The Beach Boys opened their US tour with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1968
After meeting Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at a UNICEF Variety Gala in Paris, France on December 15, 1967, Mike Love, along with other high-profile celebrities such as the Beatles traveled to Rishikesh in India during February and March of 1968. The following Beach Boys album Friends (1968) had certain songs influenced by the Transcendental Meditation taught by the Maharishi.
Love had arranged for the Beach Boys to tour with the Maharishi in the US, which has been called "one of the most bizarre entertainments of the era". Starting on May 3, 1968, the tour lasted five dates but it was cancelled on May 5, 1968 when the Maharishi had to withdraw to fulfill his movie commitments. Each concert began with a lengthy, unintelligible lecture by the Hindu preacher. The tour was a financial disaster for the Beach Boys. Twenty-four tour dates were subsequently cancelled at a cost estimated at $250,000 for the band. The band's declining US popularity continued with the album's title song "Friends" becoming their least successful single since 1962, charting at number 47.