Meeting The Beatles In India is a documentary about The Beatles‘ historic 1968 trip to study Transcendental Meditation (TM) at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram retreat in Rishikesh. It was here the band immersed themselves further in the Maharishi’s teachings, and where they wrote so many of the songs that would appear on their next LP, The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album).
The film tells the story of a young man named Paul Saltzman, an American photographer on his own journey toward spiritual enlightenment who just happened to arrive at the ashram at the very same time as The Beatles.
Saltzman interacted with the band, watched as they composed, and took many of the now-famous photos from the time, including this iconic image featuring the band, their wives and girlfriends, Beach Boy Mike Love, Donovan, Mia Farrow, her sister Prudence, and others:
Narrated by Morgan Freeman, Meeting The Beatles In India features more than 40 previously unseen photos from Saltzman’s stay in India. There are interviews with others who were at the retreat too, including Pattie Boyd (former wife of George Harrison), her sister Jenny Boyd, and the man about whom John Lennon wrote the song ‘The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill’.
The movie also sees Saltzman discussing Transcendental Meditation with Twin Peaks director David Lynch (a huge advocate for TM), and footage of Saltzman paying a present-day visit to the now-abandoned ashram. He’s accompanied by the highly respected Beatle historian Mark Lewisohn.
Meeting The Beatles In India has its virtual world premiere online on September 9 via the Gathr Films website.