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Maharishi and the Beatles: What Really Happened

The New York Times Comments on "The Man Who Saved the Beatles" —in response to the passing of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (February 5, 2008)

(Thanks to author Tom Ball for allowing me to post this from EzineArticles)

The Beatles discovered Maharishi in 1968, while Maharishi was on a lecture tour in England. They learned his Transcendental Meditation technique and over the following months spent a few weeks personally studying with him in Rishikesh, India. Much has been made in the news media and blogosphere of the Beatle's association with Maharishi and the rise of popularity that followed for Maharishi and his form of meditation. Yet many people believe that Maharishi had a greater effect on the Beatles than they had on him and his worldwide Transcendental Meditation Movement.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died on February 5, 2008, almost 40 years after the Beatles left Rishikesh. John Lennon would never again see Maharishi in person, but would phone him years later to apologize for his youthful mishap of publicly accusing Maharishi of improprieties—accusations that had nothing to do with Maharishi, but, seemingly, everything to do with John’s personal temperament at the time. George Harrison would continue to have contact with Maharishi through the worldwide TM Movement, and Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr would maintain their connection with meditation and eventually re-establish association with Maharishi’s organization.

On Maharishi’s passing, the New York Times published a “reassessment” of the Beatles interaction with Maharishi. It’s good to see, after all these years, the press finally getting it right.

The “India experience”—the Beatles' time with Maharishi and their practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique—opened a floodgate of creativity for the band—“and got them out of what threatened to be a creative rut,” said the Times article.

Describing their time with Maharishi as the most productive period in the Beatles’ lives, the article says:

"That may seem an odd assertion, given that the group had only recently released 'Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.' But part of the point of that album was to overcome the inertia imposed by the stress of being the Beatles by posing as someone else: the Sgt. Pepper band. And although it includes some of the Beatles’ most extraordinary music ('A Day in the Life,' for starters), it had been a struggle to fill it. Lennon, after all, had based one song on the text of a circus poster ('Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite') and another on a Corn Flakes commercial ('Good Morning, Good Morning'), simply, he later said, as a way of fulfilling his quota. But after Rishikesh, the group found itself with more new songs than it knew what to do with."

Beatles connoisseurs, audiophiles and music writers typically hold the White Album as the Beatles' masterpiece, but not that many fans have made the connection with the Beatles' India experience and the influence that "turning within" had on renewing their creative and lyrical power.

The process of meditation, as taught by Maharishi, is an effortless way of accessing "the infinite field of energy, creativity and intelligence that resides within everyone," as Maharishi has explained. Now, 40 years after the Beatles demonstrated the rejuvenating, creativity-enlivening effect of 'transcending,' hundreds of scientific research studies have further verified the many ways in which the practice can stimulate creativity and intelligence and benefit various aspects of life.

But most media attention concerning the Beatles experience in India has dwelt on the sensational episode surrounding John Lennon's abrupt departure from Maharishi's ashram.

What really happened?

Most press accounts claimed that the Beatles left because they were disappointed with Maharishi. The Beatles themselves each told varying stories about why they left. A recent Times of India article quotes George Harrison as saying that Maharishi asked the Beatles to leave because of their drug use at his Transcendental Meditation Academy. But Maharishi refrained from ever publicly shaming the Beatles.

There's no question that John's experience turned sour. Lennon wrote—in the original lyrics of the White Album song "Sexy Sadie"—“Maharishi, what have you done? You made a fool of everyone.” The claims of Maharishi's misbehavior, however overblown in the press, turned out to be baseless.

In the years since Lennon’s death, in 1980, Harrison and McCartney publicly commented on the accusations against Maharishi. McCartney has noted that the rumors of impropriety were raised by Alexis Mardas, who, says The Times, was "a supposed inventor and charlatan who had become a Beatles insider." “Magic Alex,” as he was known, apparently had agendas of his own (which included wanting to be known as "the Beatles' guru"), and according to many sources Mardas flat out fabricated the story. During the 1990s both Harrison and McCartney, convinced of Maharishi’s innocence, reconciled with their meditation teacher and offered apologies. Cynthia Lennon believed that Mardas invented the story to undermine Maharishi's influence on the Beatles. Harrison, years later, commented, "Now, historically, there's the story that something went on that shouldn't have—but nothing did... There were some flaky people around back then and we were four of them."

