Harrison wrote the song in Los Angeles in 1971, while working on the soundtrack of Ravi Shankar’s documentary film Raga.
It was partly inspired by Ram Dass’s 1971 book Be Here Now, specifically the first part, titled ‘Journey: The Transformation: Dr. Richard Alpert, Ph.D., into Baba Ram Dass’.
‘Be Here Now’ was written in Nichols Canyon, Los Angeles, a week after ‘Miss O’Dell’ (I moved from Malibu as it was too far to drive to the studio each day). I was almost falling asleep, I had the guitar in bed and the melody came fast. The lyric was inspired by the funny story called ‘The Transformation of Richard Alpert into Baba Ram Das’.
I Me Mine
‘Be Here Now’ was recorded at Harrison’s Friar Park studio. Klaus Voormann played an upright bass in one of the mansion’s bathrooms.
On ‘Be Here Now’ he wanted me to play upright bass, and we found out that the toilet in the bathroom, when I put the bass there, that gave us the best sound. So I was playing bass in the bathroom, and then Mal Evans came in, sat on the toilet and flushed in the middle of the song!
Uncut, May 2020
‘Be Here Now’ was the title of Oasis’s third album in 1997. Their second album had included the hit single ‘Wonderwall’, also inspired by a Harrison release.