Friday, 24 April 2009

DVD Alert: John Lennon Live in Toronto '69

The only known recorded performance of John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band is finally coming to DVD. The historic concert was filmed on Sept. 13, 1969, at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival. The new DVD, titled John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band Live in Toronto '69, will be released by Shout! Factory on June 23, 2009.

Paul McCartney urges European Parliament to adopt ban on trade of seal products

Paul McCartney has renewed his call for an end to the seal hunt by urging the European Parliament to adopt a full trade ban on seal products. In a news release today, Humane Society International says McCartney has added his name to a petition aimed at the politicians. The pop music superstar says in the release the European politicians should stop the "cruel trade" in seal products.

The parliament is expected to vote on proposed legislation to ban the import of seal products in the next several weeks. The music legend says in today's release "the fate of millions of seal pups is in the hands of elected members of the European Parliament."

Paul McCartney rocks Las Vegas

The occasion: Two nights after his acclaimed headline gig at Coachella, Paul McCartney rocked The Joint Sunday night, capping the opening weekend of the Hard Rock Hotel's super-sonic $60 million venue that doubles the capacity of the same-named hall that closed in February. Sir Paul set a world record by selling out the house in seven seconds on Valentine's Day. General admission tickets cost $195 to $700 (for suite seats) but fetched thousands from scalpers. It's only love.

Macca the knife: McCartney, 66, remains a sharp and agile performer, his voice as supple, warm and elastic as ever. Trim in a black suit, white shirt and suspenders, he maintained a boyish energy and upbeat tone through the show's briskly paced 212-hour parade of 33 songs. While ably backed by longtime band mates Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums, Paul "Wix" Wickens on keyboards and Brian Ray and Rusty Anderson on guitars, McCartney was an eager heavy lifter.

Fabbest forays: Beatles hits proved most popular, and McCartney generously cherry-picked the catalog, opening with the joyride Drive My Car and delivering equally sleek versions of Eleanor Rigby, Back in the USSR and Paperback Writer. A chilling revival of A Day in the Life segued into the chanted Give Peace a Chance. Macca signatures Let It Be and The Long and Winding Road, embedded in boomer DNA, still have the power to raise gooseflesh.

Winging it: McCartney's solo selections didn't pale against Fab Four fare. And it wasn't just Wings high-fliers like Jet, Band on the Run and Let Me RollIt that stirred excitement. The tough Only Mama Knows, boogie-rocking Flaming Pie and accordion-sweetened Calico Skies stood up to McCartney's finest compositions. Mrs. Vanderbilt perhaps was a tad twee, but he pointed out, "I'll have you know that song is very popular in the Ukraine."

Where's the fire, man? It's in The Fireman, McCartney's nom de techno with collaborator Youth. The raucous Highway and dramatic U2-esque Sing the Changes, both from the pair's Electric Arguments album, gave the show edge and currency. Smoking The Joint: The building theatrics of Live and Let Die culminated in noisy pyrotechnics that filled The Joint with smoke, the perfect setting for the hazy nostalgia that accompanied a sing-along that followed.

Paul's game face: He's still The Cute Beatle, even digitally. During Got to Get You Into My Life, the huge screen behind the band flashed previews from fall's The Beatles: Rock Band videogame. Expect fireworks and psychedelic flourishes with the foursome's instrumental prowess.

Gentle shout-outs: McCartney, strumming a ukulele George Harrison gave him, paid homage to the late Beatle in a playful and poignant acoustic version of Something. Wife Linda, who died 11 years ago, was remembered in a wobbly performance of My Love, which he dedicated to "all the lovers in the room." And his nod to John Lennon in a heart-melting Here Today contained "stuff I might have said to him but didn't get a chance." Listen to what the man said: Introducing Blackbird, McCartney reminded the audience that the song pertained to the '60s civil rights struggles. "It's really great to come all this way and find you have President Obama," he said. "Yeah, change has come."

You say goodbye and I say hello: McCartney's protracted encores brought fans to the brink of hysteria, first with Can't Buy Me Love (augmented by Help! footage), Lady Madonna and a feverish I Saw Her Standing There. He returned for the always-moving Yesterday, a fierce Helter Skelter and Get Back. "This is the point where we have got to go home," McCartney said before launching into a cheery Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, illustrated by a pulsating backdrop of a sunrise. A fitting symbol for an artist still rising to the occasion.

