50 years on, Pattie Boyd on the trip that changed rock music: the Beatles in India

The Beatles in Rishikesh
The Beatles in Rishikesh

Fifty years ago today the Beatles decamped to northern India for a stay at the Maharishi’s ashram in Rishikesh for a period of meditation. There they would also write many of the songs that would appear on their sprawling, eponymous double LP known as The White Album, released in November that year. That album, with its seminal blank white cover, remains a landmark moment in pop history – the moment the Beatles left behind the perfect pop harmonies of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for a much more discordant, darker, rawer sound that both mirrored the band’s growing creative differences and changed the direction of rock music.

Yet the trip might not have happened at all were it not for...

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