The Beatles in India: ‘With their long hair and jokes, they blew our minds!’

 Photograph: All rights reserved/Paul Saltzman

(via The Guardian) by Andrew Male

In 1968, Paul Saltzman was a lost soul. The son of a Canadian TV weatherman, he was working as a sound engineer for the National Film Board of Canada in India when he received a “Dear John” letter from the woman he thought was going to be his wife. “I was devastated,” he says. “Then someone on the crew said: ‘Have you tried meditation for the heartbreak?’”

Saltzman went to see the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – the founder of transcendental meditation – speak at New Delhi University. Emboldened by promises of “inner rejuvenation”, Saltzman then travelled to the International Academy of Meditation in Rishikesh. It was closed, due to the arrival of the Beatles.

As explained by Paul McCartney in the Beatles book Anthology, the exhausted group, still coming to terms with the suicide of their manager Brian Epstein in August 1967, had arrived in Rishikesh with wives and girlfriends to “find the answer” through the teachings of the Maharishi, whom Paul, George and John had first encountered at a lecture at the London Hilton. “There was a feeling of: ‘It’s great to be famous [and] rich,” said McCartney, “but what it’s all for?’”

Read more: The Beatles in India: ‘With their long hair and jokes, they blew our minds!’ | The Beatles | The Guardian

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