McCartney, in his biography, says that he did not believe the allegations and likewise attributes them to Mardas. In a statement released on Maharishi's passing, McCartney said: "I was asked for my thoughts on the passing of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and I can only say that whilst I am deeply saddened by his passing, my memories of him will only be joyful ones. He was a great man who worked tirelessly for the people of the world and the cause of unity. I will never forget the dedication that he wrote inside a book he once gave me, which read, 'radiate bliss consciousness,' and that to me says it all. I will miss him but will always think of him with a smile."

Ringo, who was said to be the Beatle least "into" meditation, commented on his experience with Maharishi in his book "Postcards from the Boys," stating that he still meditates with the mantra Maharishi gave him and that his time in Rishikesh was "one of the best experiences of his life." In February 2008, Ringo said of Maharishi, "One of the wisest men I met in my life was the Maharishi. I always was impressed by his joy and I truly believe he knows where he is going."

Who influenced whom?

Were the Beatles responsible for Maharishi's great fame and success as a meditation teacher, or were Maharishi's achievements the results of his own abilities as a teacher—and due to the real, positive effects of TM practice in people's lives? After 50 years of the Transcendental Meditation program being taught to millions of people around the world, with more than 600 scientific studies verifying its benefits—studies conducted at Harvard Medical School, UCLA, Stanford, Yale and over 230 other institutions—it is unlikely that the success of the Transcendental Meditation program has been due merely to a rock band. The National Institutes of Health has funded over $25 million for scientists to further research the effects of the TM technique on brain function and cardiovascular health. This research funding has nothing to do with rock and roll. Or does it?

It's true that the Beatles involvement brought much attention to Maharishi and to meditation in general. Although meditation has been around for thousands of years, and is still rising in recognition as a means to reduce stress, improve health and promote self-development, many people did learn the Transcendental Meditation technique when they first heard about the practice through publicity surrounding the Beatles. But one problem with claiming that "Beatles publicity" led to Maharishi's success as some people have claimed, is that this publicity was mostly negative—having more to do with Lennon's short-lived criticism of Maharishi than with the benefits of meditation.

It seems obvious after all these years that Maharishi and his Transcendental Meditation practice were not "made" by the Beatles. But the Beatles are still bringing people to meditation: Paul and Ringo played a benefit concert to promote the Transcendental Meditation program in schools—at Radio City Music Hall, April 4, 2009—along with their meditating friends Sheryl Crow, Donovan, Ben Harper, Moby, Jim James, Paul Horn, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Jerry Seinfeld, Howard Stern and others.

Yoko Ono was also there—in the audience. If Lennon were alive were alive today, she noted, he probably would have reconciled with Maharishi. She told Rolling Stone magazine: "John would have been the first one now, if he had been here, to recognize and acknowledge what Maharishi has done for the world and appreciate it."

"Sexy Sadie"

Donovan remarks in his autobiographical documentary, "The Journey of Donovan," that John's writing of the song was about the Beatles and who they were at the time, and not at about Maharishi.

As a 40-year meditator and lover of Beatles music, I share with you my personal take on "Sexy Sadie": If Maharishi can be said to have "made a fool of everyone," as the ill-conceived song goes, it could only truly be because, compared to his immense, practical wisdom of higher stages of human development, the rest of us human beings can indeed look like a bunch of fools—especially considering mankind's history of blunders.

Paul, George and Ringo—with their varying degrees of appreciation for Maharishi—insisted that John change the chorus and title of the song. George suggested "Sexy Sadie." Perhaps in his heart John knew the truth and that's why he acquiesced. Of course there were many other, more positive Beatles songs inspired by Maharishi—such as "Across the Universe," which John considered the best lyrics of his career.

