The Beatles: The Strange History of Sexy Sadie

Meditation chambers at the old Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram

“‘Well, if you’re so cosmic you’ll know why,’ John Lennon explained to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as the final two Beatles left his Ashram before fulfilling their Transcendental Meditation regimen. … Inner peace is as much a bitch as karma, which bites the asses of rock stars and gurus alike. Maharishi was accused of sexual misconduct during the Beatles’ sojourn to India for enlightenment, a journey which may have culminated in the band teaming with the Beach Boys in spreading the movement. But it darkened Lennon’s vibes so bad he banged out the holy rocking roller ‘Sexy Sadie.’ … ‘Sexy Sadie’ from The Beatles (‘White’) album preceded ‘How Do You Sleep?’ as one of Lennon’s signature tunes of personality bashing, and gave murderess Susan Atkins her signature alias. … Lennon has a reputation of taking his personal frustrations out in rhyme and chord scheme to produce classic sides of sarcastic acoustics with melodies that get caught in your head. He could turn a bad mood into a great song. He woke up angry at Paul McCartney one morning and had George Harrison doing slide leads by the afternoon to produce ‘How Do You Sleep?’ for his otherwise peaceable Imagine album. He flipped the bird at rich groupies after a bad one-night stand in ‘Norwegian Wood’ from The Beatles’ Rubber Soul. … Harrison and McCartney have gone on to publicly apologize to Maharishi. Pattie Boyd, then-wife to Harrison and perennial rock muse, intimated Lennon wanted to leave the ashram to be with Yoko Ono. ‘Everybody’s Got Something to Hide, Except for Me and My Monkey,’ Lennon sang. Come on. Peace is such a joy. … On August 25, The Beatles, along with the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger, and Marianne Faithfull left London’s Euston Station for Bangor, north Wales for a Transcendental Meditation seminar. Lennon’s wife Cynthia was held back by a security guard who thought she was a fan after she couldn’t keep up with the frantic Beatle-cartoon pace the band learned through years of touring. The Beatles spent two nights in Bangor, sleeping in bunks in college dormitory rooms with the other students.  The band figured maybe the Maharishi could give them what LSD couldn’t, and what banana skins no longer provided for Donovan, and held a press conference saying so. …”
NY Times: Rebuilding on the Beatles, an Ashram in India Hopes for Revival (Jan. 2018)
Rolling Stone: How the Beatles in India Changed America (2009)
Sexy Sadie, The Beatles and the Maharishi

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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