"The private mind of John Lennon" Feb 27, 2009 19:22:34 GMT -5
Post by KenWood on Feb 27, 2009 19:22:34 GMT -5
The Beatles disorientated by the death of their mentor and manager, Brian Epstein left London in February 1968, bound for Rishikesh. On arrival, the Beatles settled in to daily rounds of meditation and lectures. An oasis from the previous years of hectic hounding from press and fans, the Beatles believed they had found a small corner of paradise. They were joined by such other luminaries as Mike Love of the Beach Boys and Mia Farrow. Pretty soon though, Ringo and Maureen came home unable to cope with the food, heat and flies and McCartney soon followed. After a flurry of subsequently unfounded accusations against the Maharishi accusing him of indiscretions with one of the visiting group, John followed, disillusioned. On the way home at the Delhi Hilton John composed the lyrics to a song entitled Maharishi exclaiming his disappointment in a man he thought he could obtain some enlightenment from. It is believed that John carved the lyrics into the wood slice after his return to England. The section of trunk, probably from a cherry, or other fruit tree, is typical of Indian market souvenirs, sold as photo plaques, at the time of the Beatles visit and bears an uncanny likeness to John's profile, which may have been John's reason for the purchase. John has entitled it "The private mind of John Lennon", and even scratched a mouth onto the likeness. With some small lyrical changes it is effectively the entire lyric to Sexy Sadie from the Beatles 'White Album". George Harrison, continued to support the Maharishi, after the upset and John changed the name of the song from Maharishi to Sexy Sadie, to save his fellow Beatle from embarrassment, although it is now very widely known that the song is indeed aimed at the Maharishi. A Capitol executive remembers Derek Taylor (Beatles Press officer) saying the wood was around in the late sixties either during the Wigmore St. move in 1969 or at John's house in Kenwood, Weybridge and that John was scratching and fiddling with it. The letter also mentions that a photograph exists showing John with the slice.
In 1988 an auctioner met with Maureen Starkey (Ringo's wife), in London where she sold him some items once owned by the Beatles to help raise money for a friend in financial need that was moving to Scotland. When our vendor enquired if there were any more items available, Maureen directed him to an acquaintance of hers. After much negotiation the slice of wood changed hands..
This wood carving is a unique piece of the Lennon history and is accompanied by a lyric sheet of the original lyrics entitled Maharishi on Apple headed notepaper typed by Derek Taylor and a letter from a Capitol Records exec. confirming not only the authenticity of the piece but that there is actually a photo somewhere showing John with the carving.