Beatles 50th Blog posts of '2018' 'February'

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 4, 1968

George and John and their wives have about another week in India.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 3, 1968

Half of the Beatles are in India, the other half in Britain.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 2, 1968

George & John are still in India with the Maharishi.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 1, 1968

John & George are still in India.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 31, 1968

US Top 40 Singles for the Week Ending March 31, 1968

1. (Sittin’ On) THE DOCK OF THE BAY –•– Otis Redding 
2. LOVE IS BLUE –•– Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra
3. VALLERI –•– The Monkees
4. SIMON SAYS –•– 1910 Fruitgum Co.
5. (Sweet Sweet Baby) SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE –•– Aretha Franklin
6. LA-LA MEANS I LOVE YOU –•– The Delfonics
7. YOUNG GIRL –•– The Union Gap Featuring Gary Puckett
9. LADY MADONNA –•– The Beatles
10. (Theme From) VALLEY OF THE DOLLS –•– Dionne Warwick

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 30, 1968

The BEATLES’ Inner Light – DISC & MUSIC ECHO – MARCH 30, 1968

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 29, 1968

According to author Jonathan Gould, Lennon and Harrison viewed their bandmates' departures as an example of McCartney and Starr "once again balking on the path to higher consciousness", just as the pair, particularly McCartney, had earlier held out before joining them in their LSD experimentation. While Harrison and Lennon remained steadfast in their devotion to meditation after McCartney left, some members of the Beatles' circle continued to be distrustful of the Maharishi's hold on them. Aspinall was surprised when he realised that the Maharishi was a sophisticated negotiator, knowing more than the average person about financial percentages. According to Saltzman, Evans told him that the Maharishi wanted the band to deposit up to 25 per cent of their next album's profits into his Swiss bank account as a tithe, to which Lennon replied, "Over my dead body." In Brown's account, Lennon was not opposed to paying the tithe until Alex Mardas, the Maharishi's "most powerful critic", intervened.

Mardas arrived after McCartney had left. He pointed to the luxury of the facility and the business acumen of the Maharishi and asked Lennon why the Maharishi always had an accountant by his side. In an attempt to silence his criticism, according to Mardas, the Maharishi offered Mardas money to build a high-powered radio station. Lennon later told his wife that he felt that the Maharishi had, in her words, "too much interest in public recognition, celebrities and money" for a spiritual man. Cynthia Lennon, Cooke de Herrera and authors such as Barry Miles have blamed Mardas for turning Lennon against the Maharishi; in a statement published in The New York Times in 2010, Mardas denied that this was the case. Meanwhile, the weather, which had been quite cool in February, was growing hot and the Maharishi was planning to move the whole group to Kashmir, at a higher and cooler altitude, in a week. This move was something that occurred every year during the annual retreats.

According to Cooke de Herrera, the Maharishi had given the Beatles and Apple Corps the rights for a film about the Maharishi, his movement and his teacher, Guru Dev. While their "people and equipment were on the way", Charles Lutes, the head of the Maharishi's Spiritual Regeneration Movement in the US, arrived and signed a contract with Four Star Films. The contract was negotiated by Horn and John Farrow was scheduled to direct the film. Horn expected that Donovan, the Beatles, the Beach Boys and Mia Farrow would appear in it. When some of the film crew from Four Star Films arrived around 11 April, Harrison and Lennon stayed out of sight. Horn said that the arrival of the Four Star crew was the catalyst for the two Beatles' discontent.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 28, 1968

John & George and their wives are still in India.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 27, 1968

Paul McCartney and Jane Asher departed the day before as he said he had arranged to get back to London to supervise Apple Corps, and she had a theatrical commitment. When McCartney left, he told Cooke de Herrera, "I'm a new man." However, McCartney was uncomfortable with the Maharishi's flattery, including his calling the band "the blessed leaders of the world's youth". McCartney later said that his intention had always been to stay for only a month, and that he knew he risked accusations from his bandmates that he was not sincere about meditation.


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 26, 1968

Paul McCartney leaves Rishikesh

Paul McCartney, Jane Asher and Neil Aspinall left Rishikesh on this day for England, having spent more than a month studying meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

I came back after four or five weeks knowing that was like my allotted period, thinking, No, well, no, I won't go out and become a monk but it was really very interesting and I will continue to meditate and certainly feel it was a very rewarding experience.

They touched down back in the UK the following morning, arriving at London Airport. Paul and Jane spoke briefly to reporters at the airport.

Q: Well you look very happy. Do you feel better after five weeks of meditation?

Paul McCartney: Yes, yes, I feel a lot better, except for the flight, you know. That's quite long. I'm a bit shattered, but the meditation is great!

You sit down, you relax, and then you repeat a sound to yourself. It sounds daft, but it's just a system of relaxation, and that's all it is. There's nothing more to it. We meditated for about five hours a day in all. Two hours in the morning and maybe three hours in the evening, and then, for the rest of the time, we slept, ate, sunbathed and had fun.

Q: One Indian MP accused the camp where you stayed as being an espionage centre, and you, in fact, as being a spy for the West.

Paul McCartney: Yes, it's true. Yes, we are spies. The four of us are spies. Actually, I'm a reporter and I joined The Beatles for that very reason. The story is out next week in a paper which shall be nameless.

Q: Jane, did you go for a holiday or did you go to meditate as well?

Jane Asher: Oh, to meditate.

Q: And what effect did it have on you? This, I presume, is your first big meditation experience?

Jane Asher: Yes. I think it calms you down. It's hard to tell because it was so different, you know, the life out there. It'd be easy to tell now that I'm back, or when we're doing ordinary things, to see just what it does.

Q: We've heard about the extreme poverty that exists in India. Presumably you saw some of that?

Paul McCartney: Yes, oh yes. I don't equate it, you know, because it's nothing to do with it, you know. The idea is to stop poverty at its root. You see, if we just give handouts to people, it'll just stop the problems for a day, or a week, you know. But, in India, there's so many people, you really need all of America's money to pour into India to solve it, you know. So, you've got to get to the cause of it and persuade all the Indians to start working and, you know, start doing things. Their religions, it's very fatalistic, and they just sit down and think, 'God said, this is it, so it's too bad to do anything about it.' The Maharishi's trying to persuade them that they can do something about it.