Who was the “Sexy Sadie” in The Beatles’ song?


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The Beatles had a specific person in mind when they created some of their songs. One of these songs is “Sexy Sadie,” which was part of The Beatles album, also known as The White Album. According to Far Out Magazine, John Lennon wrote the song while the band was in India, in response to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s mistreatment of actress Mia Farrow. The guru and founder of the Transcendental Meditation movement gained popularity in the 1960s as a spiritual leader, but The Beatles began to suspect that he was more like a cult leader. This suspicion was confirmed when Prudence Farrow, Mia’s sister, heard that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was supposed to be celibate, had flirted with and assaulted Mia.

After this experience, Lennon wrote the lyrics for the song, originally titled “Maharishi,” but later changed to “Sexy Sadie” at the request of George Harrison. Lennon said, “That was inspired by Maharishi. I wrote it when we were packing up and leaving. It was the last piece I wrote before leaving India. I was just taking advantage of the situation to writing a song, quite calculatingly but also to express what I felt. I was leaving the Maharishi with a bad taste in his mouth. It seems that my goodbyes are not always as pleasant as I would like them to be.”

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon mentioned that when the Maharishi asked him why he was leaving, he responded, “Well, if you’re so cosmic you’ll know.”

The Beatles’ stay in India had a significant impact on their music, with “Sexy Sadie” being just one example of how their experiences influenced their songwriting. The song’s origins in the disillusionment with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the spiritual movement he led shed light on the band’s evolving perspectives and the challenges they faced during that time.

The story behind “Sexy Sadie” adds depth to the song and provides insight into the personal and cultural influences that shaped The Beatles’ music. It serves as a reminder that music is often a reflection of the artist’s experiences and emotions, and in this case, it was a way for John Lennon to express his feelings about a troubling situation. The song’s evolution from “Maharishi” to “Sexy Sadie” also highlights the collaborative nature of The Beatles’ creative process, as George Harrison’s input led to the final title change.

In conclusion, “Sexy Sadie” is not just a song, but a testament to The Beatles’ ability to channel their experiences and emotions into their music. It stands as a reminder of the complexities of human relationships and the impact of personal experiences on artistic expression. The song’s connection to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the events in India adds a layer of depth and meaning that enriches the listener’s understanding of The Beatles’ creative journey.

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