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667121 Posts in 26783 Topics by 3878 Members - Latest Member: beatlesyoshi March 07, 2021, 12:33:56 PM
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Author Topic: New article about the 1968 BB-Maharishi tour  (Read 1051 times)
Emdeeh
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« on: February 13, 2021, 12:41:44 PM »

Interesting article from Broadway World, written by the guy who set up the BB-Maharishi tour:

BWW Exclusive: Read an Unpublished Chapter About the Beach Boys from Albert Poland's Best-Selling Memoir, STAGES

https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/BroadwayWorld-Reader-EXCLUSIVE-Unpublished-Chapter-About-The-Beach-Boys-from-Albert-Polands-bestselling-Memoir-STAGES-20210212
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2021, 02:28:14 PM »

Thanks for posting - Interesting, with some great candid photos and insight into the bands on that tour, but there is one major flaw in the article with the timeline. Lennon and McCartney went on The Tonight Show *after* the Maharishi tour had, in Paul's words during the interview, "folded". The memoir said the Tonight Show appearance happened during the tour and made promoters nervous. That Lennon/McCartney appearance aired May 14th, 1968.
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"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2021, 02:36:26 PM »

Also worth nothing the portrayal of Nick Grillo and his strong reaction regarding paying for expenses and the like: I don't blame Grillo at all if he was a little brusque about paying out band money at this time in the band's history. A lot of requests were coming in for money. This Spring '68 touring activity alone cost the band's budget a fortune. The Maharishi tour was ill-advised from the start, and was already in the red before it even got going, as Al famously said the flowers alone for the Maharishi cost a fortune. And Mike Love himself had requested both from Grillo and the president of Capitol Records directly that a large sum of money to be sent post-haste so a film project for the Maharishi could be financed by the band's coffers, ostensibly after similar requests made to the Beatles (and probably other celebrity followers) before the falling out were rejected.

So Grillo sees the books filling with red ink, requests for more money directly or indirectly connected to the Maharishi and this bizarre tour coming in, and he's charged with maintaining the band's finances? I'd be a little miffed too.
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"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
Ian
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2021, 07:40:29 PM »

A number of chronology issues with specific show dates (see my book for order of shows) but two very cool photos that Iíve never seen. Interestingly article mentions savannah show in April 1968 that I was completely unaware of (and I researched that tour to death) but it could be a mistake-he may have meant the North Carolina show-I am going to look into it
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2021, 09:34:09 PM »


I regrettably attended one of these shows and I thought the boys played a decent  show. The place pared down to about half of it's capacity was half empty. What was strange was that the maharishi came on after the boys and people immediately left leaving the dude with just a handful to talk to. I felt fairly embarrassed for the group and had to wonder what the hell they were thinking. Looking back now I'm confident that this was the hairbrained idea of none other than Mike Love and ended up costing the band millions and degrading their image which is still going on today. I'm just thankful that Brian wasn't part of this charade.
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2021, 10:52:03 PM »

This is fascinating stuff, thanks for sharing. It's also kind of frustrating, with all the bad decisions. The Friends album deserved much better.
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2021, 07:43:40 AM »

I think there is a pretty vital "clue" revealed in the following passage regarding a mystery some of us have been trying to solve for years: What is the origin of that a capella "Friends" TV performance that first appeared on AMC's Am-Pop Beach Boys compilation years ago. I think this may be something worth noting:


<<<<<<<
"In Savannah, I arranged for us to go to a local television station and tape an "interview" with the group that could be dropped into local talk shows in the tour cities, most of which were unaccustomed to having such big-name guests. By allowing the Savannah station to broadcast it, we got the taping and twenty copies of the tape at no cost. I could feel Nick Grillo's approval radiating all the way from L.A.

As we began the taping, Mike Love asked me to stand behind the camera and "act silly to keep us all happy." I did my best, but they looked very down and depressed on the tape. I wondered what, if anything, Maharishi had really done for them---and how the reality on this tape could possibly work as a selling tool.

Several of the subsequent talk show producers were disappointed in the quality of the tape and used it on the condition that I would come on in my Nehru suit and introduce it. One live broadcast in Philadelphia was especially harrowing. I had to come running down a long ramp into a crowd of dancing teenagers where I was then interviewed by the very speedy host."
>>>>>>>>


Just for reference, there have been multiple discussions about that video clip through the years, use the search engine and you'll find some of them. But here's one to check too, where said clip is discussed along with multiple TV appearances the band did in 1968:
http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,26557.msg649480.html#msg649480

What is written above would both explain such a mystery clip that seems to have no firm origin in terms of familiar TV shows and hosts at that time, and also plant it firmly within the timeline of when such a TV appearance singing the title song from "Friends" and talking TM would have made the most sense - They were promoting the tour and the new music.

