A never-before-heard psychedelic pop epic featuring The Beatles icons Ringo Starr and George Harrison – titled Radhe Shaam – has been unearthed in an attic in Birmingham, UK.
Originally recorded in 1968 at Trident Studios in London at the same time Starr, Harrison and the rest of the Fab Four were working on Hey Jude, Radhe Shaam was originally part of a documentary soundtrack that journalist Suresh Joshi was concurrently working on.
After bumping into Joshi at Trident, Starr and Harrison offered to play on the track while taking a break from their own recording commitments. 53 years after their studio session, the master tape was found in the attic of Joshi’s Birmingham home by one of his neighbors who was checking on him during lockdown.
Upon its miraculous discovery, Radhe Shaam was restored by producer Suraj Shinh, digitized and then distributed to Liverpool’s Beatles Museum and BBC Radio Merseyside for its first-ever public plays.
Unmistakably Harrison and unquestionably Starr, the track has the duo’s genre-defining tones all over it, from the opening overdriven electric guitar intro licks to the melodic thumps of the fill-heavy drum pattern.
Speaking to BBC Radio Merseyside, Joshi said of the studio session, “I stood out like a sore thumb. We started talking about philosophy in general. The song itself revolves around the concept that we are all one, and that the world is our oyster.”
Of Radhe Shaam’s discovery, Joshi described the lockdown as a “blessing in disguise as we had nothing to do”, and said the track was never shared because “time had gone on, The Beatles were breaking up and had various problems so no-one wanted to [release the song]”.
Radhe Shaam wasn’t the first time Harrison and Joshi had met, though. Prior to the recording, the journalist had befriended Harrison and introduced him to celebrated Indian musician Ravi Shankar, who taught the guitarist who to play the sitar.
Liverpool Beatles Museum manager Paul Parry revealed the audience in attendance for the track’s premiere, unsurprisingly, “loved it”, and that the occasion was “absolutely amazing”.
After being "lost and found many times", Radhe Shaam finally has a proper release, with all proceeds generated from the track going to charity.
In other Beatles-related news, George Harrison's childhood home – where he first learned to play the guitar – is going up for auction on November 30.