"Angels on earth"

Maharishi himself never harbored any ill will towards the Beatles. The Times of India article about Harrison's trip to visit Maharishi in the Netherlands in 1991 added another facet to the story. Maharishi had heard that according to "Beatles lore," when the band made their first appearance on American TV, on the Ed Sullivan show, there was said to have been no crime in the US for that one hour. "When I heard this," Maharishi said to Harrison during this visit, "I knew the Beatles were angels on earth. It doesn't matter what John said or did, I could never be upset with angels." On hearing that, George broke down and wept.
Maharishi expounded for over 50 years on the nature of life from the perspective of a great Vedic sage. Often referred to as “the Einstein of consciousness,” he established the life-transforming benefits of meditation on the empirical grounds of science and opened the doors of higher states of consciousness to the scientific age.

He opened the Beatles' minds and heart to a much greater reality than Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. And their lives were changed forever.

From the archive:

Guru takes Beatles to higher plane in Bangor

August 27, 1967: Hunter Davies accompanies the pop

group to a yoga retreat in search of enlightenment

from The Sunday Times, London

THE Beatles have given up drugs. This is not just because they talked yesterday for two hours in a first-class compartment between Euston and Bangor to a small Indian gentleman, or even because this morning the same gentleman went on to initiate them into the techniques of transcendental meditation. Giving up drugs was already happening to them. Now they are sure.

When Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon admitted they had taken drugs it received worldwide publicity. It is hoped that their being off them will be equally publicised. It will be interesting to see if the millions whom they are supposed to influence — that’s when they’re doing anything which the older generation considers bad — will be affected by their doing good.

It could be the end of the hippies. After all, from San Francisco to Tottenham Court Road, by their beads, bangles and acid, the Beatles have been the heroes of all hippies. Is the next teenage cult going to be a positive one for good living? Are the drop-out, freak-out negative days over? It’s ironic that all the acres of heavy print, from leader writers, medics and lawyers, about the wrongs of drug taking didn’t do the slightest bit of good. The Beatles’ reasons for giving up drugs are simply spiritual. They are looking for spiritual fulfilment.

“It was an experience we went through,” says Paul, “and now it’s over we don’t need it any more. We think we’re finding other ways of getting there.”

The Indian gentleman is called the Maharishi. More than 300 of his British followers are gathered this weekend at the University College of North Wales for five days of meditation. Their meditations were rather shattered when out of the blue the four Beatles, plus Mick Jagger, arrived pursued by hundreds of fans, police and press.

The decision was sudden. It happened only yesterday morning. The Beatles had gone to a public lecture given by the Maharishi the night before. He invited them on his meditation course in Bangor. But their interest in Indian religion is not sudden. It’s been happening for the past year. They already have some knowledge of yoga philosophy and have been reading and taking instruction for the past six months, looking for one good wise man to explain everything.

It was planned to be a secret private weekend when we got to Euston for the 3.05 yesterday. But it wasn’t. There was such chaos that Cynthia Lennon was left behind, caught in the crowds and held back by a policeman who thought she was a fan. It didn’t look as if Ringo would make it either. His wife Maureen was due out today with a new baby. “I rang her,” said Ringo. “But she said I had to go. I hadn’t to miss this.”

“Cyn and I were thinking of going to Libya,” said John, “till this came up. Libya or Bangor? Well there was no choice was there.” Pattie Boyd, Mrs George Harrison, was clutching a bag of apples and Marianne Faithfull, Jagger’s girlfriend, clutched a carrier bag. George lit some joss sticks and John asked if the Maharishi would turn out to be another version of what they already knew: “You know, like some are on EMI and some Decca, but it’s really still records.”

George, who is the most knowledgeable, said he didn’t think so. He felt this was going to be it. He has been the leader in studying Indian religion since he took up the sitar. He’s been studying and searching for a long time. He went to Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco to see the hippies, but was disappointed. Last week he went to Cornwall and climbed a mountain with a yogi but nothing happened.

They were ushered into the Maharishi’s compartment where he sat cross-legged on a white sheet laid out on a seat by one of his followers. This is his final world tour before he retires to India. Bangor was pandemonium. But amid all the thousands of shrieking teenagers there were huddles of genteel middle-aged ladies clutching flowers waiting to welcome the Maharishi.

