ABOUT THIS INTERVIEW:
On March 26th 1968, Paul McCartney and then-fiancee Jane Asher were very briefly
interviewed by Richard Whitmore for BBC-News as they arrived in London, returning from meditation with the
Maharishi in Rishikesh, India.
Just four months after this interview, on July 20th 1968, a public announcement made it official
that the McCartney/Asher engagement was off. Following this, appearing on Simon Dee's BBC-TV chat show, Asher was
asked if it was she that had broken off the engagement. Asher stated, "I haven't broken it off, but it is broken off -- finished. I know it sounds corny but we
still see each other and love each other. But it hasn't worked out. Perhaps we
will be childhood sweethearts, and meet again and get married when we're about
As the BBC-News interview begins, Paul is playing the old-time jazz standard 'Bye bye Blackbird'
on a ukelele with Jane Asher seated next to him. Paul is asked about the poverty in India, and both are asked about the effects of meditation.
- Jay Spangler, www.beatlesinterviews.org
Q: "Well, you look very happy. Do you feel better after five weeks of
PAUL: "Yes, yes. I feel a LOT better, except for the flight, you know. That's
quite long. I'm a bit shattered. But the meditation is great."
Q: "What exactly have you been doing? How do you meditate?"
PAUL: "You sit down. You relax, and then you repeat a sound to yourself. And it
sounds daft, but it's just a system of relaxation and that's all it is, you
know. There's nothing more to it. So that... We meditated for about five hours a
day in all. Two hours in the morning and maybe three hours in the evening. And
then the rest of the time we slept, ate, sunbathed, and had fun."
Q: "How do you equate... with the extreme poverty that exists in India,
presumably you saw some of this?"
PAUL: "Yes. Oh yeah. Uh, I don't equate it, you know, because it's nothing to do with
it. His idea is to stop the poverty at its root. See, if you just give handouts
to people it'll stop the problem for a day, or a week. But in India there's so
many people, you'd really need all of America's money poured into India to
solve it, you know. And then they'd probably just go
back the next year and just lie around. So you've got to get at the cause of it
and persuade all the Indians to start working and start doing things. Because
their religion is very fatalistic, and they just sort of sit down and think
'Well, God said this is it, so it's too bad we can't do anything about it.'
And Maharishi is trying to persuade them that they CAN do something about it."
Q: (to Jane Asher) "What effect has it had on you? This presumably is your
first big meditation."
JANE: "I think it calms you down. It's hard to tell because it was so different,
life out there. It'll be easier to tell now that I'm back and doing sort of
ordinary things to see just what it does."
Source: Transcribed by www.beatlesinterviews.org from audio and video copies of the archived film footage