muchadoaboutthebeatles

odds and ends.

I went to George’s [Harrison] Friar Park, which he had just purchased, and he said, ‘I have a few ditties for you to hear.’ It was endless! He had literally hundreds of songs, and each one was better than the rest. He had all this emotion built up when it was released to me. I don’t think he had played them to anybody, maybe Pattie.

He let me make all the basic tracks. He said, ‘Go, go, go!’ He would play and then he would come back in and listen. In the overbidding, he was in control of his parts. He wouldn’t let anything go until it was right. ‘My Sweet Lord’ must have taken about twelve hours to overdub the guitar solos. He must have had that in triplicate, six-part harmony, before we decided on two-part harmony. Perfectionist is not the word. Anyone can be a perfectionist. He was beyond that. He just had to have it so right. He would try and try and experiment upon experiment, to the point where I would leave the studio for several hours while he played different parts over and over with the engineer. Then I would come in and listen, and he would say, How does it sound? Are there too many parts? Too few parts?’ He’d do the same thing with the background vocals. He was a great harmonizer with himself - he could do all the parts by himself.

He could play like nobody else because he had his own style of playing. I don’t think George would say he was as meticulous and fluent as Eric. He always bowed to Eric as far as a technician. But for versatility and ideas, George was far superior. George was more creative, more melodic. Eric was a better player, more blues-oriented, and George asked Eric to play a lot of the solos on the All Things Must Pass album and sit in the control room with me while Eric played them. But on the commercial recordings like ‘My Sweet Lord’, George played those, and worked on them for endless hours getting the harmonies right, because that’s what made The Beatles’ records, those solos. They were so commercial and so technically perfect. That was George’s gift. George was one of the most commercial musicians and songwriters and quintessential players I’ve ever known in my entire career.

– Phil Spector quote on George Harrison from the book George Harrison Living In the Material World, Page 282

“I always felt that in spite of all the fame, all the hullabaloo around that time and all the time for years following, George had something which we call in our language tyagi, which means the feeling of unattachment. He had everything - all the wealth, all the fame, whatever he wanted. But he was not attached to it. It didn’t seem to matter much to him, because he was searching for something much higher, much deeper. It does seem like he already had some Indian background in him. Otherwise, it’s hard to explain how, from Liverpool, with his background and then becoming so famous, what reason did he have to get so attracted to a particular type of life and philosophy, even religion? It seems very strange really. Unless you believe in reincarnation.”

– Ravi Shankar quote on George Harrison from the book George Harrison Living In the Material World, Page 244

“He was clearly an innovator: George [Harrison], to me, was taking certain elements of R&B and rock and rockabilly and creating something unique.”

– Eric Clapton quote on George Harrison from the book George Harrison Living In the Material World, Page 194

“George [Harrison] was the best guitarist in the group. I mean, we were all pretty good, but George was lead guitar…George was more technical, more practical, and we all thought he was a great guitar player. The nice thing was that he didn’t really emulate anyone.”

– Paul McCartney quote on George Harrison from the book George Harrison Living In the Material World, Page 116

“He [George Harrison] was a cocky little guy. He had a good sense of himself; he wasn’t cowed by anything. He had a great haircut.”

– Paul McCartney quote on George Harrison from the book George Harrison Living In the Material World, Page 32

“I’m as sensitive as shit,”

– John Lennon quote from the book The Beatles Anthology, Page 253

“She was even then, terrified of John - of his reckless humor no less than the moods and sudden rages and the ferocity with which he demanded her total obedience. He was so jealous, Cynthia says, he would try to beat up anyone at a party who so much as asked her to dance. He would sit for hours with her in a pub or coffee bar, never letting go her hand.”

– From the book Shout! The True Story of the Beatles by Philip Norman, Page 46

“Even George Harrison forgot his usual shyness in John’s company to declare that Cynthia had teeth ‘like a horse’.”

– From the book Shout! The True Story of the Beatles by Philip Norman, Page 46

“I’m really very embarrassed by my guitar playing. I’m not technically very good, but I can make it howl and move. I was a rhythm guitarist. It’s an important job. I can make a band drive.”

– John Lennon quote