Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr Headline
“Change Begins Within” Benefit Concert
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr perform together at the "Change Begins Within" benefit concert for the David Lynch Foundation.
On April 4, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited onstage in New York City for an exhilarating, star-studded benefit concert, “Change Begins Within,” that launched the David Lynch Foundation into an entirely new level of public awareness. As the headline performers at a sold-out Radio City Music Hall, they helped raise funds for the Foundation’s international initiative to teach one million at-risk children to meditate—and to begin to change their world from within.
Many other world-famous musicians—Sheryl Crow, Donovan, Eddie Vedder, Moby, Ben Harper, Paul Horn, Angelo Badalamenti, Betty LaVette, and Jim James—joined the two remaining Beatles to thrill the crowd as well, as did Jerry Seinfeld in a brilliant guest performance. Between acts, David Lynch showed powerful film clips of meditating students in Foundation schools, Institute director Dr. John Hagelin summarized the compelling TM research, and celebrity personalities Howard Stern, Russell Simmons, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, and Laura Dern spoke passionately about the benefits of TM practice.
In addition to superb individual performances, the musicians at the concert sang together on many songs and created a powerful, joyful onstage camaraderie and unity, with everyone committed to bringing meditation to students everywhere and helping the youth reach their full potential.
All 6,000 tickets for the concert had sold out immediately upon availability, with many leaders of society, celebrities, and wealthy philanthropists in attendance, including Yoko Ono, Olivia Harrison, John McEnroe, Martin Scorsese, Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Aniston, Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, David Arquette, Michael J. Fox, and Bill O’Reilly.
Dr. Hagelin, the Institute staff, and the Institute’s highly effective and experienced media team, led by visionary media director Bob Roth, worked nonstop for months to organize the “Change Begins Within” concert and to generate unprecedented media coverage for it. To maximize the media impact of the concert, Paul, Ringo, and other performers joined David Lynch for a rare live pre-concert press conference on April 3, connecting via webcast with local press conferences in all major U.S. cities across the nation (for a replay, see www.DavidLynchFoundation.org). The global media had already been buzzing with excitement in the month before the concert, and more than 120 media representatives attended the press conference. The explosion of global news coverage that followed included more than 3,000 press articles just in the next few days, as well hundreds of television and radio reports around the world (see, for example, the Associated Press coverage at www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXf8hbphDAw&NR=1).
This global coverage continued to expand in the weeks after the concert. The press conference, which also featured Dr. Hagelin and prominent physicians, educators, and business people, also increased public awareness of the benefits of TM and of in-school TM programs around the country and has provided millions of dollars’ worth of free publicity in promoting the value of TM practice for children.
In an interview with David Lynch, Paul said of TM practice, “It’s a lifelong gift. It’s something you can call on at any time…. Allowing children to experience something they wouldn’t have been able to experience otherwise is a great thing.” And Ringo was delighted that he and Paul were able to come together to support the David Lynch Foundation initiative, saying, “I feel the aims of this charity are wonderful!” (For these and other interviews with the performers, as well as exciting concert footage, visit www.DLF.tv.)