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May 6, 2020 66 mins

It’s the second part of our series about the power struggles inside the greatest rock band ever! Within the Beatles, the unquestioned power couple was John Lennon and Paul McCartney. But in the band’s later years, George Harrison emerged as a major creative force, writing hit songs like “Something” and “Here Comes The Sun.” And yet he struggled to gain respect from his two big brothers in the Fab Four, even after the band broke up.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Rivals is a production of I Heart Radio. Hello everyone,
and welcome to Rivals, the show about music beeps and
feuds and long simmering resentments between musicians. I'm Steve, I'm Jordan.

(00:22):
I got my Chelsea boots on for this one. Yes,
this is the second part of our special two part
Beatle Brawls series. If you heard our previous episode, we
talked about the rivalry between John Lennon and Paul McCartney,
and which is, like, you know, a very famous rivalry.
I feel like it's a it's like a Bible story,

(00:42):
isn't it for rock fans. It's a musical can enable
I guess in a way. Yeah, so that's sort is
really famous. I think what is less sung is that
I don't know if that's a word less sung or
I'll say unsung relatively unsung is the rivalry between Lennon
McCartney as a team in George Harrison uh, the junior
member of the Beatles, who was also a very good

(01:05):
songwriter but did not get the respect always that he
deserved from the other two songwriters in the band. You know,
I had a teacher once who told me, you know,
the older you get, the more you're gonna see that
George Harrison was kind of the coolest Beetle And this
was maybe twenty years ago, and I keep thinking of that,
and I see that he's kind of right, I think,
so I all you had to do was look at
the cover of Cloud nine, his solo record from like

(01:30):
from like the late eighties. He's like wearing the Hawaiian shirt,
he has like the the Oakley sunglasses on. His hair's
all blown back and it looks like he's like floating
in the sky. And I'm like, oh, yeah, that is
the chilliest dude in the world. Dad Rock Nirvana. Really,
But of course that was like twenty years after the Beatles.
He was not chill when he was in the Beatles.
He had a hard time, uh. And it's basically why

(01:53):
he ended up just meditating for the rest of his
life after he left the Beatles. UM with some pitstops
into cocaine abuse every now and then in the seventies,
Um and Python cocaine and Monty Python. So there's a
lot to talk about here. So without further ado, let's
get into this mess. So it's important to George's on

(02:18):
trade in the Beatles is through his schoolmate. Paul McCartney
was his friend from the school bus, and Paul initially
maca yeah, Macca would try to brush him off because
George was in the year below, and you know, you
can't sit next to a younger kid on the school bus.
He just can't. That's against the rules of coolness in
the school. But eventually, I guess every other seat in
the bus was probably taken and he had to sit

(02:38):
next to George, and they realized they had a lot
to talk about. They both loved rock and roll and guitars,
and at this point, Paul was in a band with
John the Corey men ak A The Primordial Beatles and Uh.
Paul initially been hired as a lead guitarist, but during
their first gig with Paul, he completely botched the solo.
I think the song was guitar boogie and and he

(03:00):
did not boogie on that guitar that night. So it
became quickly apparent that they needed somebody else to fill
the lead guitar spot. So Paul recommended his friend George,
and there's the sort of very famous story of of
George auditioning for John on the top deck of a
bus one night an empty bus, which is you know,
gone down in the Beatle lore as this mythological kind

(03:20):
of test with John Lennon. Yeah, he played the song
Raunchy Build, just the fifties hit instrumental song. Yeah, if
you watch any Beatles documentary, you will hear this story.
Like I've seen several documentaries, I've heard the story about
eight million times. But I'm I'm always delighted by it,
you know, because it just shows, Yeah, these guys at
one point, we're just teenagers forming a band. And you know,

(03:43):
Harrison not only was he younger, but he looked younger.
He looks like a fetus. Like when you look at
those early photos of of the band, I mean, he
looks like a really little kid. Oh my god. Well
they used to they used to smear dirt on his
face to make it look like five o'clock shadows who
can get in the clubs and stuff. That's how just
not something I considered when I was that age. But yeah,

