A previously unheard 1968 song, “Radhe Shaam,” featuring George Harrison and Ringo Starr, has been unearthed by a friend of writer and producer Suresh Joshi during quarantine.
Joshi recorded the song at Trident Studios in London for his documentary, East Meets West. Harrison, who who visited the studio along with Starr while on a break from nearby sessions for the Beatles‘ “Hey Jude,” was introduced to renowned sitar player Ravi Shanker by Joshi.
Harrison delivered a long, searching and joyous guitar solo in the track, while Starr added his characteristic drum rolls and fills.
“The song itself revolves around the concept that we are all one, and that the world is our oyster,” Joshi told the BBC. That is “something that we have all realized during this pandemic.”
“Time had gone on,” he admitted, then “the Beatles were breaking up and had various problems so no one wanted to [release it].”
Joshi’s friend Deepak Pathak, a huge Beatles fan, insisted on searching for the tape and eventually unearthed it in the attic of the writer’s Birmingham home. The quarantine was “a blessing in disguise as we had nothing to do,” said Joshi.
Producer Suraj Shinh then restored and mixed the tape. The song premiered at the Liverpool Beatles Museum before a gathering of about 100 people, and then aired for the first time on Wednesday on the BBC.
“It was quite a moment. It took you somewhere else,” museum manager Paul Parry told the BBC. “It was unmistakably George’s guitar; it was like almost bringing him back to life. It was unmistakably Ringo’s drumming, too.”
(Photo: The Harrison Family)
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