Change Begins Within:
A Benefit Concert For
The David Lynch Foundation

Various Artists

Renowned film director and screenwriter David Lynch (Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, The Elephant Man) established the David Lynch Foundation in 2005 in an effort to promote the physical and mental benefits of Transcendental Meditation. Along the way, he’s recruited some big names to help bring attention to the need for meditation for those who suffered trauma and stress. Lynch has staged several benefit concerts to support the work of the foundation, but on April 4, 2009 in New York City, the Change Begins Within show was pivotal in bringing the David Lynch Foundation into the mainstream. That was largely based on who showed up, among them Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the two surviving members of the Beatles.

Now, eight years later, the concert can be revisited on DVD, thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment. In addition to sets by McCartney and Starr, Donovan, Sheryl Crow, Eddie Vedder, Moby, Ben Harper, Paul Horn, and Betty LaVette join in fort a song or two. Jerry Seinfeld does a little stand-up to lighten the mood. But make no mistake about it, this show goes a long way to celebrate the Beatles and their role in Transcendental Meditation. It was in 1967 that the Fab Four met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in London, then journeyed to Rishikesh, India for six weeks to study meditation. George Harrison was especially drawn to Eastern thought, so it’s no wonder that among the songs played, that “My Sweet Lord,” featuring Sheryl Crow, is especially poignant.

Other standout performances include Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” with Eddie Vedder and Ben Harper, and two numbers — “Hurdy Gurdy Man “ and “Isle Of Islay” — by Donavan, a close Beatle confidant who accompanied them to India. The most anticipated moments of the show, of course, occur when Starr takes the stage for three songs — “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Boys” and “Yellow Submarine” — and is followed by McCartney for six solo and Beatle favorites, including “Here Today,” the song he wrote about his love for John Lennon. The climax comes when Starr joins McCartney for “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

The show closes out with everyone joining in on “Cosmically Conscious,” a track McCartney wrote in the early 90s that fit in rather nicely with the whole idea of Transcendental Meditation, and a boastful rendition of “I Saw Her Standing There.” It’s during these songs that images of the Beatles in India show up on the backdrop, and Starr is joined on drums by Jim Keltner, who played with both Lennon and Harrison during their solo years. You’re not going to be as blown away by the actual sets as much as you will be by who’s there and the spirit in which they are proffered. And really, at its core, that’s what makes Change Begins Within something you’ll want to add to your collection.

~ Shawn Perry


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