The Beatles’ seventh album, Revolver, will be re-released in the coming months, it was recently announced. Although the record is iconic, one of the band’s most popular albums is the one that followed: The White Album.
The band’s 1968 record was their ninth album and included a collection of incredible tracks mostly written in India while the Fab Four were a course in transcendental meditation.
However, one lead left George Harrison frustrated.
During the course, Harrison became good friends with the Maharishi.
However, towards the end of their trip, allegations surfaced about Maharishi “attacking” Mia Farrow, who had previously meditated with the actress.
This news prompted John Lennon to speak out and end their relationship with the Maharishi.
He said years later, “I was the mouthpiece – whenever the dirty work came in, I actually had to be the boss – and I said [to the Maharishi]: ‘Had left.'”
When the religious figure asked Lennon why the group was leaving, he replied, “Well, if you’re that cosmic, you’ll know why.”
This frustrating interaction prompted Lennon to write a new song for The White Album.
Lennon wrote the song fans now know as Sexy Sadie.
The seductive track may now sound like a song aimed directly at a woman, but originally the lyrics were very different.
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Lennon’s first attempt at the song sang, “Maharishi, what did you do / You made everybody laugh / Maharishi, ooh, what did you do / Maharishi, you broke the rules…”
But once Harrison caught wind of this, he had to step in.
Harrison looked back: “Someone started the nasty rumor about Maharishi, a rumor that swept through the media for years… The story caused a situation. John had wanted to leave anyway, that which made him think, ‘OK, now we have a good reason to get out of here.
“We took cars that had been driven there… We drove for hours. John had a song he had started writing and was singing, ‘Maharishi, what have you done? ‘ and I said, ‘You can’t say that, it’s ridiculous.'”
Harrison quickly wrote a different set of lyrics for Lennon to sing, removing any indictment from the song.
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“I found the title ‘Sexy Sadie’,” he recalls. “And John changed ‘Maharishi’ to ‘Sexy Sadie.'”
Lennon then talked about the track.
He explained how the song was indeed “inspired by Maharishi”.
“I wrote it down when we packed up and were leaving,” he said. “It’s the last song I wrote before leaving India.”
Lennon added, “I was just using the situation to write a song, more out of calculation but also to express how I felt. I was leaving the Maharishi with bad taste.
“You know, it seems like my breakups aren’t always as nice as I’d like. That was the last piece I wrote before I left.”
Sexy Sadie was never released as a single from The White Album, but the record became one of the band’s best-selling albums of all time, reaching 24x platinum status.
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