Paul McCartney rocks Coachella


First 45 minutes shown online:
1) Jet
2) Drive My Car
3) Only Mama Knows
4) Flaming Pie
5) Got To Get You Into My Life
6) Let Me Roll It/Foxy Lady
7) Honey Hush
8) Highway
9) The Long And Winding Road
10) My Love
(Paul mentioned that it was the 11th anniversary of Linda's death and he wrote the song for her. He was very emotional as he sang it)
11) Blackbird
12 )Here Today (for John Lennon)

Other songs performed:

Something (dedicated to Olivia Harrison who Paul said was in the audience)
Calico Skies
A Day In The Life/Give Peace A Chance
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Band on the Run
Live and Let Die
Eleanor Rigby
Helter Skelter
Sing The Changes
Let It Be
Can't Buy Me Love
Get Back
Helter Skelter
Hey Jude
Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/The End

Paul actually jumped off the stage into the audience to give someone a pick who had been asking for it all night. He also introduced the entire band at the end of the show.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Ex-Beatle's arrival in Peru is yet to be confirmed

"Artes Eventos", the company that reportedly would bring Paul McCartney to Peru, has issued an statement remarking that the former beatle's arrival is yet to be confirmed.

"Our manager, Alberto Menacho, has not confirmed anything to the media. Once we have the actual information, he's going to announce it in an official press conference" they state in one of the forums of Artes Eventos' webpage.

However, they are in negotiations with Paul McCartney's managers, and they expect to arrive to an agreement during the next few weeks.

Artes Eventos is the company that brought Kiss and Iron Maiden to Lima, and is currently preparing the upcoming Oasis' concert in our city.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The Beatles Rock Band Limited Edition

We've speculated about what could be in the Beatles limited edition Rock Band bundle, but now GameStop has detailed exactly what will come in the package. There are no images yet, but if you're on the company's e-mail list you should have already received the information. It may be $250, but it's sure sounding pretty swank so far.

I'll let GameStop tell the story itself: "We've just learned that the Limited Edition Premium Bundle will include The Beatles: Rock Band software; a Höfner Bass controller; The Beatles-inspired and Ludwig-branded Rock Band drums with classic pearl finish, a metal kick pedal and a vintage replica drumhead; plus a microphone with stand, as well as additional special content."

The microphone stand is great news; playing Rock Band with a mic stand so you can sing and play guitar is great fun. The bass controller is also a great addition, although we were hoping for a guitar and bass controller to be included for that price.

We're looking forward to seeing what all this will look like, but in the meantime, does this get you any closer to buying the bundle? I'm interested in your thoughts.

New George Harrison album to be released

A new collection of some of George Harrison's best-loved songs is to be released this June. 'Let It Roll: Songs By George Harrison' will feature music from throughout Harrison's solo recording career, with tracks including 'My Sweet Lord', 'Isn't It A Pity', 'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)' and 'Got My Mind Set On You'.

Three Harrison-penned Beatle tracks, recorded live at his 1971 Concert For Bangladesh, will also appear on the album, which is released on June 16. The Beatles' tracks featured are 'Something', 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and 'Here Comes The Sun'. The album's complete tracklisting is yet to be announced in full.

Friends, fans and colleagues share their recollections of the late George Harrison

George Harrison is being recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today. Located in front of the Capitol Records building, his star will be near John Lennon's. In anticipation of the ceremony, associates, friends and a few famous fans share their thoughts about the man known as the quiet Beatle.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Macca Coachella webcast alert tonight at 10PM

Watch Paul McCartney LIVE on select AT&T handsets Friday at 10PM PT (1AM ET). Rock legend Paul McCartney will be the headlining act on Friday, April 17. AT&T will exclusively stream 45 minutes of his performance live here at AT&T Music and on select wireless handsets of AT&T customers via MobiTV and MobiVJ.

AT&T wireless customers with a compatible handset can get a link to download MobiTV on their mobile phones by texting TV to 386. Standard text and data messaging charges apply. Unlimited data plan required. Or, customers can visit AT&T MEdia Mall from their handsets or online at to download MobiTV or MobiVJ. (Not available in all areas. Programs subject to change.)

