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Beatles Interviews Database: Paul McCartney Interview: London, Returning From India 3/26/1968
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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 seventy."

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,

Q: "Well, you look very happy. Do you feel better after five weeks of meditation?"

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 from audio and video copies of the archived film footage

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