Exhibition traces linkages between India and The Beatles
LIVERPOOL: How much India influenced The Beatles remains a matter of debate, but some key details and memorabilia of the iconic band’s association with India – including maestro Ravi Shankar’s Shyama sitar – go on display at its museum from Thursday.
Called “Beatles in India”, the exhibition in the Albert Dock is described as ‘one-of-a- kind’ that explores the ‘relatively secretive episode’ in the Beatles story. It includes imagery and personal accounts of the band’s associates, some of whom travelled to Rishikesh in February 1968.
Thursday marks 50 years since the band visited India at the invitation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Themed areas in the exhibition that runs for two years seek to recreate the colours, sounds and smells of Rishikesh.
The sitar Ravi Shankar used for practice and composition work was sourced from Rikhi Ram, a popular New Delhi-based store of music instruments, and has been loaned to The Beatles Story by the Ravi Shankar Foundation.
Ravi Shankar taught the sitar to Beatle George Harrison, who later helped popularise the use of Indian instruments in the 1960s pop music. Harrison, who believed he had a spiritual connection with India, donated land for a major Hindu temple in Hert- fordshire in 1973.
Pattie Boyd, former wife of Harrison, recounted the 1968 visit to a group of visiting journalists on Tuesday as a “special, magical time”, and said it was not apparent then that the band would break up after leaving India. Jenny Boyd, her sister and part of the 1968 group, who gave up modeling after discovering meditation during the visit, also shared her memories. Pattie said: “They (the four Beatles) were all together.”
Pattie Boyd, former wife of George Harrison