Showing posts with the label indian influence

First pop record using only Indian instruments?

Photo by Saubhagya gandharv on Unsplash George Harrison’s first serious attempt at an ‘Indian’ composition had the unpromising working title of “Granny Smith”. George revealed his 'difficulty with words' in an interview with Maureen Cleave for the London Evening Standard in February 1966. He wishes he could write fine songs as Lennon and McCartney do, but he has difficulty with the words. “Pattie keeps asking me to write more beautiful words,” he said. He played his newest composition… ’Love me while you can: before I’m a dead old man…’ George was aware that these words were not beautiful. Evening Standard readers may have had the impression that “Love You To” was a love song celebrating George’s recent marriage to new Pattie (Boyd). The couple had, after all, just returned from honeymoon in the (then) impossibly glamorous Barbados. Perhaps more pertinent, however, was another Maureen Cleave’s observation from the same interview. Indian music and culture, she noted, “has give

First use of sitar on a Beatles track?

Indian restaurant scene from Help! (1965 The first time George Harrison saw a sitar was on the set of Help in April 1965. A group of Indian musicians had been recruited to add an authentic Indian ambience to the restaurant scene. They played a  a Beatles medley ('Another Hard Day’s Night')   using  sitar, flute, tabla, ghunghroo and tanpura.  These session musicians performing Beatles songs in an Indian style were also being employed for comic effect but to his surprise, Harrison found himself entranced by the sound. ‘George was fascinated by the instruments they used,’ John Lennon later reported. He wanted to hear more and over the next few months Harrison began researching traditional Indian music.  Ravi Shankar The Beatles guitarist discussed his new interest with David Crosby, who toured the UK with The Byrds in August 1965. Crosby told him about Ravi Shankar, then virtually unknown outside India. Crosby also lent Harrison a Shankar LP that he ‘carried in his suitcase’.  It

When do we first hear an Indian influence on a Beatles record?

In June 1966 the great Indian musician Ravi Shankar visited George Harrison at his Surrey home - and played for the assembled Beatles. Two months later they recorded George's composition I WANT TO TELL YOU.  Harrison later explained that the song expressed 'an avalanche of thoughts that are so hard to write down or say' and Ian Macdonald spots the 'underlying Hindi outlook in the lyric - a karmic reference to time in the final lines ... confirmed by a descending melisma in the fade out'.  Neil Innes - who later collaborated with George Harrison on the celebrated Beatles spoof mockumentary  The Rutles   - happened to be in Abbey Road Studio as they were recording. He tells the story here: