New Documentary Coming About The Beatles In Rishikesh With The Maharishi

It’s been said that there were two crucial physical journeys that made the Beatles who they were, journeys at opposite ends of their career as a group. The first was their travel to perform in Hamburg between 1960 and 1962, where they honed their musical skills, developed their deep-seated confidence and bonded as a very tightly-knit unit. The second was their travel to India in February 1968 to study meditation with the Maharishi, where they began to set the standard for post-psychedelic Rock, and where the seeds of their eventual break-up were first planted.

Most accounts of The Beatles journey to Rishikesh are of the hearsay variety since there were no reporters present at the compound. Furthermore, many of those who were there have modified their recollections over the years. Did the Maharishi really hit on Mia Farrow, and did he really ask the Fab Four for investment capital? It depends on who you ask, and in what decade you asked them.

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Hopefully a new documentary coming down the pipe later this year will help shed some new light on what went down at the ashram. Paul Saltzman was a young Canadian filmmaker who was there the whole time the Beatles were present, and a couple of years ago he released an amazing book called The Beatles In India based on his stories and recollections of the happenings there, plus his collection of incredible photographs of all the participants.

Saltzman has teamed up with producer Reynold D’Silva to produce a feature film documentary also sensibly titled The Beatles In India, and they announced this week that the film will be released worldwide in the fall of this year. Aside from the gossipy stuff, all music fans should be looking forward to this documentary for new insights into the band’s latter-day output, which in many ways set the template for Rock music ever since.

The Beatles collectively wrote more than 30 songs in India, and most of them ended up on arguably their best record, the White Album. This week’s press release states that “integral to the story will be the background of many of the songs written in India and how they progressed through their initial writing, intensive rehearsals back in England and the release of the White Album on November 22nd, 1968.”

If that doesn’t get a Beatles fan’s heart a-racing then nothing will.


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