(04:04):
it's like why Harrison had like huge beards like by
the end of the sixties, because it was just like, hey,
I don't need to cover and bird anymore, buddy, I'm
I'm harrisuit as hell. Right now. But I mean, yeah,
it's like George he was only eight months younger than Paul,
and I guess he was two and a half years
younger than John, but you know, he was a little

(04:24):
bit shorter than them, and it just seems like he
had like little brother syndrome. In the Beatles, like if
you know, we were talking to our previous episode, it's
such an archetypal story about friendship, like how they came
together and how they fell apart. And with George, it's
like it's more like a family aspect, and it's like
you have the two older brothers who are like the

(04:45):
stars of the school, you know, who are you good
at everything? And then like you're the you're like the
little brother who's um, you know, trying to trying to
stand out. He has to literally tag along with John
on his dates with his girlfriends, like he would like,
you know, just just follow it. Yeah, I mean it
was really a case of literal tagging along. He wanted

(05:06):
he wanted to his hero to to look at him,
to give him some words of praise. And you know,
like all families, like the role that you have when
you're a kid, those roles tend to stick around. I
think a lot of families like like if you were
known when you were eight years old as the as
the one who didn't like mashed potatoes, Like when you're
thirty eight, your mom is still gonna bring up how

(05:27):
you don't like mashed potatoes. And like Harrison, as the
Beatles progress, you know, they treated him like the little kid,
you know, the one that like, Okay, John and Paul,
we're gonna write all the hits, We're gonna do all
the work. You just play the guitar. You don't need
to worry about it. And also he ends up getting
described as the quiet Beatle, which is kind of diminishing nickname.

(05:50):
It's not like the cute one, for instance, like people
called Paul McCartney the cute one. You know, George Harrison
was the quiet one. I remember reading this story about
how like when they first went to America, George Harrison
didn't talk a lot because he had a sore throat.
And he's like, that's why I didn't talk a lot,
because I couldn't really talk and I was trying to
save my voice. But he was like, if I'm the
quiet one, then that means that the other ones were

(06:11):
really loud, because he definitely didn't see himself that way. No.
I mean, there's the famous story when they're talking to
George Martin in the studio for the first time and
George is kind of like showing them around. They're this young,
completely inexperienced bands, first time in like you know, well
not there first one of the first times in a
major recording studio, and George Martin goes, is there anything
you don't like? George Harrison said, looks right back and says, yeah,

(06:35):
I don't like your tie, which is not something a quiet,
meek guy would say to your your new boss in
the studio with just signed a contract with. So I
mean that that, I think tells you a lot more
about George than than meets the eyes. That he he
had some he had some spunky as he was, he
had some jokes. George Harrison's got jokes. He's like the most.
I don't want to diagnose him as bipolar because I

(06:55):
don't think he's literally bipolar, but there is these there
are these extremes of his personality were on one hand,
you know, he's like this very spiritual, chill, introspective person
and there's this other side where there's an anger to
him and like also like a viciousness to his sense
of humor where he could be just as cutting as
John Lennon, you know, like he had that same thing

(07:18):
into him and they were raging together at the same time.
It's what makes them such an interesting person to think about. Yeah,
the whole great example of still waters run deep, which
is and he would get angrier as his time and
the Beatles progressed. I mean it kind of as you
were saying earlier, John and Paul kind of carved up
the songwriting between them. I guess they had talked earlier
on about whether or not to cut George in because

(07:39):
some of the early instrumental songs George has a credit on,
like early stuff like Cry for a Shadow, stuff that
that showed up on the anthology. But they decided just
to keep it simple and keep it just the two
of them. And so when George started songwriting, he really
had to come from nowhere in a group that had
letting a. McCartney the greatest songwriting duo the out of

(08:00):
twentieth century. And it is wild to me how that
stayed so rigid even as McCartney and Lennon essentially stopped
writing together. You know, as the sixties progressed, they still
would put their names together, like on on all their songs.
You know, even like I think give Piece of Chance,
like this solo John Lennon's that's like a Lennon like

(08:22):
Lennon and I think, you know, Lennon still felt this
sort of sense of loyalty to Paul that he had
to maintain that facade. And yet they never thought to
bring George in, you know, like there was never this
thought like, okay, like George, he started to write pretty
good songs into the mid sixties, like if I needed someone,
obviously tax Man, I want to tell you he's showing

