister Mia Farrow, Two of those who came with them to retreat, encouraged her to leave the room where she had meditated for hours.

The Beatles host Indian guru Maharishi Manesh Yogi in Wales, which has millions of followers around the world.
The Beatles host Indian guru Maharishi Manesh Yogi in Wales, which has millions of followers around the world.AP

The impact of the experience is different for each member of the band. The Ringo Star and Paul McCartney, who had been waiting for five weeks, were the first to leave, where they only lasted 10 days and complained bitterly about food and flies. George Harrison was curious about the discovery and then made another trip to South Asia with Shankar, a key figure in his career. Lennon then began a political phase criticizing the Vietnam War, and it was in Rishikesh that he wrote the anthem. Revolution. Another of the famous Beatles songs, Across the universe (1968), containing the Hindu mantra of relaxation Jai Guru Dev Om. Curiosity about this culture flooded Harrison, who even fitted the spiritual symbol “Om” on his planes.

Considered to be the first international charity in history for a concert in support of Bangladesh in New York in 1971, the gold record, obtained in 1971 to condemn the famine and hardship of this nation, is one of the highlights of the exhibition. “It’s priceless,” Rodriguez explains. Many of the artists who have recreated the soundtrack to the rooms will confirm the director of Casa de la India and go to Valladolid to perform at the film festival. There is still a “surprise” pending to come, the slide, but it all depends on the habits that hold it. Lennon’s misinterpretation of “we are more famous than Jesus Christ” in 1964 did not bother India: “They have 30,000 gods and they do not care much about it.”

When Paul McCartney went to Wales in 1967 with Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon, Guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
When Paul McCartney went to Wales in 1967 with Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon, Guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.Garden Magazine