So they got the interview done at a local TV station, and subsequently got copies or dubs of the interview that could be sent to other TV stations and markets to broadcast - This lines up with how things were done in TV news and entertainment in 1968. The Beatles sort of pioneered this with how they'd record their promo clips for new singles and have them sent to various shows and stations so they wouldn't need to physically appear at those studios to make an appearance.

It would answer the questions about where the hell were they for this Friends interview, and who is the host or whatever else, because it was done at a local TV station and not the major talk shows, whose sets and hosts we have firm photo and video evidence of where we could pin it down and say "this is Carson, this is Merv, etc". With a little more digging - unfortunately over 50 years after the fact, this could be narrowed down to a particular region if not TV station to pin it down even further.

But the issue becomes if those 20 dubbed tapes of the interview - according to the author - were sent out to numerous TV stations, we could find a dozen different stations which aired it, which also means more copies could exist.

The author mentioned a rather chaotic appearance on a Philly TV show: I'm guessing, and my fellow Philly area cohorts could back this up, that in 1968 this was Jerry "The Geator With The Heater" Blavat's TV dance program on which the author had to appear and run down a ramp or whatever. Unless I'm missing one, it was The Geator and Hy "Hyski A-Rooni" Lit who had the two TV dance and music programs located in Philly at the time, Bandstand had already moved to LA by '68. We can see more of Hy Lit's old clips because they survived and I believed were syndicated, I don't think as many of The Geator's films survived...and Hy Lit's show (and Hy himself) were not as manic on-air as The Geator. Just a guess, but a semi-educated one.  Smiley

If Ian can further hammer out the details on this Savannah date and clarify if it was actually Savannah or instead NC, it would be great to get that info and further digging could be done.

But on the surface, it feels like the author in that passage is describing the mystery "Friends" TV appearance that has been baffling some of us for almost 2 decades now since it was made public on AMC.
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"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2021, 09:50:41 AM »

My Uncle that introduced me to the band saw them in Baltimore on this tour. He actually just passed in September and of course, I used "Till I Die" in the limited gathering we could have. It was his second time seeing them. From stories he re-told me, he was a bit more than inebriated that evening, but recalled the band playing great and then everyone just talking and some even booing during the Maharishi. He also said that even though the band was in good shape what he remembered most was, Dennis completely stole the show over anything else that night with girls STILL screaming in a "Beatlemania" kind of way any time there was any attention towards him!
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2021, 03:19:12 PM »

From people I've heard from who attended shows on that tour, that was pretty much the way it went at all the stops - The crowd was there for a Beach Boys concert, not a lecture, and the Maharishi got heckled and booed or as noted fans simply walked out on him. Then again as noted Mike would come on to lecture the fans not to do that lol. It was a flower-laden debacle. And at one stop the few hundred fans who were there for the Beach Boys were in the venue waiting and nothing happened.

It kind of parallels what seemed to be a similar standard reaction to their opening comedy act The Pickle Brothers on earlier tours. The brothers Pickle just were not that funny and they got heckled and booed, and the hecklers were more funny than the comedians on stage. I guess the "Dracula skit" wasn't fit for a rock show.  LOL
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"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2021, 06:52:48 PM »


If I remember correctly, people approached the stage after the maharishi departed and raided the flowers which were in abundance. The floor was completely strewn with flowers which seemingly stood for the the complete sham that it was. What a Mike Love debacle trying to shove TM down the throats of BB fans.
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2021, 11:54:18 AM »

I was at the Singer Bowl non concert. I remember turning to my then girlfriend, now wife of almost 50 years, and saying "Wow, we have great seats". After sitting in the sun for about an hour someone came out on stage and said that the concert had been canceled and to go to the box office for a refund. Over the years I have met several people who were also at Singer Bowl that day. Sort of a badge of honor for New York City fans who followed the band through the good times and the bad.
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2021, 03:19:40 PM »

As I expected, I researched the savannah show and was there no mention of the BBs appearing there in the local paper from April 1 to 15 1968. Peopleís memory of fifty years ago are often imprecise-they were in North Carolina on April 6 and he probably mid recalled that-his other dates are also inaccurate so it makes sense
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