(08:44):
some potential, you know, why not bring him in. It's
like when George, you know, got into the late sixties
and he started assembling the songs that would go on
his first post Beatles solo record, which is All Things
Must Pass. You know, he was hanging out with Bob Dylan, know,
the songwriter of songwriters, and Bob Dylan offered to do

(09:04):
a co write with him. You know, they did the
song Uh, I'd have You anytime? Oh yeah, yeah, So
like Bob Dylan was willing to write with George Harrison,
but Lennon McCartney weren't. And I mean that really I
think was eating at him. As you know, the band continued,
and you know, in their defense, yeah, his early songs
probably weren't that good. He had to come from he'd

(09:25):
always say interviews. You know, John and Paul wrote all
their bad songs years before we had a record contract.
So suddenly I had to kind of come from nowhere
and write songs that could that wouldn't totally sound out
of place on albums filled with with their brilliant hits.
So I mean, you feel bad for him, But in
a way, John and Paul they were it was a business,
and they didn't They weren't in the business of nurturing

(09:45):
a new artist. They were just trying to get the
job done and make a hit single. So I see
both sides kind of. I gotta say, like, you know,
the first Harrison song on a Beatles record is Don't
Bother Me. It's on with the Beatles. I liked that song.
I think it's a pretty good song. I don't think
it's like as good it is like All My Loving
or like you know, all the great Beatles, like or

(10:05):
I want to hold your hand or she loves you.
But you could see already that Harrison had a persona
in the Beatles. Uh yeah, this sort of cantankerous loner
thing that like added a lot to the band. And
it's interesting like how I think George Harrison became an
archetype for other similar songwriters and other bands, you know,

(10:26):
because we can look at the Beatles, and you can
look at all the ways that they influenced subsequent bands,
how bands imitated what they did, sometimes unintentionally, you know,
like how bands fell apart in many ways sort of
echo the ways that the Beatles fell apart. But I'm
always intrigued by bands that have like a George Harrison
figure in the in the band. Like I think of

(10:47):
like drive By Truckers in their incarnation, like when Jason
Isabel was in the band, like he was like the
George Harrison of drive By Truckers at that time. Also,
like one of my favorite bands of all time, I
was Guided by Voices, great nineties indie rock band, Robert
Pollard is like the Lennon McCartney in one body of
that band. But then there's this other guy, Copen Sprout,

(11:10):
who was like the George Harrison of that, and I
alway kind of pull for the George Harrison figures. It's
like always the guy who the dark dominant as like, yeah,
the exactly the dark horse person. And you always feel like, oh,
they're they're so good on their like three or four
songs that they get a lotted on the album, Like
what if they could be spotlighted like on their own.

(11:33):
You know, that's always the intrigue of the George Harrison figure.
And of course that started with George himself and that
was a niche that he ended up carving for himself
on these records. And the funny thing about don't bother
Me like you're saying, is that George Martin and all
the Beatles would say in later years. You know, Georgia's
songs were kind of rush jobs because we didn't want
to waste time on them because they were just a

(11:54):
George song. And the first thing that you hear on
Don't Bother Me if you listen to it closely, is
studio chatter. It's George sang too fast. He's telling his bandmates,
so no slow down, which is I think just such
a funny way to start his like solo songwriting career
is him yelling at his bandmates. And obviously they kept
the too fast version because that's the one we're hearing
right now. So I don't know, I think that's very telling.

