March 5, 2009 / 11:45 PM / 10 years ago

Beatles McCartney, Starr to play N.Y. charity show

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will perform at a New York concert next month to help raise money for a program that encourages troubled children to meditate, organizers said.

McCartney will headline the “Change Begins Within” fund-raiser at Radio City Music Hall on April 4, while Starr is among the “special guests.”

A spokeswoman said on Thursday that the pair were currently scheduled to play separate sets, and any plans for a joint performance would be announced at a later date.

McCartney and Starr, the last two surviving members of the Fab Four, most recently shared a stage in 2002 at a memorial concert in London for fallen bandmate George Harrison.

The Beatles, led by Harrison, helped popularize Transcendental Meditation in 1967 when they sought spiritual guidance from an Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. But a planned two-month pilgrimage to India the following year ended badly when Starr split after two weeks, in part because of dietary concerns. A disenchanted John Lennon later ripped their guru in a song called “Maharishi,” whose title was changed to “Sexy Sadie” for legal reasons.

In a statement about the show, McCartney said Transcendental Meditation helps him find “moments of serenity.” Starr simply said the aims of the charity were “wonderful.”

The event will benefit filmmaker David Lynch’s eponymous foundation, which says it has provided scholarships since 2005 for more than 60,000 students, parents, and teachers around the world to learn to meditate.

The lineup also includes Sheryl Crow, Donovan, Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder, blues-folk musician Ben Harper and techno star Moby. Tickets, priced between $79.50 and $504.50, will go on sale on Monday.

Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Steve Gorman

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