Fans can attend the virtual September 9th premiere of the new Meeting The Beatles In India movie, directed by Paul Saltzman and narrated by Morgan Freeman. Saltzman, who studied Transcendental Meditation (TM) under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi along with the Beatles in Rishikesh during their 1968 pilgrimage, has spent the better part of two decades chronicling their time together in the legendary Indian ashram.
The new doc features director David Lynch, George Harrison's first wife Pattie Boyd and her sister Jenny Boyd — who also was in India with the Beatles at the time — top Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, as well as Rikki Cooke — the real “Bungalow Bill.”
The premiere will also include a live Q&A across all time zones, and launches at 7:00 p.m. local time wherever you may be. Fans can book their pay-per-view seats’ at www.gathr.com.
Saltzman, who published his book of photographs of the band at the ashram, titled The Beatles In India, has also been leading tours revisiting the “Fab Four's” spiritual journey at the foothills of the Himalayas. Although not officially sanctioned by the Beatles' Apple Corps., “the project will feature rarely-seen footage, including in-depth interviews with the band.”
The Beatles became indoctrinated into the Maharishi's practice of TM during the summer of 1967 and traveled to Rishikesh, India to study under him in February 1968. Although Ringo Starr left Rishikesh after only 10 days and Paul McCartney stayed for six weeks, John Lennon and George Harrison, along with their wives, stayed with the Maharishi for two months. Also studying with the Beatles were Donovan and the Beach Boys' Mike Love.
Lennon and the group left the Maharishi's compound after hearing rumors of Maharishi's supposed advances on some of the female TM practitioners, one of whom was allegedly actress Mia Farrow.
Paul Saltzman recalled watching Lennon and McCartney collaborating on a soon-to-be “White Album” classic: “I looked over and under Paul's toe, under his sandal was a little torn piece of paper. And I look over and in his handwriting it's 'Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, bra/La-La how the life goes on.' And I'm sitting beside Ringo (Starr) — maybe five feet away from Paul — and they start singing it and really working with it. Only those words — only John and Paul. Ringo was just quietly listening.”
Saltzman recalled first shooting the band in Rishikesh: “I asked all of them individually, 'Do you mind if I take the odd picture?' 'Cause they, when they sat around, George had a camera, Ringo had a camera — they would take snapshots, it was like a family outing in India. And so I said, 'Do you mind if I take the odd picture?' — and each of them said 'Pfff, go right ahead.' In fact, I could have taken hundreds of pictures, and I just honestly didn't think about it.”