(12:15):
It's almost like, yeah, it's almost like they're taking the
piss out of him. And that did become a thing
I think with Harrison as the Beatles progressed where he
felt like they weren't giving it there like that that
John and Paul weren't giving it. They're all like on
his songs that they weren't as invested in those songs.
And you know, the big example of that is, of course,
while my Guitar Gently Weeps, which was a song they
worked on over and over again, and Harrison just felt

(12:38):
like the takes were dead and they weren't, you know,
doing this song that he felt was really good. Justice
So then he ends up bringing Eric Clapton, and then
of course then John and Paul snapped into shape. But
I mean, aren't there examples two of like Harrison playing
on Lennon McCartney songs like where like they were slagging

(12:59):
he's playing too, like they didn't like his guitar playing sometimes.
Oh yeah, I mean especially around like sixty five, Paul
started taking a lot of the guitar solos because George,
and you read a lot of this in Jeff Emrick
there and Engineers Memoir. Uh, George, some sometimes took it's
kind of beetle book. Yeah right, It's like there's a
lot of a lot of dirt in that. But George,

(13:20):
I guess, would take a long time to get his
solos sometimes. And Paul was, you know, a very well
documented perfectionist, and he was fed up with it, so
he started taking solos on a lot of songs, take
It to Ride, Another Girl, the Night Before, Drive My Car,
even tax Man, which is George's own song. Paul said,
all right, George, you know what, let me let me

(13:41):
give a shot at this. And you know, it's hard
to argue Paul's solos are incredible, but I mean that
really annoyed George to know, like he's one role in
the band was exclusively his was being encroached down by
Paul McCartney, see you, and I I mean, look, those
songs have cool solos on them. I will say I
love George Harrison's good are playing, and I think that

(14:02):
the sound of his guitar especially like his slide guitar
is such a distinctive audio sort of trademark of like
early seventies rock, not only just like on the George
Harrison solo songs, but like you can hear it in
like America songs and like Bad Finger sounds, as there's
so many like it's like that just that sound of that,

(14:22):
that that slide guitar sound. I think it's so distinctively George.
So I love his guitar playing um, but yeah, I
just think McCartney was such a control freak with especially
with his own songs. I mean again, like the famous
example I feel like of that is from the movie
Let it be the documentary, like where they're trying to
play I think it's I've got a feeling and he's

(14:45):
just like humming the solo over and over again to him.
And and this was like a real thing for for
Harrison as the Beatles, you know, guide into those later
records that like you know, McCartney would always want to
compose the guitar solo and there's that famous outburst where
he says, you know, i'll play what you want me
to play, I won't play at all, you know, whatever
it is I can do to please you, you know,
I'll do it, you know, very caddy. And of course

(15:08):
he ends up storming out of the studio shortly after that. Um,
you know, and I think he rightfully felt that, you know,
I'm the guitar player in the Beatles, I've you know,
I've got a certain stature here to do a job.
Let me do it. But I'm sure if you look
at it from like Paul's perspective and and also John's perspective,
I mean, I think Paul was more confrontational with George,

(15:29):
but as we'll get into there's lots of examples of
John sort of slagging George off too. You know. I
think they felt like, well, we're letting him McCartney, like
we wrote all the hits, were the captains of this band,
and we're better than you, so we know better than you,
you know, And no other band would George Harrison have
to deal with that kind of treatment except in the

(15:51):
in the band that he happened to be in. You know,
that ended up being like the big sort of catch
twenty two of his career at that time. Oh yeah, man,
the late sixties, going to hang out with with Bob
Dylan and the Band and Delaney and Bonnie and Eric Clappan,
all these like incredibly just huge artists that that have
all the integrity in the world think that George is amazing,

(16:11):
but he just can't get that respect in his own,
you know, his own metaphorical home. It's going back to
the family thing. You're just the little kid with dirt
on your face who can't nable solo. All right, may
and we'll be right back with more rivals. It seems

(16:31):
like George's like real starting like his feelings of like
starting to pull out of the band. Would't you say
it's Sergeant Pepper. I mean, because I feel like I've
read books like where he's talked about feeling pretty bored
during the making of that. Oh yeah, I mean he's there.
I think there's something like six songs where he's like
not even playing on it, or if he is, he's
playing like, you know, a tambourine or something. And it's

(16:53):
not a lot to do because in that are they
weren't playing together as a live band. They were just
building it almost like a film with overdubs. And yeah,
he say like I would take my guitar out of
the case and Paul would all of a sudden come
wheeling over. It's like no, no no, no, we're not doing
that yet and uh, and Ringo tells the story where
he says, you know, Sergeant Pepper was great, but I
learned to play chess on it because there was so
much time to kill in between takes that it was

(17:14):
just there was nothing to really do. And also George
had just come back from from India right before the
session started, where it was his first experience out there.
He's getting deep into the music and uh and religion
of the region, and all of a sudden he came
back into the sort of industrial Abbey Roads studio with
the fluorescent lights and Paul telling him what to do.

