Listen to a long-lost psychedelic pop epic featuring Ringo Starr and George Harrison

Ringo Starr and George Harrison
Ringo Starr, George Harrison and friend, 1968 (Image credit: Getty Images)

A long-lost psychedelic pop recording featuring The Beatles' George Harrison and Ringo Starr has been unearthed in an attic in Birmingham, UK.  

The song, Radhe Shaam, was originally recorded in 1968 at Trident Studios in London, where Harrison and Starr were working on The Beatles' classic Hey Jude. Broadcaster and journalist Suresh Joshi was also at Trident, working on the soundtrack to a documentary, and the two Beatles offered to play on the song.

“I stood out like a sore thumb... we started talking about philosophy in general," says Joshi. But he bonded with Harrison, whose trip to India earlier that year had opened his eyes to Indian music and culture, and later introduced him to legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar. 

The master tape was found in Joshi's attic in Birmingham after a neighbour called in to check on him during lockdown and discussion turned to The Beatles. Rescued, restored and digitised, the song was given its first public airing at Liverpool's Beatles Museum this week.  

Beatles Museum manager Paul Parry tells the Liverpool Echo that Radhe Shaam is "absolutely amazing", and that the drums and guitars are "unmistakably" the work of Harrison and Starr.

Also featured on Radhe Shaam is Indian classical musician Aashish Khan - who also contributed to Harrison's Wonderwall Music album - but the recording never saw the light of day.

"Time had gone on, The Beatles were breaking up and had various problems, so no-one wanted to [release it]," says Joshi. But now it's getting a proper release, with proceeds being donated to charity.

"Leave it to humanity, that's what George wanted to do," says Joshi. "I hope the fans will love it."

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.