On what would have been his 71st birthday, George Harrison gets honored by friend and fellow musician Mike Love on the previously unreleased track "Pisces Brothers."
Written in 2004, but released for the first time today, "Pisces Brothers" was inspired by a trip the Beach Boys co-founder and the Beatles took to India in 1968 to learn from the spiritual teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Donovan and Mia Farrow also accompanied the group.
"This being the 50th anniversary of The Beatles coming to America, I wanted to commemorate this incredibly significant trip we all took together to India, at the Maharishi’s invitation," Love said in a statement. "It was enormously influential on all of us, most especially George. The song is really sentimental for me, and meant to honor George Harrison’s remarkable contribution to music. And how, in this one moment in time, we got together, as the song says, not [for] fortune or for fame, but for enlightenment.” The title refers to the astrological sign the pair share, with Love continuing to practice the Transcendental Meditation techniques learned in India to this day.
"Pisces Brothers" blends soft rock, New Age and sitars with Love's direct memories of his time with Harrison. "A flood of memories come to mind/Of happy birthdays back in time," sings the Beach Boys member. "Such precious moments/Now in the past/Music and memories are all that last."
Love and the Beatles traveled to Rishikish, India in 1968, five months after the latter first met the Maharishi. In a 2013 interview with the Guardian, Love described his experiences in India. "The 60s was a time of unthinkabilities," Love said. "It was such a special time, and the Maharishi was a great host and guru. I was at the breakfast table when Paul McCartney came down with his acoustic guitar playing 'Back in the USSR.' I said, 'You ought to put something in about all the girls around Russia,' and he did." Love claimed to swear off drugs after his involvement with Transcendental Meditation, a choice that would cause a rift in the Beach Boys when contrasted with other members' frequent drug use.
Three months after Love's trip to India, the Beach Boys embarked on a co-headlining U.S. tour with Maharishi to help him establish meditation centers around the country. The show consisted of the band playing a full set before ceding the stage to Maharishi for a lecture on spirituality. The tour lasted seven shows before being cancelled due to lack of interest.