When Rolling Stone’s – Mick Jagger helped the Hare Krsnas
When Mick Jagger helped the devotees – The Beatles, The Stones and the Hare Krishna in the early seventies…
Shyamasundar: Srila Prabhupada always made you feel like you were his friend.
He listened to what you had to say and took your puniest achievements.
First of all he overlooked all your glaring outrages and took your puniest achievements and made them very big.
I’ll never forget this. I had worked hard on this Bury Place temple (in the photo) for several months, doing all the building and carpentry.
In those days there were only three or four of us and a couple of new English boys.
So it was pretty much a one-man job.
I was going to stick to the standard I set out when I designed it, even though Prabhupada was in England pushing me day and night to finish this thing so that he could get on with things.
But he respected the fact that I wanted it done just right because we were going to be a central showplace in which what was then the most happening city in the world, and right on the main street.
And the people who saw it should see something perfect. I was determined to make it that way. Prabhupada went along with that for months, despite his discomfort.
One day after it was finished and the Deities had been inaugurated, we took a walk in the park one morning.
We were walking back, and Prabhupada looked at the front of the temple.
He looked it up and down, and he motioned to either Gurudas or Mukunda and said, “You shall put a plaque on the front of this door (he showed with his cane beside the door where he wanted the plaque), a brass plaque, and you will put on that plaque, ‘This temple has been built by the hard labor of Shyamasundar das Adhikary.‘” [Breaks up crying.]
We took this idea of just doing anything we wanted for Krishna, no matter how outrageous it might appear to anyone else. It was very common for us to think that there was no such thing as an impossible situation, and we just did everything.
And that is a good case in point, because without any building permits we gutted this whole building in downtown London, took out the first-floor story, and made it two stories high.
That is, until the building inspectors arrived, Mr. Savage and Mr. Black, typical English bureaucrats.
They had seen that we had already done it, so they were quite willing to go that extra mile to help us out a little.
But we had to comply with certain regulations.
And these steel beams were going to be very expensive.
They had to be fifty or sixty feet long, in one single throw. I-beams of very heavy steel. And somehow we had to get them into the ceiling.
And we had no money.
So I went to Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones and asked him, and he said, “Oh, yes, just have my secretary give you the check.” So he bought them. [Laughs.]
Those days we rubbed elbows with those characters, you know.
After we lived in John Lennon’s house, we still maintained contact with all the Beatles.
We interacted with them whenever we needed something, or when they needed.
One day John Lennon called up and asked if I could come and carve a piano for him. Yoko wanted Krishna carved in the music stand in the front of her white piano. The piano was on the ground floor of Apple Studios on Salvo Row, next to the recording studio.
It took about a month, and I carved a very nice Krishna in that piano.
And during that time Brian Jones had died of the Rolling Stones, and they were breaking in a new guitar player named Mick Taylor. So they had borrowed Apple Studios to bring Mick Taylor up to date on all their songs.
So I had live Rolling Stones for a month while I worked. “Hey, you, get off my cloud” over and over. [Laughs.] And we thought nothing of it.
This was just an ordinary thing. And Prabhupada made us feel that.
He always appreciated going for the top, going for the highest people in realms and spheres of influence to accomplish spreading Krishna consciousness, to accomplish the desire of his spiritual master.