At the college his 300 followers, members of his International Meditation Society, were of the same genteel officer-class background, all clutching flowers. It was surprising to realise that while teenage flower power had all the publicity there are many ordinary adults similarly looking for spiritual guidance.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died in 2008. Hunter Davies, 74, is the author of an authorised biography of the Beatles. He still writes for The Sunday Times

Interview with Moby from LiveDaily

Published July 16, 2009 07:07 AM
By Maya Marin / LiveDaily Contributor

It was a balmy spring day in West Hollywood, CA, when Moby [ tickets ] arrived for his interview with LiveDaily. Taking advantage of the nice weather, we ushered the affable, bespectacled musician up onto the roof and into a shady spot overlooking the billboard-laden Sunset Strip.

As locals know, the Strip is more than just a road; it's a veritable visual assault of towering images and words officiously touting what movies to watch, clothes to wear and music to listen to--a strange backdrop for an artist who often decries the blatant commercialization of the arts, but somehow also fitting for a music icon who (controversially) brought the once-underground genre of electronica to the radio-listening masses.

He inspected our recording equipment when technical difficulties arose ("Once a sound engineer, always a sound engineer," he quipped), and once all was up and running, we spoke about his favorite TV shows (and recent cameo), his new record, his hero and friend David Lynch, and a strange encounter with right-wing pundit Bill O'Reilly.

Despite his music being an airwave mainstay in the '90s and early 2000s, he claims to not care a whit whether his latest effort, the dark and melodic "Wait For Me," draws airplay or attains commercial success, as he really only writes music for the smallest of all possible niche markets: himself.

We'll get to the music, but first, was that you I saw on the "30 Rock" season finale standing behind Michael McDonald?

As a matter of fact, it was the weirdest bunch of musicians. I think they called every musician living within a 10-mile radius of the studio in New York and said, "Are you a fan of the show? And if so, please come sing." So it was myself, the Beastie Boys, Clay Aiken, Elvis Costello, Norah Jones, Cyndi Lauper--I mean, like, the most random assortment of musicians. But it was so much fun. We got there in the morning and basically had all day to hang out. And the cast and crew were so excited that we were all there. So I got my picture taken with Kenneth the page [actor Jack McBrayer] and I accidentally almost killed Tina Fey's baby.


I was playing with her child who's about 2 years old and I got a little bit too excited, and it started choking and threw up on itself. I've never felt more embarrassed in my entire life. Tina Fey is, I think, the world's most perfect woman. She's so smart and so funny--so to almost accidentally kill her baby! The day was wonderful, but that was a low point in the day for me.

But it had a happy ending.


Is there another television show that you'd like to make a cameo on?

Well, for a long time, my goal was to be on "The Simpsons," and that sort of happened. They used my music in one of the episodes, and then there's an episode where Marge and Homer win tickets to go to the skybox at a hockey game, and Marge walks into the skybox and says "Oh, it's so modern and contemporary here, just like Moby's house on 'Cribs.'" That was nice. Now what's left is "The Family Guy." I'm 43 years old, but I've got the tastes of a stunted adolescent.

Alright, Seth McFarlane: get Moby on the show! So about your new album, "Wait For Me," you've said that David Lynch is a direct inspiration for it. What was it that he said that struck a chord with you?

David Lynch has always been a hero of mine and I love 99% of the movies that he's made, especially the darker, more experimental ones. And about a year and a half ago, I was in England and he was talking at BAFTA, which is the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, he was talking about creativity and how--I'm paraphrasing, but essentially, how creativity shouldn't be judged by how well it accommodates the marketplace. Creative expression shouldn't be judged on how much money it generates. It shouldn't be judged on gross revenue or record sales. Creativity should be solely judged on the intentions of the artist who is creating it and how it affects whoever is experiencing it. Music should be judged on how the listener responds to it subjectively, not necessarily how big a billboard is or how much money it generates. And that's what I truly believe. And it's difficult, living in this climate. The onus, so often, is put on creativity to generate a lot of money. And when people talk about art and music, they don't talk about its artistic merits. They talk about its ability to make money for people. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, I'm just saying that that's a world and process that I don't really want to be involved in. What's precious to me is being able to spend my life making music and having people who are sometimes willing to listen to what I do. And that's honestly pretty much all I care about.

These should be words to live by for all artists.