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Beatle George Harrison gets Hollywood star

LOS ANGELES (AP)- Hundreds of George Harrison's biggest fans and best friends, including Paul McCartney and Tom Petty, turned out Tuesday to see a posthumous star for the quiet Beatle unveiled during a raucous celebration on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Fellow former Beatle McCartney stood next to Harrison's widow, Olivia, and son, Dhani, as the star was unveiled in front of the landmark Capitol Records building.
"Thank you very much!" he yelled to hundreds of screaming fans wearing Beatles T-shirts and holding signs, albums and flowers to honor Harrison.

The only other surviving member of the band, Ringo Starr, did not attend. But one of Harrison's friends, Monty Python's Eric Idle, said he had recently spoken to Starr.
"He said, 'What about mine?'" Idle said. "I said, 'They don't give drummers stars.'"
Harrison already shared a Walk of Fame star with all of the Beatles, but only he and John Lennon, who was shot to death by a deranged fan in 1980, have their own stars. Harrison, the youngest of the Beatles, died of lung cancer in 2001 at age 58.

"He was a beautiful, mystical man living in a material world," Olivia Harrison said of her late husband. Standing next to her, Dhani Harrison uttered the mantra "Hare Krishna." Incense smoke snaked into the air during the dedication as Petty, sporting dark sunglasses, mingled with such celebrity guests as Jeff Lynne, T-Bone Burnett and Tom Hanks. "He had the most remarkable sense of humor," said Idle, who talked about having a hard time knowing what to say about his friend and fellow Englishman.

After the ceremony, Idle, Olivia and Dhani Harrison, McCartney and his girlfriend, Nancy Shevell, and others attended a luncheon at Capitol Records' spacious Studio A. They, Lynne, Petty, Ed Begley Jr., Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, and others hugged and chatted while sipping champagne and dining on vegan food. Born in Liverpool, England, in 1943, Harrison was 15 when he and fellow schoolmate McCartney joined Lennon in the group that would become the Beatles. The Beatles' lead guitarist, Harrison also wrote several of the group's best songs, from "Taxman," "Here Comes the Sun" and "Within You, Without You" to "Something" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." His love of Eastern music and culture also influenced such classic Beatles recordings as "The White Album" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Harrison launched a successful solo career after the Beatles broke up in 1970, releasing the acclaimed "All Things Must Pass" album that same year and the "The Concert For Bangladesh" in 1971. He went on to record nearly a dozen solo albums and recorded with Petty, Lynne, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison as part of the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys in the 1980s and early 1990s.

He also produced numerous films, including "The Life of Brian" and "Time Bandits."
Capitol/EMI, which sponsored the star, announced Tuesday that a career-spanning collection of Harrison's solo hits, titled "Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison," will be released in June. Martin Scorsese is directing a documentary on Harrison that includes interviews and extensive archival materials.

Apr 14 2009
Paul McCartney topped the star-studded turnout Tuesday in Hollywood for the unveiling of a Walk of Fame star for his former Fab Four band mate George Harrison at a ceremony that also drew such celebrity friends and admirers as Tom Hanks, Tom Petty, Eric Idle, Jeff Lynne, Joe Walsh, T-Bone Burnett and Harrison’s widow, Olivia, and their son, Dhani.

“Hare Krishna” was all Dhani Harrison had to say after alternately touching and humorous tributes from his mother, Idle and Hanks as well as Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge.
“I asked myself, ‘What would George think about a star on Hollywood Boulevard?' ” his close friend and Monty Python alum Idle said. “I thought I heard his voice, and it said, ‘It’s a bunch of old bollocks.’ ”

McCartney wasn’t among the scheduled speakers, and when he hopped up to the microphone after taking part in a round of photo snaps with the assembled guests in front of the freshly minted star, it had been shut off. He simply shouted, “Thank you!” to the hundreds of fans who spilled out into Vine Street in front of the Capitol Records Tower, where Harrison’s star now sits near those of the Beatles and John Lennon. Hanks, prefacing his remarks with the explanation that “I’m representing the Americans,” told the crowd that Harrison’s first guitar had cost the equivalent of 75 cents. “But he desired to make it sing, and to make that guitar weep.”

In conjunction with the star ceremony, Capitol-EMI Records announced that a new compilation of Harrison’s post-Beatles recordings will be released June 16, spanning the different labels he recorded for before his death in 2001. “Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison” will also touch on his Beatles legacy with three of his Fab Four songs, “Something,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Here Comes the Sun,” represented in live recordings from the 1971 all-star Concert for Bangladesh charity event he spearheaded. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Leron Gubler, who emceed the ceremony, also noted that Martin Scorsese is working on a documentary about Harrison’s life.

