For some, it’s the adrenaline rush, for others, the scenic beauty, and for a few, the promise of spiritual redemption. Whatever the reason, Nepal has welcomed a lot of international musicians who come seeking peace, adventure, muse, and sometimes, some dope weed.
So, let’s look at the biggest musicians to have visited Nepal over the past few decades.
The lead singer of the New Wave Rock band, Police have made several visits to Nepal. The musician even stopped for an impromptu jamming session at Lazimpat’s Jazz Upstairs. Needless to say, the casual audiences unaware of Sting’s presence were in for a delightful treat that evening.
Sting also seems to have a taste for Adventure making him visit Nepal multiple times. Apparently, sting and his family went for a thrilling rafting session at the Trishuli River.
Also, we learned about Sting during his 08′ visit that he isn’t a fan of excessive media attention. Sting, who’s had enough media exposure in his days, likes to keep his visits private but that’s easier said than done with so many paparazzi always on the hunt. During his visit to Pashupatinath temple in 2008, a Nepali photo-journalist managed to capture Sting’s shots without his permission. The rockstar mildly chided the man behind the lens (and rightly so.)
The Rock n’ Roll legend himself, Mick Jagger couldn’t get satisfaction elsewhere and flew over to Nepal in the ’90s. He and his longtime partner, Jerry Hall were on their way to a grandiose Hindu marriage in Bali. Jagger’s love for Hinduism was no secret and on his way to Bali, he decided to take a detour around the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal.
The Rolling Stone’s frontman and his party stayed in the luxurious Shankar Hotel with 26 pieces of suitcases between them. And the hotel still boasts the honor of hosting the rockstar.
Jagger, during his visit, is also believed to have trekked through the scenic foothills of Annapurna in the north of Pokhara valley. The trekking route was named The Royal Trek earlier in the ’80s after Prince Charles along with his entourage of 90 people walked the trail.
While Jimi Hendrix’s visit is still in dispute, Jimmy Page has shown all of his love for Nepal on social media. The guitarist for Led Zeppelin visited Nepal in 2004 when he was rambling on through the far east.
The band has time and again shown their love for the mystical east through their music. Just give a good listen to the album Physical Graffiti and the eastern influence will be apparent.
Remember when Bryan Adams visited Nepal? The crowd went wild. It was the summer of 11’ and I was a bit too small to appreciate his music. But oh, what wouldn’t I give to see him live now.
While none of the above musicians bothered to perform for Nepal, Bryan Adams came here just to do that. Adams was (and arguably still is) perhaps the biggest international singer to perform for Nepal. Since then, Nepal has opened its doors to various international musicians, but let’s not forget, it was Bryan Adams’ concert at Dasarath Rangasala that kicked it all off.
Chris Adler is a drumming legend, if there ever was one. Having blasted these thunderous beats for two legendary bands, Lamb of God and Megadeth, Adler is an inspiration for any drummer who’s just starting out. He even provides drumming clinics to help out such aspiring drummers.
In 2019, he visited Nepal to provide an educational demonstration of his amazing drumming techniques. Of course, the Nepali metal maniacs went crazy and Purple Haze, Thamel was jammed with moshing headbangers. Prior to that, Adler had also visited Nepal in 2017. The trip must have been very pleasant since he decided to come back two years later.
Fact or Fiction?
And then, there are some disputed cases, mostly because these visits were made before the introduction of the internet. Take for instance the curious case of Jimi Hendrix. The locals from Jomsom swear that the Purple Haze singer trekked along the Hippie Trail, around the Annapurna Circuit, and stayed a night at Thak Khola lodge, Jomsom at room number 6.
But it’s rather hard to believe that Hendrix found the time to fly all the way to Nepal in October of 1967, right around the time his career was just taking off. Most importantly, however, the Hippie Trail didn’t even lead to Jomsom in the 67′ because Mustang was opened to trekkers only after 1977.
Cat Stevens is another musician rumored to have visited Nepal and roamed through the famous Freak Street. He is reported to have stayed in Kathmandu Guest House whose tranquil garden became a muse for his song “Peace Train.”
Finally, the biggest band in the world, the Beatles were also rumored to have visited Nepal and stayed at the iconic Kathmandu Guest House. While it’s still not certain if the fab four visited Kathmandu, it’s highly likely that George Harrison did. Akin to Jagger, Harrison too was a devoted Hindu. In fact, Harrison was cremated and his ashes scattered into the holy Ganges river.
Nepal’s two locations, Jomsom and Pashupatinath temple are considered to be some of the holiest locations for Hindu practitioners. It wouldn’t be too surprising to consider that Harrison did visit Nepal.
Well, these are some of our favorite rockstars believed to have graced Nepal. Has your favorite musician visited Nepal yet? Let them know you’re waiting!