jueves, 22 de marzo de 2012

Ravi Shankar on late former Beatle George Harrison: ‘He became like part of me’

Ravi Shankar became both a musical and spiritual influence on George Harrison, as the two forged a deeply personal relationship that still lingers with the sitar master: “He was so sincerely in love with India and the Indian religion,” Shankar says, “because he was more into the philosophical aspect of the old system. This plus music, we became such good friends. He became like part of me. … I miss him very much.”
The late former Beatle first dabbled with the sitar on “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown),” from the 1965 Fab Four album Rubber Soul, thought to be the first instance of the instrument in a Western pop song. Later, in June of 1966, he began studying under Shankar. At one point, Harrison was living in a houseboat near the Himalayas, while undertaking six weeks of intense instruction.
Harrison subsequently made prominent use of the sitar in a series of Beatles songs, including “Love You To” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” from 1966′s Revolver, “Within You Without You” from Sgt. Pepper, on “The Inner Light,” the 1968 B-side to the “Lady Madonna” single; and “Across the Universe,” which appeared on 1970′s Let It Be. Harrison’s first solo album, 1968′s Wonderwall Music, also featured the instrument.
“We became very, very dear to each other in the sense that it started with my teaching him sitar,” Shankar said told The L.A. Times. “And then gradually I saw his interest in Indian religion and more than religion, actually, philosophy and the old culture. And I helped him get many books to read, and that’s how it started.”
Along the way, Harrison was also instrumental in bringing Shankar himself to a broader Western audience. The former Beatle lobbied to have Shankar included on the bill at 1967′s Monterey Pop Festival, included the sitar player in the first major charity concert at 1971′s Concert for Bangladesh, recording Shankar Family and Friends in 1973 and then toured North America with Shankar the following year.
Harrison later included the sitar in the humorous Beatles tribute song “When We Was Fab,” from 1987′s Cloud Nine. He passed away after a bout with cancer in 2001.

Source: http://somethingelsereviews.com

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