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The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets

The Beatles Meet The Maharishi For The First Time

On August 24, 1967, the Beatles met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Only a few days later, their beloved manager Brian Epstein passed away.

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Maharishi Mahesh Yogi with members of the Beatles and others in 1968; Photo: Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

It was the summer of love, and The Beatles had just returned from a trip to Greece in search of an island on which they could all live together and build a recording studio. The island studio was John’s idea, but it quickly proved to be honey pie in the sky and they all gradually began to drift home.

Ringo had left early as Maureen Starkey was due to have a baby, George Harrison and Pattie flew home on July 29, 1967, to prepare to fly to Los Angeles.

George in America

Arriving in Los Angeles on August 1, George rented a house on Blue Jay Way. While he was waiting for Derek Taylor, the Beatles former PR man, to arrive that day, George wrote a song named after the street, which was included on the Magical Mystery Tour album.

The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then

Over the next week, George spent time at Ravi Shankar’s Music School, attended his musical mentor’s concert at Hollywood Bowl, and went to a Mamas and the Papas recording session before flying to San Francisco and walking around Haight-Ashbury, which was the center of the counterculture before flying home to London on August 9.

Back in the UK

Two days after George arrived home, the Beatles were photographed by Richard Avedon for what became the psychedelic posters that seemed to adorn every bedroom, everywhere.

A week later, on August 19, Maureen gave birth to her and Ringo’s second child; a boy they named Jason. By way of celebration, The Beatles went to No.1 on the American charts with “All You Need Is Love.”

All You Need Is Love

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Meeting the Maharishi

After a couple of days spent working on “Your Mother Should Know,” another track for their upcoming Magical Mystery Tour project, John, Cynthia, Paul, Jane, George, and Pattie went to the Hilton Hotel in London to hear a lecture given by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Thursday, August 19. According to George, “I got the tickets. I was actually after a mantra. I had got to the point where I thought I would like to meditate; I’d read about it, and I knew I needed a mantra – a password to get through to the other world. And, as we always seemed to do everything together, John and Paul came with me.”

Afterward, they had a private audience with the Maharishi. Subsequently, the Beatles and their wives, along with Paul’s girlfriend Jane Asher, decided to head to Bangor in North Wales the following day, where the Maharishi was holding a seminar at a teacher training college over the weekend; Ringo and Maureen went too, along with Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull. Together, with the Maharishi, they all left Euston Station on a train.

All that is, except Cynthia Lennon. There was such a large crowd at Euston that Cynthia became separated from John after a policeman refused to let her through the barrier to the train, which meant that Neil Aspinall, the band’s road manager, had to drive her to North Wales.

Brian Epstein’s Death

Saturday was spent listening to the Maharishi’s message. Then on Sunday, August 27, Brian Epstein was found dead in his flat in London. He was 32 years old. While his influence had decreased over the band, he had done so much to steer their career.

The Beatles didn’t hear until early in the evening when Jane Asher took the call from London that told of the tragedy. Soon afterward, George, Ringo, and John faced the press, while Paul and Jane left to be driven home to London. Before he left Bangor, Paul asked the Maharishi, “Our friend’s dead. How do we handle this?” To which he replied, “Nothing you can do. Bless him, wish him well, get on with life.”

Brian’s funeral was held two days later with none of the band in attendance; it was a purely family affair and all four Beatles did not want to turn it into a media attraction. The day before the funeral, George gave Nat Weiss, a good friend of Epstein’s, a single flower wrapped in a newspaper on behalf of all four Beatles, with instructions to place it upon Brian’s coffin as a final farewell. Flowers are forbidden at Jewish burials, and after Epstein had been buried and Weiss saw men beginning to shovel dirt onto the casket, he threw the flower, still wrapped in newspaper, and it was immediately covered in earth.

“He dedicated so much of his life to the Beatles. We liked and loved him. He was one of us. There is no such thing as death. It is a comfort to us all to know that he is OK.” – George Harrison.

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  1. Brian Jackson

    August 24, 2014 at 5:48 am


  2. Art Faelnar

    August 24, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Glad to know some more Beatles tidbits. Thank you.

  3. Stanley Telega

    August 24, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Love Beatle stories

  4. Steve

    February 19, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    For what it’s worth Dhani, Because of your dad and his chaps, I started TM that next year 68. What was good enough for the Beatles was good enough for me. JGD <3

  5. Sergio M Ortiz

    August 24, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Glad to know some more things about the greatest band ever!

  6. Paul Keene

    August 25, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Does anyone know who took the picture on the train to Bangor? I have similar pictures – taken by a friend of mine who has now passed.

  7. Hari Georgeson

    August 26, 2015 at 2:25 am

    and because of that meeting George and the rest turned the world on to meditation, yoga and eastern thought. Thank you all. OM

  8. Lew Early Rothgeb

    October 25, 2016 at 2:50 am

    There are few people I loved more than George. He made such a difference in my life through his music and his philosophy. George played a big part in me becoming a TM teacher all around the world and playing the guitar and drums.I only met him once, before and after his first concert in the U.S. in Washington, DC. I swear I saw his aura – I certainly felt it. It was, for me, a most magical experience at age 13. It was nice to be treated like an adult rather than a child. What a deep, beautiful, loving man! There is little I can say, except that he is in my heart forever and I will never forget himm his music or his philosphy.

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The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
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