Beatles in India documentary


13 posts

Last post 11/09/2021

Posted by Nancy R

      Original post

      A documentary about meeting The Beatles in India by Canadian filmaker Paul Saltzman premiered on line this week.


      The trailer for the film



        "The Beatles planned to stay at the ashram for three months"--that's funny, can't imagine that, they were restless blokes and the minute not having fun with something would drop it. That's the impression I have, anyway. And indeed, they didn't stay anywhere near that long. It's ironic, that man could say he actually helped them write their songs there, and if questioned he could just say, "Well, you forgot about that."  He could say "I helped him write such and such song." (laughs)  He'd just get laughed at, though.  He's been sitting on a cash (holy) cow for a long time (laughs).

          It distresses me to see the beautiful buildings and grounds of the Rishikesh Ashram deserted and fallen into disrepair, but the  poignant sight illustrates the truth of Harrison's ode "All Things Must Pass"--all things must pass away...none of life's things can last..."so I'll be on my way, to face another day" (George Harrison).

            I remember seeing a pic of Beach Boy Mike Love sitting in the middle of Pattie Boyd and Jane Asher, at the ashram. That was an unexpected treat to see. Also a big color pic of Jane Asher trying to learn to use the sitar and wincing in pain, holding up her fingers. George sat beside her, encouraging her. For awhile when I was  buying and selling on eBay,  I offered little specials on various collections of items called  "My Beatles In India Deals." These weren't as popular and big selling as my original scrapbooks, but they fairly often did sell.

              It's sad, Cynthia Lennon wrote in her book "John" or maybe in  "A Twist of Lennon," one of the two that I read she said she felt a distance grow more pronounced between her and John while they were at the ashram. Yoko was trying to steal him away behind her back ! With the cute little letters and such.  Cyn did also write that she felt John and Yoko were very suited to each other.  That they belonged together. Which was quite mature and generous of her, I guess.. 

                In an interview from the past few years,   questioned about his reasons for attending the ashram stint,   Paul sort of brushed it off saying "I wanted to sightsee in India." He said something like that.  I felt disconcerted. Perplexed. I'd ascribed all sorts of highminded spiritual aspirations to him and the others in their party--they had seen through the charms and pleasures of the material and realized those are transitory and shallow, not actually edifying and satisfying. They sought to develop and grow in spiritual wisdom and love...to connect with the Ultimate, the Heaven within as serious spiritual adherents of the Dharma, as seekers, as true mystics.  To become enlightened. "That old time religion" wasn't good enough for them.  Eastern philosophy struck them as more hip and cool, as they'd already caught glimpses through the doors of perception by experimenting with psychedelic substances to expand consciousness. To learn to meditate for hours on end.  All that kind of thing. And here he said his pilgrimage to India was "to sightsee" ! 

                And yet I've read that Paul and Ringo still meditate through the years, and now. Paul definitely believes in God and I suppose Ringo does. George, of course, was more immersed.  He was more of a genuine adherent.  Lennon--while declaring in his famous song that he only believed "in Yoko and me" was said to dabble in everything novel and unusual except devil worship. 

                  And God believes in him 

                    I don't know if it's fake reporting, inaccurate, but I read somewhere that later on, Mia Farrow said looking back on it she thought maybe the Maharishi wasn't making a pass at her after all.  

                    the two had concluded a meditation session with just them. 

                    they stood up and the little guru put out his arms awkwardly to give her a friendly hug. Maybe that is all it was,  Mia said. and she misunderstood.








































                      Two questions: Susy, why is there so much white space under your latest posts, and did anyone actually pay to watch this documentary? 

                        I don't know why so much white space; some kind of weird fluke. If it keeps happening, I guess I'll have to stop posting. As he might not be able to afford all that space (LOL).  I don't know how many viewed this Beatles in India documentary; it would be interesting to know. The Beatles wrote some of the White Album in Rishikesh, at the ashram. It does seem like there'd be some interest in their time there. I recall I had a book procured off eBay written by a rich refined seeming woman who was there at the time, and maybe that's where I got the Mia Farrow anecdote. I ended up re-selling the book. I liked to buy memorabila from there at that time and then re-sell.

                          I was wondering if anyone on the Maccaboard saw it! 😉

                            Apparently not. Not much interest in it, it seems. I had a big colorful picture book by Saltzman of his ashram  Beatles adventure long before this documentary came out. Another one I sold. I also bought Paul's brother's books and resold those..I had a book by a British guy who went to India with them that had some different unique pictures.  He was one of their associates and in the entertainment industry, can't recall his name. I wonder if the Fabs did various yoga asana postures like I did in the Miami ashram and attended lectures on the philosophy every night. We had to get up at four in the morning  every morning to transcribe the Guru's talks on some old computers.  The Guru was genuine, from India, secretly married to the wealthy American Swami who had built and owned the Ashram. They held a big banquet every Sunday where I discovered I didn't like Indian cuisine. 

                              The DVD is available from the U.K. and it is NTSC Region Free!! I just pre-ordered it today - total charged was £18.94 = $26.12 today. (they already charged my AMEX - Price includes shipping) It will be released Oct. 29th.


                              ETA: This may not be the same one originally posted about here. No mention of Paul Saltzman. ☹️