Well, the old antagonistic punk rocker in me wants to judge other people who do devote their professional lives accommodating the marketplace. But at the same time, it's not my place to judge what other people do. If other people love fame for the sake of fame and love money for the sake of money, God bless 'em. I hope it makes them happy. I just see fame as being a corrosive institution. If you think about it, famous people are miserable. The number of famous people who become alcoholics, addicted to drugs, in therapy five times a week, on anti-depressants--I don't know why everyone in the world wants to be famous, because rock stars and movie stars have a short life expectancy and, for the most part, are pretty unhappy.

You've said that this album is the most personal album that you've ever made. Do you find that you're a lot more self reflective at this time in your life?

When I was much younger, I had this irrational assumption that youth lasted forever. When I was 25, I thought to myself, "I'm 25, I've been young my entire life and I will continue to be young my entire life." I thought that youth was perpetual. And at some point you realize, you get a little bit older, and then you start realizing that life is short. And the moment anyone realizes that life is short, it's an existential crisis. How do you respond? Do you panic and buy a Hummer and get hair implants and start dating D-list actresses? Or do you try and figure out what actually could give a life meaning and substance? Which, ideally, should be a spiritual grounding, work that you love, spending time with your friends, and, in my case, trying to make music that I really love.

I've listened to the album and it's very beautiful.


I love "Shot in the Back of the Head," for which David Lynch directed that amazingly creepy video. All the songs, in fact, are very moody. What does this say about where you are right now?

I think, simply, what it says is that I really like personal, emotional music. I mean, I love a good, fun, party song. At 2 o' clock in the morning, if you're in a bar with your friends and "Brown Sugar" by The Rolling Stones comes on, it sounds great. But the music that I really care about is more introspective, more emotional, more melodic, more personal. So [this album] certainly is not a party record. It's not a nightclub record. It's not a bar record. It's a record for someone to listen to pretty much on their own. You know--Sunday morning, 9 a.m., it's raining outside, you lie in bed, you put on this record, and hopefully that's when it makes the most sense.

It's a very moving record, and producer Ken Thomas, who famously worked with Sigur Ros and Throbbing Gristle, seems to be the perfect fit. How did he help you achieve the sound that you wanted?

There are a lot of modern records that I find to be unnecessarily bombastic. Even ballads that are produced like speed-metal songs. It seems oxymoronic: a loud ballad. It's because there are a lot of insecure people at record companies who think that everything needs to be mixed for radio. And radio is not a medium that responds well to subtlety; radio is inherently unsubtle and bombastic. And I wanted to make a record that was quieter, that had dynamics, that had subtlety, that had nuance, and that, production-wise and mix-wise, would be a lot more experimental. And Ken Thomas, luckily, since his background is experimental music, he was thrilled to do this. So when I was mixing this album, I wasn't mixing for pop radio. I wasn't mixing for nightclubs. I was mixing for someone who was going to listen to this record at home pretty much by themselves.

There are gorgeous vocals, too, on the album. Who do you have as guest vocalists?

I've worked with a lot of singers over the years and I love to sing myself, but I don't have the greatest voice in the world. So, if I want to have beautiful voices on my records, I have to work with people who can really sing, and that means either working with famous professional singers or my friends. And famous people are a pain in the ass. I mean, not always, but for the most part, famous people take themselves a little too seriously. They take their image a little too seriously. You have to go through lawyers and managers and so I'd rather just make records with my friends. So all the vocalists on this record are basically friends of mine [e.g. Amelia Zirin-Brown, Leela James] and it just makes the process so much more fun. You invite them over, they sing the song, you go out and get some spaghetti. There are no lawyers, there are no managers. At some point you pay them but it's not this long, drawn-out process involving hotel rooms and makeup artists, etc.

And do you write songs specifically for a certain vocalist in mind?

When I write the songs, I usually, at first, sing them myself. And if I can't do a good enough job singing the song, I try to figure out who else should sing it. And in a place like Los Angeles or New York, there's no shortage of people who can sing well, but what I really love are people who can sing well but also have very distinctive voices, and that's harder to find. Luckily, there are a lot of musicians in New York and a lot of them have very interesting voices. So, I feel like I got lucky to be able to have my friends sing on this record.

David Lynch actually has a great voice. Would you ever consider inviting him to be a vocalist?

