Our Lost Interview With Ravi Shankar – Was George Harrison a Good Student?
In 2002 I had the pleasure of Interviewing the legendary Ravi Shankar. Though it was his association with the Beatles that brought him worldwide fame he was a legend long before that. He died on December 11th, 2012 at the age of 92.
The interview was last minute. I was called with 5 minutes notice with no real recording equipment so pardon the phone noise.
I started by asking if he was still close to his favorite Beatle George Harrison when he died the year before.
John – You were still very close to George Harrison when he passed away right?
Ravi – Oh my god that was very sad. To me our relationship was very special. He was all combined, he was like a student, like a son and my very good friend. It was a great shock and still I cannot get over this.
John – Was he a good student when you met him in the sixties?
Ravi – He was a very good student and he was extremely talented. The trouble was he could not give enough time he was so busy with his own group at that time. What is wonderful is that he never really kept on practicing or developing on Sitar but his love for music and he listened to Indian music all the time and his knowledge was fantastic and until the end it grew more and more.
John – What was your impression of all the hoopla surrounding the Beatles when you first met them?
Ravi – The thing is I had vaguely heard of them. I knew the name and that they were a popular young group but I had no idea of their music or anything.
John – What’s the fastest way to get to know God?
Ravi – (laughing) That is a big question. I am myself searching for the answer. It’s a personal thing and I find it through my music not just sitting praying or meditating. I feel very much connected to whatever you call God or some supernatural or some special feeling or experience only through my music.
John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 33 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver and on iHeartRadio.
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