The Beach Boys already had about four or five albums under our belt when these new comers, The Beatles, took the U.S. by storm in early 1964.
As we rose to fame together, we enjoyed a friendly rivalry and each had a deep respect for the other's music. Given all of the recent celebration around The Beatles' 50th year in America, I want to take a moment to honor my Pisces Brother, George Harrison.
In the spring of 1968, The Beatles and I were invited by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to travel to Riskikesh, India. Riskikesh has been an important spiritual place to many millions of people over the years. It is situated where the Ganges River flows out of the Himalayas, and to be in that atmosphere was something incredibly special.
During our time at Riskikesh, the Maharishi taught us how to meditate, and at the end of the day he would impart the knowledge he'd gained from his master, Guru Dev ("divine leader"). The Maharishi's meditation technique, which is still taught to this day, is called Transcendental Meditation. Students are taught to develop the inner value of life, as well as the outer value-- in order to be truly complete. This practice has guided the last 46 years of my life and I'm forever grateful to have discovered it.
By 1968, both The Beatles and The Beach Boys had plenty of fame-- we were looking for something deeper. The Maharishi taught us how to go beyond thinking and action in order to grow from within.
A little while after George's death I was recording in a studio. My experience at Riskikesh inspired me to write "Pisces Brothers" to honor his profound contribution to music and his peaceful, loving life. He was truly remarkable both as an artist (Something, My Sweet Lord, his later work with The Traveling Wilburys, I could go on...) and as a humanitarian (The Concert for Bangladesh). The song has appeared on some bootlegs and leaked online, but it was never officially released in the way I wanted it. (Now seems like a good time... and with the ease of SoundCloud anything is possible...)
Of our shared experience, I sing, "Not for fortune or for more fame, but for enlightenment we came. To Maharishi and house sublime, it was an atmosphere divine. Such precious moments now in the past, music and memories are all that last." Being there together, it was not about the music business; it was about learning to reach a deeper level of the self. It was a rare moment in time, and for me, a defining moment in my life.
On a more universal note, "Pisces Brothers" speaks to people's devotion to their teachers. I combine two very important spiritual phrases, "jai guru dev," which means hail to the divine leader, and "Hare Krishna Hare Ram," because George Harrison was very much into the Hare Krishna movement and it heavily influenced his music. I finish with "Little Darlin', Here Comes the Sun," in tribute to one of George's most well known songs.
George and I share the astrological sign and celebrated our birthdays together back in 1968 in India. Today, February 25th, would have been George's 71st birthday. There was never anyone like him before, and there won't be anyone like him ever again. "Pisces Brothers" is a celebration for anyone who ever loved George and anyone who has ever felt true devotion. Here's a little reminiscence for "The Quiet One"...