(17:35):
And he later said, you know, I was losing interest
and being fab at that point and it just wasn't
his heart really wasn't there. And and also they rejected
his song too, Let's not forget about that. Yeah, it
was only a northern song, which I think ended up
on like the Yellow Submarine soundtrack. That exactly they basically
throwing it in in the Hudson River, you know, like the

(17:55):
Beatle equivalent of that. But uh, yeah, they rejected that song.
But then he came back with with within You Without You,
which I think is a superior song, you know, be
fair to only a Northern song, and you know it's
an example of hikaio. George Harrison didn't get a lot
of real estate Beatles records, but with that song and

(18:15):
I Guess Love You Too, which was on Revolver, are
you know, as responsible as any songs for introducing you know,
the sounds of India in sit tar music into rock
and roll. I mean, I I don't know if there's
I guess like Brian Jones playing on Black Black would
be would be the other, you know, person to to

(18:38):
bring that in. But I mean I feel like George Harrison, Yeah,
I mean there are two sounds that you think of
when you think of sixties music. It's a sitar and
then you think of the chiming twelve string, which was
also George's rickenbacker. So really, when you think about the
sounds of the sixties are his instruments, absolutely, and you
feel like he wanted to bring that more into the

(18:58):
band than they would allow. I mean, obviously, you know
you mentioned he took that India trip before Sergeant Pepper.
Then there was like the really famous India trip where
they went to see the Maharishi, and like all the
Beatles went there where they ended up writing most of
the White Album basically when they were there. Although George,
it's like I was pissed that they were writing songs,

(19:20):
even snap, we're not here to do the next album,
even snap at Paul right right, It's like, you know,
it's because you know, Paul can only meditate for so long.
He had to like think of like the next record.
I read some Beatle book where he was recounting this story.
I think it was Peter Doggetts book You Never Give
Me Your Money, which is a fabulous book. It's about

(19:40):
the post breakup years of the Beatles. Um, and Paul's
kind of the story. He says, excuse me for breathing,
just like such a like teenage girl, you know response
to that, you know, like even just thinking about that
in retrospect, that was like really annoying for him. That
was hilarious. Um. But yeah, then like Lennon wrote Sexy

(20:02):
Say to You when he was there, which was like
a shot the Maharishi, and I don't think Harrison was
I mean Harrison I think was still because it was
the whole sex scandal with the Maharishi, which, by the way,
I don't know if you've have you ever heard the
conspiracy theory that that was like trumped up by famous
John Lennon associate Magic Alex. Oh, yeah, I still because yeah,

(20:23):
the story was that Mari she maybe hit on Mia
Farah was also studying there. But yeah, right, But Magic
and Spitz is book, Bob Spitz's book The Beatles, which
is a great Beatles biography. If you haven't read it,
you know, we talked about it in our previous episode.
Spits basically says that he feels that the Maharishi, that
that story might not have happened, or at least it

(20:44):
was highly in doubt that he actually, like I was
hitting on women, or that he maybe you know, took
liberties with someone he shouldn't have. And he felt that
it was John Lennon's famously insane associate, Magic Alex, who
was supposedly this like electronics wizard but was really just
like a lunatic. Basically like he was supposed to build
a studio for the Beatles, and it was, you know,

(21:06):
basically like a box of like copper wires and that
was it. You know, like a toilet and stuff. Yeah, exactly.
But that Magic Alex like wanted to get John away
from the Maharishi because he felt like the Maharishi was
usurping his own sort of hold over John Lennon, so
he made up this story about the Maharishi. Anyway, Well,
that's a big tangent. Maybe that will be for our

(21:28):
Magic Alex Versus Mahaishi Rivalries podcast. But because I hadn't
read that before, I was really intrigued when I read
that and spits his book. But anyway, I mean that
sets the table for the White Album, which of course
is like a famously fractious period in Beatles history. Oh yeah,
I mean you mentioned the walm My guitar gently Waves
saga Um also recorded around this time. Wasn't for the album, though,

