Tuesday, September 17, 2013

George Harrison’s fisheye self-portraits in India, 1966

George Harrison and his wife Pattie flew from London to Bombay (Mumbai), India in September 1966. The purpose of the visit was for George to take sitar lessons with Ravi Shankar, and for the couple to study yoga. The Harrisons stayed at the Taj Mahal hotel in Bombay, under the names Mr and Mrs Sam Wells.
"I went to India in September 1966. When I had first come across a record of Ravi Shankar's I had a feeling that, somewhere, I was going to meet him. It happened that I met him in London in June, at the house of Ayana Deva Angadi, founder of the Asian Music Circle. An Indian man had called me up and said that Ravi was going to be there....
So in September, after touring and while John was making How I Won the War, I went to India for about six weeks. First I flew to Bombay and hung out there. Again, because of the mania, people soon found out I was there.
I stayed in a Victorian hotel, the Taj Mahal, and was starting to learn the sitar. Ravi would give me lessons, and he'd also have one of his students sit with me. My hips were killing me from sitting on the floor, and so Ravi brought a yoga teacher to start showing me the physical yoga exercises.
It was a fantastic time. I would go out and look at temples and go shopping. We travelled all over and eventually went up to Kashmir and stayed on a houseboat in the middle of the Himalayas. It was incredible. I'd wake up in the morning and a little Kashmiri fellow, Mr Butt, would bring us tea and biscuits and I could hear Ravi in the next room, practising..."
George Harrison - Anthology.

George always seemed to have a camera with him. He took a lot of 8 mm footage too. Below are some of awesome self-portrais of George Harrison with a fisheye lens in India, 1966.










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