At a private reception following the ceremony in Capitol's historic recording Studio A, many of the guests debated how the spiritually minded musician would have responded to the event. Idle noted that this was the second posthumous salute to Harrison in Hollywood he had been invited to speak at, following his 2002 induction into the Hollywood Bowl's Walk of Fame.

Hanks recalled the impact of seeing the Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show," and his feeling that more than with any other band, each album the group released "was an event." He also spoke of his fondness for the Dave Clark Five, whom he inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, and that he's exploring the possibility of working with Clark on a documentary about the group, whose string of Top 10 hits in 1964 and '65 created a strong rival to the Beatles.

The enthusiasm toward Harrison displayed by the fans and the collected musicians, actors and others made an impression on Burnett. "It's nice to see people are still excited about something," the producer, singer and songwriter said.

Macca's Website hacked - McCartney's Magical Mystery Malware Tour

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr got together for a rare live performance, and according to reports it would seem the bad guys thought that a spot of media friendly Beatle-mania presented the ideal time to target McCartney's website.

Security specialists ScanSafe told me that its 24/7 Web security scanners first detected and began blocking the attack on Saturday 5th April at precisely 12:36pm GMT. The attack using that most advanced and sophisticated of crimeware toolkits, known as LuckySploit. This was hidden behind an invisible iframe on the site which obfuscated malicious JavaScript code using key encryption amongst other things. This code then launches exploits which download executable programs such as a rootkit onto the victims PC.

"Once your computer is infected with a rootkit, none of your personal information is safe" Spencer Parker, director of product management at ScanSafe says, adding "This site will have been an extremely attractive target for cyber criminals given the level of attention it will be receiving at the moment. Users should be aware that the majority of malware distribution is now occurring through mass compromise of legitimate and reputable websites."

Paul and Ringo get back for new album

Just days after surviving Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited on stage, they are planning to head for the recording studio. Insiders say the legendary pair, who performed at the weekend in New York in support of the David Lynch Foundation, will play on Sir Paul's new album.

"It has been a long time since Ringo played drums on any of Paul's songs but they've decided they can work together again," we're told. "They had a fantastic time in New York, and realise they still work well together. They're now getting together later in the year to work on some of Paul's new songs."

Ringo has recorded with all the former Beatles over the years but has not worked with Macca for more than a decade. Relations were known to have cooled somewhat when Sir Paul failed to invite Starr to perform with him at Live 8 in 2005. Our mole adds: "As well as having this remarkable shared history, they still connect so well together musically."

The Beatles entire catalogue of albums have been digitally remastered and will be reissued on September 9, 2009

Each of the CDs will feature replicated UK album artwork, new liner notes and rare photographs. Initially, the CDs will also contain a short film about the album, containing archive footage, and exclusive behind-the-scenes studio chat from the band.

Two box sets; one stereo and one mono, will also be released. The stero set features the original 12 Beatles studio albums plus 'Magical Mystery Tour.' The albums 'Past Masters Vol. I and II' will also be included, amalgamated into one title, so the box set will feature 14 albums on 16 discs. 'The Beatles in Mono' box set contains The Beatles' ten albums which were originally intended to be released in mono, as well as two extra discs of mono masters.

Bonuses include the original 1965 stereo mixes of “Help!” and “Rubber Soul”, both of which have not appeared on CD before. The Apple Corps press statement, regarding the question as to whether the Beatles catalgue will eventually be available to download simply states: "Discussions regarding the digital distribution of the catalogue will continue. There is no further information available at this time".

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr perform together in support of transcendental meditation

The short list of times that two ex-Beatles have performed together in public since the band's breakup got a little longer on Saturday night, as Ringo Starr joined Paul McCartney for three songs at the "Paul McCartney and Friends: Change Begins Within" benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Billy Shears ... " said McCartney, introducing Starr for the song "With a Little Help From My Friends," where Starr sings as a character of that name. The two men shared a microphone for this song, which closed McCartney's show-ending set. McCartney then sang lead and Starr played drums on the show's two encores: "Cosmically Conscious" and "I Saw Her Standing There" (also featuring backing vocals and percussion by other show participants like Eddie Vedder, Donovan, Moby, Sheryl Crow and Bettye LaVette).

