After spending six days in Los Angeles, Beatle George Harrison and his wife Patti Boyd flew to San Francisco, where they walked around the hippy district of Haight-Ashbury.

“Actually we went to see my sister Jenny, who was living with a friend in San Francisco,” aldus Patti op de site van The Beatles’ Bible. “Afterwards we thought it would be fun to go and have a look at Haight-Ashbury, the district that had been taken over by hippies.”

During this visit, on 7 August, Harrison was handed an acoustic guitar in Golden Gate Park and briefly performed “Baby, You’re a Rich Man”, leading a crowd around in a manner that press reports likened to the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

“However, the crowds that gathered, well-meaning though they were, pressed upon the English visitors and made life difficult and a little dangerous. George didn’t enjoy Haight-Ashbury, yet it was right and inevitable that one of the Beatles should have been there in those times,” aldus Beatles’ press-officer Derek Taylor in zijn boek Anthology.

Although the visit was viewed as the Beatles’ endorsement of a youth movement that they helped inspire, Harrison was disappointed at how Haight-Ashbury represented a haven for dropouts and drug addicts, rather than a community looking to explore the possibility of enlightenment that LSD presented. On his return to London, he shared this disillusionment with Lennon. The pair subsequently became avid supporters of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi‘s Transcendental Meditation technique, after the Beatles had attended a seminar by the Maharishi in Bangor, Wales, where they publicly disavowed LSD on 26 August. (Wikipedia)

Ronny De Schepper

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