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As BBC News reports, the song – titled ‘Radhe Shaam’ – was written and produced in 1968 by broadcaster Suresh Joshi. It features former Beatles bandmates Starr and Harrison on drums and guitar respectively, as well as Indian classical musician Aashish Khan.
The track was rediscovered at Joshi’s home during the coronavirus lockdown, and received its first play at the Liverpool Beatles Museum today (November 10).
It was also aired on BBC Radio Merseyside, with an official release set for tomorrow (November 11).
‘Radhe Shaam’ was recorded at Trident Studios in London, where the Fab Four were laying down ‘Hey Jude’. At the time, Joshi was working on the music for a documentary called East Meets West in the same building.
Joshi later introduced Harrison to celebrated Indian musician Ravi Shankar, who subsequently taught the guitarist to play the sitar.
“Time had gone on, [then] The Beatles were breaking up and had various problems so no-one wanted to [release the song],” Joshi said, adding that lockdown was a “blessing in disguise as we had nothing to do”.
Joshi’s friend Deepak Pathak had insisted on looking for the master tape, having found out about his Beatles connection. After finding it, Pathak sent ‘Radhe Shaam’ to music producer Suraj Shinh, who restored the tape and mixed the song.
“The song itself revolves around the concept that we are all one, and that the world is our oyster,” Joshi said. “[That is] something that we have all realised during this pandemic.”
Paul Parry, manager of the Liverpool Beatles Museum, explained that the 100 guests who had heard the track – including Joshi – “loved it”.
“It was quite a moment. It took you somewhere else,” he explained. “It was unmistakeably George’s guitar [and] it was like almost bringing him back to life. It was unmistakeably Ringo’s drumming too.”
Meanwhile, George Harrison‘s childhood home in Liverpool is set to be auctioned off. Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney rehearsed at the property as their teenage band The Quarrymen.