The show was a benefit for transcendental meditation education, and McCartney said that he wrote "Cosmically Conscious" in 1968, when Beatles members and other musicians and celebrities were studying transcendental meditation in India. McCartney released the song on his 1993 album, "Off the Ground."

This wasn't the first time that two ex-Beatles have taken a stage together. Starr and George Harrison performed at the 1971 "Concert for Bangladesh" at Madison Square Garden, for instance, and McCartney and Starr paid tribute to Harrison, who died in 2001, at the 2002 "Concert For George" at London's Royal Albert Hall. But such appearances are exceedingly rare, and especially precious now that Starr and McCartney are the only surviving members of the Fab Four.

Both men sang and played with a lot of energy, and they even clowned around a little, pretending to jostle to get in front of each other as they took their final bows. Everyone seemed aware of the significance of the occasion. McCartney also included, in his set, "Here Today," a song he wrote about John Lennon following Lennon's 1980 death. And Crow sang Harrison's "My Sweet Lord." McCartney also showed old photographs and film footage of the Beatles during songs like "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Band on the Run."

Other songs McCartney performed included "Let It Be," "Drive My Car," "Jet," "Got To Get You Into My Life," "Lady Madonna" and "Blackbird." McCartney said this last song was inspired by the Civil Rights movement of the '60s, but that it takes on new meaning in light of the election of Barack Obama. Starr, in his own set, which took place immediately before McCartney's, sang "It Don't Come Easy," "Boys" and "Yellow Submarine," with Vedder and Crow pitching in on backing vocals.

There were many surprises throughout the course of the four-hour concert. An unbilled Jerry Seinfeld did about eight minutes of standup comedy, musing on subjects like public bathrooms, taxis and marriage. Howard Stern spoke about how meditation cured his mother's depression, and changed his own life. Vedder and Ben Harper dueted on "Under Pressure," the 1981 Queen/David Bowie hit. Three musicians who studied meditation in India with the Beatles in 1968 -- Donovan, Paul Horn and Mike Love -- made appearances.

Singer-songwriter Donovan and flutist Horn performed both separately and together. Donovan also dueted, during his set, with Jim James of My Morning Jacket (on "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and "Wear Your Love Like Heaven") and Crow (on "Season of the Witch"). Beach Boys member Love made a brief speech, getting choked up as he spoke about meditation and world peace. He also sang backing vocals on the two encores. An estimated $3 million was raised at this show, and will go to the David Lynch Foundation, formed by the film director to teach children to meditate.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in New York - The setlist

The surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, performed together on Saturday to raise money to help kids learn a meditation technique the 1960s icons practiced at the height of their fame. McCartney was joined onstage by Starr for a rousing rendition of "With a Little Help From My Friends" at Radio City Music Hall at the Change Begins Within concert for the David Lynch Foundation, which promotes Transcendental Meditation.

The Beatles helped popularize Transcendental Meditation -- described as a simple mental technique to combat stress -- in 1967 when they sought spiritual guidance from an Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. "It started for us when we met the Maharishi in India and it's going to get bigger and bigger and rule the world," McCartney said after playing his post-Beatles hit "Jet."

McCartney's set topped an evening that included performances by Starr, Sheryl Crow, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper and others. McCartney's choice of songs included Beatles classics such as "Let it Be," "Lady Madonna" and "Blackbird" and the concert was rife with nostalgia for the two dead Beatles, John Lennon and George Harrison.

McCartney and Starr last played together in November 2002 at the Concert for George in London's Royal Albert Hall after Harrison's death from cancer at the age of 58. "I love New York and John loved New York. Let's hear it for John," McCartney said before playing the plaintive "Here Today," a song he wrote after Lennon's murder in 1980 and which appeared on his 1982 "Tug of War" album.

Earlier, after playing his hit "It Don't Come Easy," Starr said, "I wrote that song with George Harrison and you know he would have been here tonight." Starr also played Beatles favorites "Yellow Submarine" and "Boys." Folk singer Donovan, who was also in India with the Beatles said, "George is here in spirit." The highlight of the evening was McCartney introducing Starr, invoking the name of the imaginary singer from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Billy Shears," McCartney said as his former drummer walked onstage to join him at the microphone. Starr remained on stage for an encore, playing drums on a song written by McCartney while in India, " Cosmically Conscious," and "I Saw Her Standing There."