Oh, yeah. Not to be a namedropper, but David has his home and studio fairly near here and I was over there and he played me some of the music he was working on. I think he had a song in "Mullholland Drive" and I think he might have had a song or two in "Inland Empire." I'm probably the only person on the planet who's seen "Inland Empire" four times in the theater. I think it was only playing in four or five theaters worldwide, but it was playing at the IFC Theater on 6th Avenue and I went and saw it four times because I loved it so much.

Did it make more sense the third or the fourth time around?

It does. The first time, I loved it, but it seemed like it had no--it didn't seem cohesive in a narrative way. And the second and third time, all of a sudden, it started to make a lot of sense. Especially since I saw it four times in the course of a month, it made a lot of sense. But yeah, I love the way he sings. He sings in that very halting falsetto.

I was reading your journal online and you spoke of a concert you were part of for David Lynch's transcendental meditation program, Change Begins Within. How does his transcendental meditation differ from the Eastern variety, and do you practice it yourself?

Well, the way I met David Lynch--as I said, he's been a hero of mine forever-- he was hosting a weekend in Iowa called the David Lynch weekend about quantum mechanics and transcendental meditation. And so if David Lynch invites you to Iowa to talk about quantum mechanics and transcendental meditation, you go! So I went and we spent the weekend together and I learned TM. And I thought TM was this ancient, mystical form of meditation. But it's actually quite simple. You close your eyes for twenty minutes and you repeat a sound to yourself and that's it.

And what is your mantra?

Oh, you're never allowed to share your mantra.

Oh, you're not allowed to? So that's the first rule of TM, I guess.

Yeah, it's like Fight Club. The first rule of TM is that there is no TM (laughs). But, yeah, it's a very simple, effective form of meditation. And David started an organization, the David Lynch Foundation, that teaches meditation to school kids. And it's really very effective because the kids who learn meditation, their test scores go up, their absentee rates go down. In general, they're a lot happier. So we had a concert to raise money for the David Lynch Foundation with the weirdest collection of musicians like Paul McCartney and Ben Harper, Eddie Vedder, Donovan, and me, and Jerry Seinfeld was one of the hosts. It was just a really wonderful, interesting event.

And you bumped into a very unexpected guest who was there that night.

Oh yes, that's right. So there was the event itself, which had the most random bunch of people, and it was fun for me because I got to play some of my own songs, but I also got to play drums next to Ringo Starr during a Beatles song. And then at the aftershow party--I normally don't go to aftershow parties these days, but I thought, "David Lynch is gonna be there, he's my friend, I'll go and support the organization," and Bill O'Reilly was there. And we were just sitting there staring, thinking "Why was Bill O'Reilly at a David Lynch aftershow party for transcendental meditation?" I wanted to go up to him and talk to him and just ask, "Why are you here?" I didn't want to be confrontational, but I was just really curious as to why Bill O'Reilly would be at a David Lynch party. Then Bill O'Reilly came up to David Lynch in a very humble way and said that he was very impressed with the concert and really impressed by the message and that he was going to talk about transcendental meditation on his show. I don't know if that happened or not but, I don't know, the Berlin Wall fell down and Bill O'Reilly is interested in transcendental meditation. It's like a paradigm shift.

That's really hard to imagine! Well, it's kind of a strange segue, but ...

Oh, speaking of segues, do you know what's funny? I never knew how to spell segue. I thought that segue was spelled like the crappy little wheelie machine that they have. It's S-E-G-U-E.

S-E-G-U-E, that's right.

My entire life I've read it as "seeg." So I was reading a book and I said that there was a "'seeg' between this and this," and an ex-girlfriend of mine said, "You're kidding, right?" She said, "You're 42 years old, you're a philosophy major, your mom was a literature major and you don't know that that's segue?" But it's still hard for me to not read it as "seeg" (laughs).

Well, I'm sure there's a huge amount of the population you've just schooled right now on the subject! Anyway, speaking of political commentators, I know you're very involved in politics, so I want to give you an opportunity to tell us about the organizations you're involved with and the causes that you're behind.

