December 14, 2012
In truth, Ravi Shankar couldn't stand the hippies (Mick Brown, 12 Dec 2012, The Telegraph)
Ravi Shankar always displayed a slightly ambivalent attitude to the extraordinary enthusiasm with which his music - sober-minded, serious, not a little taxing - was greeted by younger Western audiences in the Sixties. At Madison Square Garden in 1971, in the celebrated Concert for Bangladesh which had been organised by his friend George Harrison, the first plangent chords of Shankar's sitar-playing were received with rapturous applause, obliging him to lecture the audience: "If you like our tuning so much, I hope you will enjoy the playing even more." [...]The rock audiences who came to pay homage he haughtily dismissed in his autobiography as "these strange young weirdos"; while his appearances at the Monterey and Woodstock festivals - the great quasi-religious gatherings of the alternative society - were apparently painful ordeals, where the audiences were "shrieking, shouting, smoking, masturbating and copulating - all in a drug-crazed state... I used to tell them, 'You don't behave like that when you go to hear a Bach, Beethoven or Mozart concert.'" Quite.
Posted by Orrin Judd at December 14, 2012 8:38 PM
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