Complete track-listing of both Paul McCartney and Ringo sets :
*Drive My Car
*Got to Get You Into My Life
*Let It Be
*Lady Madonna
*Here Today
*Band on the Run
*Can't Buy Me Love

Paul's introduction :
" Ladies And Gentlemen... Billy Shears " lead to...
*With a Little Help From My Friends.

Encore :
*Cosmically Conscious (Ringo on drums)
*I Saw Her Standing There ( idem )
(backing vocals : Eddie Vedder, Donovan, Moby, Sheryl Crow and Bettye LaVette)

Before Paul'set, Ringo Starr sang three songs on his own:
*It Don't Come Easy
*Yellow Submarine with Vedder and Crow on vocals.

Earlier in the night Sheryl Crow and made a tribute to George by singing My Sweet Lord.


*A few seconds of WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS - Featuring Paul's intro.

Paul McCartney Pledges Support to OneVoice Movement


The OneVoice Movement today announced that Sir Paul McCartney has officially joined its International Board of Advisors, which includes other celebrities such as Danny DeVito and Jason Alexander, as well as international dignitaries and political figures like Dennis Ross.

McCartney first spoke with Israeli and Palestinian representatives of the group, which seeks to empower the moderate majorities of Israel, Palestine, and citizens internationally to work toward a two state solution to the conflict, during his visit to Israel at the end of September 2008. He met with OneVoice Israel Chairwoman, Irit Admoni Perlman, in addition to staff members and youth activists from the movement. At the meeting, he expressed his support for OneVoice's activities on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides. Speaking to Nisreen Shahin, OneVoice Palestine's Executive Director, Sir Paul reaffirmed his commitment to OneVoice's moderate, grassroots approach to ending the conflict.

He also travelled to Palestine, to bring his message of peace to the West Bank as well. Later that evening at his concert at Tel Aviv's Park HaYarkon, he and members of his band wore OneVoice pins in a show of support for the movement and the ideas it promotes.

Said McCartney, "Having met representatives of the association OneVoice, I was impressed, first of all, by the fact that half of the organization is Palestinian and half is Israeli. Almost 650,000 people have signed on to their manifesto, supporting their steadfast work to bring about a negotiated solution, and peace in the region." He went on to say of OneVoice: "They told me that the vast majority of people in both societies are moderates and simply want a better life for their families and themselves. This gave me great hope that, one day, people like them will help to bring about a peaceful resolution to the troubles in the area. I am, therefore, happy to lend my support in this way to the cause of peace."

Friday, 3 April 2009

McCartney says meditation helped stabilize Beatles

The surviving members of the Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, will perform at a concert on Saturday to raise funds to help children learn a meditation technique McCartney said helped stabilize the band at the height of its fame.
McCartney and Starr will perform separate sets at the "Change Begins Within" concert for the David Lynch Foundation, which helps people learn Transcendental Meditation.

The Beatles helped popularize Transcendental Meditation -- described as a simple mental technique that combats stress -- in 1967 when they sought spiritual guidance from an Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. "It was a great gift that Maharishi gave us," McCartney told a news conference on Friday to promote the concert. "For me, it came at a time when we were looking for something to kind of stabilize us toward the end of the crazy '60s. It's a lifelong gift. It's something you can call on at any time," he said. "I think it's a great thing it's actually coming into the mainstream."

Starr also described Transcendental Meditation as a gift and that since learning it more than 40 years ago "sometimes a lot and sometimes a little I have meditated." The lineup for the concert at famed Radio City Music Hall also includes Sheryl Crow, Donovan, Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder, blues-folk musician Ben Harper and techno star Moby.

Filmmaker David Lynch's foundation says that since 2005 it has provided scholarships for more than 100,000 at-risk young people, teachers and parents in 30 countries to learn Transcendental Meditation. The concert is intended to raise funds toward the foundation's goal of helping a million children learn to meditate.

"I feel like I'm at a meeting of meditators anonymous," Moby joked. "I just learned T.M. recently because I was raised by hippies, and to be honest with you anything associated with T.M. and hippies scared ... me." "When I was growing up, I thought T.M. involved ritual animal sacrifice and moving to some country and renouncing wealth and materialism and eating bugs. But one of the things that impressed me about T.M. ... was its simplicity," he said. "It's a simple practice that calms the mind."