(21:51):
was Hey Jude Paul's incredible sweeping seven and a half
minute single uh, one of the more perfect Beatles singles ever,
the longest charting number one in the US. Uh. Paul
is starting to record it and George starts to play
a little echoing guitar riffs, and Paul ursa, Mrs George,
don't play not now? Wait a couple of wait a

(22:11):
couple of verses. George never forgot that that really stuck
in his crawl, like being told by Paul not to
play right now, and uh, and Paul even in later
years to said, wow, you know, telling the great George
Harrison guitarists extraordinary not to play. I can see how
now looking back on it probably reads wrong, but uh,
you know, objectively for the song was right there, totally right.

(22:34):
It's gotta be said, you don't need One of the
great parts of that song is that it's just McCartney
at the beginning with the piano, and it just builds
to that. I mean, I don't need to explain why
Hey Jude is good. It's like, you, guys, there's a song,
Hey Jude. It's like a really cool song. This is
why it's good. But you know, like we all know
why it's good, so we'll just leave it at that.

(22:55):
But so there's that thing with McCartney. But then like
Lennon isn't even showing up to play on Harrison's songs
at that time, right, No, yeah, he was barely there
for any of Harrison's songs. And then when he was
there he brought Yoka, which is a whole other thing,
which I know we touched on in the last episode,

(23:15):
but yeah, yeah, that's yeah, that's a whole other thing
with the Yoko thing. But it's just like another sign
of like this sort of disrespect coming from you know,
like McCartney saying don't play. I'll tell you when I
want you to play, and then John Lennon's like, well,
I'm not even going to show up for your seconds.
You know, that's how much your songs mean to me. Um.

(23:35):
And you know, we're moving into the period where Harrison
is really coming into his own as a songwriter. I
mean we mentioned, well my guitar gently weeps, you know,
as we moved in a Night nine. We're gonna have
songs like something and Here Comes the Sun, as well
as like a lot of the great songs that ended
up on All Things Must Pass, you know, which it

(23:57):
must be said, didn't end up on Beatles records as
songs like Maxwell silver Hammer, did you know, which is
kind of insane to think about. Oh yeah, I mean
there's there's outakes from the Let It Be Uh film
where George starts to play stuff like isn't it a pity?
And let It Down? And like you said, all these
songs from all things mus past, and the Beatles are

(24:18):
just on the other side of the room, like barely
even listening. It's really it's really sad. Yeah. And as
we said, like there was that incident where Harrison finally
got fed up during the let It B sessions and
he left. Do you remember what he said he left?
It's kind of funny, he said. He storms out and
just over his shoulder, goes see around the clubs at

(24:39):
what an exit line? See you around the clubs um.
And then he goes home and he writes this song
called Wawa, one of my favorite George songs. Yeah, And
like you look at the song on paper, it sounds
like a terrible idea because like wah wah is like
it's a baby sound. Is this supposed to be like
a word? It's a baby sound? Yeah, And it's like
you're giving me like a headache basically by being really annoying.

(25:02):
And on paper it just seems like, oh, he's like
a rock star complaining about other rock stars. But it's
a great song and it has a great George Harrison
guitar riff on it. It ends up I think being
like one of the great songs on All Things Must Pass.
Oh yeah, totally so. So he's at home writing a
song slacking off his bandmates. John, who by this at
this point is really deep into his hairin addiction and

(25:23):
probably isn't completely there. I think semi seriously suggests, well,
all right, if George doesn't come back in a couple
of days, we'll get clapped in in to replace him.
It's just yeah, it's like, I mean, you know, based
on what you've read, do you think he was serious
or kidding? Because, like, I know, like like the Bob
Spits book, for instance, he suggests that Lennon was serious

(25:46):
enough to at least consider it. Like, I don't know
if they would have actually hired Eric Clapton if Harrison
had stayed gone from the band. Um, But it didn't
seem like he was terribly emotionally, you know, upset that
that Harrison left. You know, maybe again that was because
he was on Heroin all the time. I think it
was just knocked up. Yeah, yeah, but I mean it

