The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool is the world’s most life-sized permanent exhibition on the lives, vibes, music and culture of the the iconic English rock band. A two-year long display is opening in the band’s hometown, Liverpool, from February 15, 2018. Called Beatles in India, the exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s spiritual journey to Rishikesh in 1968.
The Beatles‘ stay in India for three months, under the tutelage of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, marked a stirring, transitional era in the band’s music. The band was in an emotionally vulnerable stage when they lost their manager Brian Epstein in the summer of 1967. This prompted them to turn to India in search of spirituality. During their stay, guitarist George Harrison was profoundly influenced by Bharat Ratna recipient Pandit Ravi Shankar. He started to incorporate Indian musical instruments into their western pop music. During this Transcendental Meditation phase, The Beatles worked on songs for the White Album, which became a cult classic hit that sold millions of copies worldwide.
To generate ethnic diversity in the showcase, Pandit Ravi Shankar Foundation has agreed to lend the sitar of the legendary sitarist. This will take centre-stage as a major attraction. Beatles in India will also portray untold stories shared by people who accompanied John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison during their tour to India. Memorabilia and intimate photographs by Paul Saltzman, a sound engineer for the National Film Board of Canada who shot their most candid moments in India, will be exhibited for the first time.
The exhibition will have various India-influenced happenings, workshops and discourses. Talks will feature luminaries, including George Harrison’s ex-wife Pattie Boyd and her sister Jenny Boyd. Intriguingly, during their stay in India, Harrison celebrated his 25th birthday and this year will mark his 75th birthday, exactly 50 years since then.
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