Bollywood Roots 3: The Beatles go to Bollywood

So, finally, episode 3 of my video series is ready. This time on The Beatles and India– how India influenced The Beatles and The Beatles influenced Indian music. Our story begins in April of 1965, with The Beatles filming Help in an Indian restaurant (Video).

Bollywood Roots 3: The Beatles go to Bollywood from Devanshu Mehta on Vimeo.

It’s been a couple of months since the last episode. This one took a lot more research, a lot more video clips, and a lot more writing. But I think I am more satisfied with it as a short documentary than I was with the previous two.

[You can find more from this series in the Bollywood Roots section. Also, you can subscribe to my channel on YouTube. YouTube blocked this episode in certain countries, so this one may only be on Vimeo.]


Bollywood Roots: Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuchh Kahaa

This is the second video in my new series “Bollywood Roots” on tracing the roots of influences in Bollywood music:

One thing worth clarifying: I’m not trying to identify naked copies. Copied tunes are a dime a dozen and frankly, are uninteresting. What I am interested in is tracing culture and influences. When I see a Hindi music director take a snippet of a 19th century Irish song and turn it in to a modern hit, I think that is talent. You may not. But I hope you recognize the difference between this kind of an inspiration and the Pritam-style note-for-note Korean copies.

In any case, here’s the story in the video above:

This time, the search has been 11 years in the making.

The song is “Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuchh Kaha” from Basu Chatterjee’s “Baton Baton Mein”: starring Amol Palekar and Tina Munim. The music was by Rajesh Roshan, sung by Amit Kumar and Asha Bhonsle with lyrics by Yogesh.

I had no idea this song had any older roots than the 1979 film until 1995 when I was watching Die Hard: With a Vengeance and the tune plays throughout the film. Once more, I had a case of a western version of an Indian song appearing after the Hindi version. Clearly, the song had older roots- but I had no idea just how old. I was about to be surprised… 11 years later. It was this military beat with an orchestra playing the tune which is the main part of the Hindi song: (Read More)

Bollywood Roots: Aaj Unse Pehli Mulakaat

This is the first video in my new series “Bollywood Roots” on tracing the roots of influences in Bollywood music:

This is something I do all the time; and I believe a lot of people must find themselves with similar problems, so here goes.

The song in question is “Aaj Unse Pehli Mulaaqat Hogi”: sung by Kishore Kumar, music “RD Burman”:, lyrics Anand Bakshi, film Paraaya Dhan (1971).

For a while now, I knew that the tune of the line “phir hoga kya, kya pata kya khabar” was copied-from/adapted-from/”inspired-by” some western song. I had heard it in restaurants, ad jingles, english movie trailers- but none of these sources were enough to track down where the tune originally came from. In fact, I have a long list of tunes in my head for which I have been searching for the source for years. For years, I kept my ears open to hear this particular tune again somewhere I can ask someone what song was playing! No luck. [Read more of my journey]