When The Beatles grooved Bollywood

Last Updated: Aug 03, 2010, 16:07 PM IST

Sleek pants, tees in bright neon, pink, yellow and orange worn by a head-banging, long mane sporting 70s protagonist, as he grooved to the tunes of a guitar with an equally jazzed up lass. Yes, the Beatles had a deep influence on Bollywood during the late 60s and for the most part of 70s. <br/><br/>And this effect, though was largely visible in the fast changing style dynamics of Bollywood, went much beyond. How? Well, unlike the serious looking, brooding male protagonist, the 70s introduced a hip-shaking, gear savvy hero, who would shake a leg to the beats and rhythm, letting his hair down to match the riffs of the guitar. <br/><br/>Like always, Bollywood triggered a defining influence, and once again, we had the entire generation flashily dressed and grooving to heavy guitar tunes. The sleek pants were replaced by flashy bell bottoms paired with narrow cut coats and it wasn’t just the clothes. Filmdom was so consumed by the Beatles that the hero now spotted a disheveled-hair look which was much inspired by the iconic four. <br/><br/>And call it inspiration or influence, but a song from Shammi Kapoor’s flick ‘Janwar’ has been widely touted as one of the blatant examples of plagiarism. Titled as ‘Dekho Ab Toh’, the song was said to be an exact Hindi replica of the famous Beatle number ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’.<br/><br/>Not only the lyrics, Shammi’s body language and moves were widely taken from the song. What made this apparent copy even more noticeable was the four guitar players in the background dressed like the four Beatles singers. <br/><br/>From Shammi Kapoor to Asha Parekh to Dev Anand to Parveen Babi, an entire generation of B-town celebs was seen celebrating The Beatles and all the wild antics they symbolized that went much beyond their style statement. In fact, many were speculated to be living a hippie lifestyle with their love for nature and herbs.<br/><br/>Remember Parveen Babi and Zeenat Aman sporting those oversized sunglasses as they swayed to high notes on-screen. What’s interesting is Zeenat and Dev Anand’s much raved look in ‘Hare Rama, Hare Krishna’ was much too inspired by The Beatles. The hippie lifestyle as well as the music of the film largely echoed a western, rather Beatles, influence. <br/><br/>And even though there has been no official word on the inspiration Bollywood derived from The Beatles, they had a deep and lasting effect on our actors and musicians, who wanted to ape anything and everything the group represented.<br/><br/>In my opinion, there has hardly been any other band that has had such an effect worldwide. In all, The Beatles did Bollywood a great service by being what they were. As the band celebrates its 50th anniversary, here’s hoping for a much-awaited reunion.<br/>