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Film

David Lynch explains the influence of The Beatles

David Lynch has been associated with the Beatles on multiple occasions for various reasons. While he has been a fan of the band since he was a teenager, Lynch has also been deeply influenced by the meditation techniques advocated by members such as Paul McCartney during his own explorations of Transcendental Meditation.

Those techniques were introduced to the Beatles in India by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and meditation played a major role in the creative process of the band. Transcendental Meditation has also been crucially important for Lynch as well since the acclaimed auteur uses meditation to delve deeper into his unique ideas.

Lynch was in attendance when the Beatles performed at their first American concert in Washington, D.C., an event that would become immortalised in the public consciousness. At that point in time, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ was one of the most popular songs in the country and everyone was clamouring to get tickets.

“People don’t know how important the Beatles were to our lives,” Lynch recalled. “People who lived through it know, but young people don’t know. I lived through it, though, so meeting Paul and Ringo was beyond the beyond. On their first trip to America in 1964 they flew into New York City, then they went down to Washington, D.C., and put on their first American concert, and I was there…”

They played at the Washington Coliseum and the organisers made them perform at the centre of the venue in order to increase the number of audience members from 6000 to 8000. The experience of attending their first American concert had a huge impact on Lynch who witnessed the physical manifestation of Beatlemania.

While remembering some of the details of the night, Lynch claimed that the concert was less of a musical event and more of “a screaming event”. The popularity of the Beatles in America had reached unprecedented heights and the atmosphere at the concert became so frenzied that Lynch actually saw someone jumping over the police and grabbing a chunk of hair from one of the band members.

Lynch added: “I was a senior in high school and I wasn’t planning on going, but at the last minute I wanted to go and I talked my dear brother out of his ticket and I went instead. I got to tell Ringo and Paul that I was there at their first American concert, and of course it didn’t mean anything to them. But for me it’s incredible.”

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