Well, I work with a lot of different, very disparate organizations. I've worked with on and off for a long time. I've worked on a lot of individual political campaigns like the John Kerry campaign and Al Gore's campaign and different senatorial campaigns. And at first I thought that the politicians wanted me around because of my trenchant insights, but, no, you realize they want you around because you can raise money. So on the Obama campaign, I actually didn't open my mouth that much, I just tried to raise money where I could. And then I work with the Humane Society because, specifically on a legislative level, they're really effective legislative advocates for animal rights. And there's this great organization that was started by Oliver Sacks called Institute for Music and Neurologic Function and they do a lot of brain research but specifically looking at the neurological ramifications of music therapy. It's pretty miraculous that music in addition to being fun and emotional and powerful can actually be a quantifiable source of healing.
[Note: The following tour dates have been provided by artist and/or tour sources, who verify its accuracy as of the publication time of this story. Changes may occur before tickets go on sale. Check with official artist websites, ticketing sources and venues for late updates.]

Tour dates and tickets

September, 2009

17 - Baltimore, MD - Ram's Head Live
18 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
20 - Philadelphia, PA - TLA
21 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
24 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
29 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrew's Hall
30 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre

October, 2009
1 - St. Paul, MN - Myth
3 - Houston, TX - Warehouse
4 - Dallas, TX - Palladium
12 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues
14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
15 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre
18 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox
19 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom

Howard Stern to Introduce Ringo at TM Benefit Concert

This in from AWEARNESS Blog:

"Raunchy radio star Howard Stern has -- believe it or not -- copped to being a student of Transcendental Meditation for years. ...every morning -- at 4 am -- and night he clears his head and meditates. Stern credits the practice with helping him quit smoking and achieve his goals in radio. He also announced on his Sirius show last week that he will appear at Hollywood director David Lynch's "Change Begins Within" concert at Radio City Music Hall on Saturday, April 4. Also appearing are Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eddie Vedder, Donovan, Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, Moby, Bettye Lavette, Paul Horn and Jim James.

The event's goals are to "raise funds to teach one million at-risk children to meditate -- giving them life-long tools to overcome stress and violence and promote peace and success in their lives." The David Lynch Foundation advocates meditation -- the TM Quiet Time program -- in schools as a means to increase academic performance and attention span. To that end the foundation provides scholarships for students in grades 6-12. From Associated Content:

David Lynch and other proponents of TM suggest that students who spend 15-20 meditating each morning experience better concentration in school, better academic performance and lower incidences of depression and anxiety.

Despite Howard Stern's repeated self-proclamations that he is the "King of All Media," he rarely makes live appearances in public outside of his radio show. Stern stated that he originally considered declining Lynch's offer to appear because of his discomfort about appearing in public, but changed his mind because he believes in the cause so strongly. He also stated that Transcendental Meditation practice helped to reduce his mother's symptoms of depression.

Learn more about the concert at Information on Transcendental Meditation program scholarships can be found here.

The "Beatles Examiner" reports:

Howard Stern announced on his radio show Wednesday that he'll be introducing Ringo Starr at the David Lynch "Change From Within" benefit concert April 4 starring Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr at Radio City Music Hall. In discussing what his introduction would be, he said he was introduced to meditation by his mother.

"I'm gonna go up there and say, 'Listen, I've been meditating since I'm 18 years old. I'm now 55. And meditation was a big thing in my family. It changed our lives, particularly my mother's. My mother was a depressed woman." he said on the air. ... "I like (meditation). I've been doing it ever since. ... And I love them for saving my mother. And I even got to interview the Maharishi twice. Then I'll say the Maharishi was a great man. And I thank him every day for this," he continued.

Stern gave high praise to the Beatles. "I believe the Beatles had such an impact on our world that they were truly profound individuals. That's why I get excited when Paul McCartney's here. And John Lennon I felt equally the same way. ... They influenced so many people and touched so many people's lives through their creativity."

After a comment was made that with Paul and Ringo in the same building, they've got to be doing something together, Stern alluded to that, but didn't give details. "Well, I've been given certain information about this concert because I'm a part of it. Where I understand big things will be happening."

He also make a joking remark that recalls Paul's recent appearance on Stern's show. "I'm gonna steal something from Paul. I'm gonna steal the real guitar that he's playing. I'll be backstage and I'll just grab something." Stern fans know that McCartney gave him an autographed bass guitar for his birthday.

