Beatles and Ravi Shankar met at Zsa Zsa Gabor’s LSD party: Byrds singer

April 19th, 2010 - 5:45 pm ICT by ANI  

London, April 19 (ANI): The Beatles were introduced to the music of Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar at Zsa Zsa Gabor’s LSD party in LA, The Byrds founder Roger McGuinn has revealed.

According to McGuinn, the birth of the counterculture movement, the psychedelia rage of the 1960s, began when the Beatles sent a limousine to collect him and fellow Byrds founder David Crosby to party with them at Zsa-Zsa Gabor’s Bel Air mansion, which they had rented during their 1965 US tour.

“There were girls at the gates, police guards. We went in and David, John Lennon, George Harrison and I took LSD to help get to know each other better. There was a large bathroom in the house and we were all sitting on the edge of a shower passing around a guitar, taking turns to play our favourite songs. John and I agreed Be-Bop-A-Lula was our favourite 50s rock record,” the Telegraph quoted McGuinn, as saying.

He went on: “I showed George Harrison some Ravi Shankar sounds, which I’d heard because we shared the same record company, on the guitar. I told him about Ravi Shankar and he said he had never heard Indian music before,” McGuinn told the Daily Telegraph from his home in Florida.

“You can hear what I played him from the Byrds’ song ‘Why’. I had learned to play it on the guitar from listening to records of Ravi Shankar.”

Harrison later became the first Western pop star to play a sitar on the song Norwegian Wood, and visited Shankar in Kashmir the following year to take sitar lessons.

McGuinn said a discussion on Indian music was followed by a conversation on religion, and he asked Harrison “what he thought about God”.

Harrison, who was to later become the Maharishi’s disciple and an advocate of Transcendental Meditation and “yogic flying”, answered: “We don’t know about that.”

“Then they didn’t know whether there was a God or not or about anything going on in the spiritual world, they were oblivious to it,” McGuinn said.

Talking about his next encounter with Harrison on a plane, McGuinn said: “We talked about Transcendental Meditation and he looked like he was somewhere else. I asked him ‘what’s going on?’ and he said he was ‘transcending’.

He added: “We planted the seeds [of psychedelia]. We loved Indian music and did some things in that vein, but not as much as The Beatles. Later they went out there [to India], got some sitars, met Ravi Shankar and learned to play them, and got into the whole Eastern Thing. We didn’t really realise it but it had an impact. We loved the Beatles and they loved The Byrds, and we were sharing influences.” (ANI)

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Entertainment |