Sexy Sadie (Lennon/McCartney)

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Sexy Sadie (Lennon/McCartney)

A beginning full of expletives

Mark Lewisohn notes, in his song The Beatles Recording Sessions, that the first session for Sexy Sadie contained a different set of lyrics, overtly hostile toward the Maharishi as played by John for Paul:

You little tw**
Who the f*** do you think you are?
Who the f*** do you think you are?
Oh, you c***


“That’s about the Maharishi, yes. I copped out and I wouldn’t write ‘Maharishi, what have you done? You made a fool of everyone.’ But now it can be told, Fab Listeners.” – John Lennon in Rolling Stone, 1970

“That was written just as we were leaving, waiting for our bags to be packed in the taxi that never seemed to come. We thought: ‘They’re deliberately keeping the taxi back so as we can’t escape from this madman’s camp.’ And we had the mad Greek with us who was paranoid as hell. He kept saying, ‘It’s black magic, black magic. They’re gonna keep you here forever.’ I must have got away because I’m here.” – John Lennon, 1974

“John had a song he had started to write which he was singing: ‘Maharishi, what have you done?’ and I said, ‘You can’t say that, it’s ridiculous.’ I came up with the title of Sexy Sadie and John changed ‘Maharishi’ to ‘Sexy Sadie’. John flew back to Yoko in England and I went to Madras and the south of India and spent another few weeks there.” – George Harrison

“Alexis (Magic Alex) and a fellow female mediator began to sow the seeds of doubt into very open minds…Alexis’s statements about how the Maharishi had been indiscreet with a certain lady, and what a blackguard he had turned out to be gathered momentum. All, may I say, without a single shred of evidence or justification. It was obvious to me that Alexis wanted out and more than anything he wanted The Beatles out as well.” – Cynthia Lennon

“It was a big scandal. Maharishi had tried to get off with one of the chicks. I said, ‘Tell me what happened?’ John said, ‘Remember that blonde American girl with the short hair? Like a Mia Farrow lookalike. She was called Pat or something.’ I said, ‘Yeah’. He said, ‘Well, Maharishi made a pass at her.’ So I said, ‘Yes? What’s wrong with that?’ He said, ‘Well, you know, he’s just a bloody old letch just like everybody else. What the f***, we can’t go following that!’

“They were scandalized. And I was quite shocked at them; I said, ‘But he never said he was a god. In fact very much the opposite. He said, ‘Don’t treat me like a god, I’m just a meditation teacher.’ There was no deal about you mustn’t touch women, was there? There was no vow of chastity involved.’ So I didn’t think it was enough cause to leave the whole meditation center.” – Paul McCartney


  • John Lennon – lead and harmony vocals, rhythm guitar, Hammond organ
  • George Harrison – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Paul McCartney – piano, bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine

Release history

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