Concert webcast: DLF.TV, David Lynch's new online channel which started on Wednesday, will webcast from backstage at the "Change Begins Within" concert April 4. (The concert itself will not be webcast.) The webcast will start att 6:30 p.m. EDT on DLF.TV and will use BitGravity's BG LiveTM highly-scalable flash-based video stream service.

Concert ticket contest: The Lynch Foundation is giving away two tickets to the show in a contest. Read about it in a column we posted Wednesday.

Times-Colonist: Victoria flautist gets back with Beatle buddies

Paul Horn with George Harrison in 1968 in India.
Photograph by: Paul Horn's private collection, Times Colonist

Victoria flautist gets back with Beatle buddies
By Grania Litwin, Times Colonist, March 20, 2009

Victoria jazz flautist Paul Horn just turned 79, but that's not stopping him from appearing with Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Donovan and Sheryl Crow at a benefit concert at New York's Radio City Music Hall on April 4.

"They should have held it in Madison Square Garden," he joked, noting the event was sold out in seconds, with tickets priced from $99 to $500 US. Internet scalpers are reselling them for up to $4,250.

"It's very exciting getting together again -- man it's been 40 years," said Horn, who first met the Beatles and Donovan at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram in 1968. He was making a film about the holy man, and they all studied transcendental meditation together.

"During about six weeks I got to know Paul and George best, Ringo only stayed about two weeks. John was more of a loner, although interested in learning to play the flute. George was studying the sitar and we'd go to a little hut sometimes and jam. Donovan was there the whole time -- the quintessential flower child, a very sweet, gentle soul." He and Donovan later toured the U.S. together twice.

The concert will raise funds for the David Lynch Foundation, which wants to teach a million children to meditate, said publicist Steve Yellin from Iowa.

"We've already taught more than 70,000 around the world and hundreds of schools in the U.S. have now applied."

Horn applauds Lynch for bringing transcendental meditation into schools, to help reduce stress and bullying, and increase creativity and health. "It's an ambitious project, but it's all about timing. It has taken time for the West to finally connect with Maharishi's message, and realize TM is not a religion."

All the musicians are donating their time, said Horn, who has recorded more than 40 albums, won Grammys and worked with everyone from Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington to Nat King Cole. Other performers at the event are Ben Harper, Moby, Bettye Lavette and Jim James.

How will Horn fit in with the youngbloods?

"I'll be there to give a break from the energy," he said with a chuckle, adding he'll play a piece with Donovan, then an improvisational solo with digital delay -- echo effect -- that he guarantees "will quiet the crowd."

He perfected the technique in 1968 in the Taj Mahal -- a flawless echo chamber -- that resulted in his famous album Inside.

Horn, who will travel to New York with his wife Ann Mortifee, has never played in Radio City Music Hall, although he has performed in New York many times -- twice at Carnegie Hall.

"I'm doing this because I value TM. It has immeasurably affected everything in my life and is a reflection of who I am, my music."
© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist

Ringo to Join Paul for "Change Begins Within" Benefit Concert

Sir Paul McCartney, who is headlining the "Change Begins Within" concert on April 4th, is a friend of David Lynch, whose Foundation is sponsoring this extraordinary event. Sir Paul took his daughter to visit Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Vlodrop, Netherlands, in the late 90's. Paul has signed on as National Co-chairman for the concert and to help raise funds for one million children to learn to meditate. The Iowa Source ran this piece about the latest addition to the concert lineup: Ringo!

laughing crow

The big news is that Ringo Starr had tea with Paul in Los Angeles earlier this week. The night before Ringo had had dinner with some friends who told him about the school project in San Francisco. So when he met with Paul, he was very enthusiastic about participating. Paul and Ringo have not performed together for seven or eight years. The last time they performed was at a concert for George Harrison, who had just passed away. Prior to that, it may have been at least 20 years since they played together on stage. As one of our promoters said, "If these tickets don't sell within one hour after going on sale, we should all retire!" This will be a fabulous and historic event.

David Lynch is orchestrating the whole evening, and it will be a unique Lynchian event—unlike any other concert anyone has attended! He is having a lot of fun coming up with creative and unusual ideas to make it a fabulous evening.

Don't wait, buy your tickets early. It's for a wonderful cause and one of the best events any of us will attend in this lifetime.