Forty years after India, Paul and Ringo reunite at Radio City Music Hall for the David Lynch Foundation
On stage last April 4 at Radio City Music Hall, Paul McCartney delivers a rare performance of “Come and Be Cosmically Conscious” as a finale to a mind-blowing, four-hour benefit concert for the David Lynch Foundation… On a 90-foot screen at the back of the stage, Paul showed a series of beautiful pictures of the Beatles with Maharishi in India. Paul was joined for the concert by Ringo Star, Donovan, Sheryl Crow, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Moby, Bettye LaVette, Mike Love, Paul Horn, and Jim James … Jerry Seinfeld, Howard Stern, and Russell Simmons added their heart-felt support (and, at times, very, very funny humor) to the evening, which raised funds to teach one million at-risk kids to meditate.
I grew up listening to those guys. Of course I did. As Baby Boomers we all did. And the GenXers and whatever they are calling the younger generation today—a lot of you grew up to their music, too. In a very real way, their songs formed a very poignant soundtrack to the blissful and tumultuous experiences of my earlier years. (Okay, there was a lot of Bob Dylan and Donovan in there, too.)
So never, ever, ever in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would answer my cell phone in March of last year and on the other end I would hear, “Hi Bob, this is Ringo. I am calling to let you know that I will be joining Paul for the Lynch Foundation’s concert at Radio City.” I thought it was my friend Mario giving me a hard time. But then that distinct Brit voice kept going, giving me details about flight arrivals and hotel accommodations, and my disbelief dissipated into, well, disbelief.
I mean, please. I remember listening to their “White Album” for the first time in my dorm room at Putnam Hall at the University of California at Berkeley with my friend Gary Swee in 1968.
And now, more than 40 years later, Ringo Starr is calling me to say he would be happy to perform with Paul McCartney at a benefit concert that we at the David Lynch Foundation had pulled together for April 4? Uh, I don’t think so…
Well, amazingly long story short, Paul and Ringo and a host of other incredible performers all showed up and sang. It was an unbelievably over-the-top, phenomenal concert. You’da loved it. (Good news: Hopefully soon, there will be a DVD out of the entire concert. I will let you know details when I get them…)
Anyway, this came up now because last night I was cleaning up the hard drive and I happened on the above picture. Thinking again about that evening got me thinking about my past. I am, proudly, a child of the ’60s. I was not a hippie or anything, but like so many of us at that time, I really, really really wanted to change the world… After a youthful flirtation with Berkeley politics, I realized that divisive approach would not work for me. But when I learned this particular meditation technique—a technique I first heard about when the Beatles and Donovan went to India to study with Maharishi—I had a very strong feeling that this could be a very real, very foundational tool to make a lasting change for good in the world.
Now, over 40 years later, with continuing very public, very heartfelt support from Paul and Ringo (and George’s wife, Olivia, and John’s wife, Yoko, who were special guests at the concert) and Donovan and Mike Love and Paul Horn from those India days, along with the massive amount of science documenting its benefits—and with thousands of schools and colleges and hospitals and businesses and prisons and homeless shelters, etc., already onboard—I am feeling that good feeling far more strongly than ever before.
Thanks for listening,