(26:08):
does again kind of speak to I guess these guys
taking him for granted. I mean, do you, I mean,
do you feel like they didn't really appreciate George oh yeah,
and I mean because yeah, I mean just to even
say that is so and you look, you really have
to look. And I'm excited to see what the new
Let It Be that's come out later this year shows,
because yeah, some of the bootlegs I've seen from the sessions,

(26:30):
they're just not even listening to him. It's it's really her.
And the songs are great. I mean that the songs
you know, from All Things must pass too. So I
think he was totally ignored, under appreciated, and uh, and
he really only came back when he had all these
demands of like, Okay, we're not gonna Paul's gotta lay off,
We're not going to do for the Let It Be documentary,
We're not gonna do some big concert somewhere like the

(26:53):
far furthest all goes up to the roof, you know,
like he sort of set his terms for returning, just
like to finish up what they were, what they were doing. Really,
I don't even think at that point George meant to
stay that much longer. And yeah he did at least,
you know, through Abbey Road, and again Ebbey Road ends

(27:13):
up being in a way George Harrison coming out party.
You know, as a great songwriter, because if you like,
what are the biggest songs from that record that you
think of immediately when you think of Abbey Road, I
mean there's come together obviously, but like what are the
other ones? I mean something and here comes the Sun?
Those are? You know, stands up and it says something
is the is the first non Lennon McCartney a side

(27:35):
that the Beatles has ever had. And it's interesting because
like I've read, you know again, various Beatles books and
you hear documentaries, and I've I've seen examples of like
Paul McCartney taking credit for suggesting something as a single,
and I've seen Yoko Ono say that it was John's idea.

(27:56):
So like there's competing camps and Lennon McCartney trying to
take credit for George w Yeah, it's like we're acknowledging,
you know, one of us acknowledge the greatness finally of Harrison.
At this time, I will say to like, the bass
playing on something by McCartney, I think is incredible, But

(28:16):
isn't it true that like Harrison resented the bass playing
a little bit. I kind of agree. It's sort of
like busy because I guess now that that the she
was on the other foot, George was in a position
to tell Paul what to play, and I guess George
like nit picked his bass playing for hours and hours
and hours, and they're recording it, and Paul put down
this insanely busy bass part, and I've never been able

(28:36):
to figure out if it's Paul trying to like bring
out his best for his friend and his great new song,
or if it's Paul just like showboating, because yeah, George
later said there's a lot of notes in that part.
I think that's what he said. I love it, I
mean because there's basically like a bass solo in the
middle of the song, like while George is playing this
guitar solo, Like Paul's bass solo is like more virtuosic

(28:59):
than the cold our solo, and it really does upstage it.
I guess in a way, like if I was George,
i'd be annoyed. But I mean, I love McCartney's bass
playing in general, and I think Mabby road his bass
playing is unbelievable. It must have also annoyed George when
Frank Sinatra called something the greatest love song of like
the last fifty years, like when it came out. But

(29:20):
then he also said it was a Lennon McCartney song.
Even when he has this huge hit that becomes a
standard that's like covered by everybody, he still can't get
all the credit he deserves. Did that Oh wow? Yeah?
I mean it's like that was the world's reaction to
that song. Now, obviously the Beads they break up in

(29:43):
nineteen seventy, and then later on in seventy Harrison puts out,
I guess it's his third solo record. It's his first
post Beatles solo record. The first two uh, like one's
a soundtrack and one is like this experimental album essentially, um,
neither are really kind of like commercial rock records. But
then he puts out all Things Must Pass, And I

(30:04):
think you and I have like slightly different opinions well
on this record, like like, like, what do you think
of this? I love the I love the first two
discs of the record. I don't know, I am not
the world's biggest fan of Thanks for the Pepperoni. I
I almost feel like he mad. He decided to make
it a triple disc just to make a point. I
feel like it didn't necessarily need to be a triple disc.
And and again, I'm a guy who loves the fact

(30:25):
that the White Album is a double disc. I'm not,
you know, for paring down Beetle records. But I almost
was like, all right, yeah, the Beatles did a double record,
but I'm gonna do a triple record. And obviously he
had this huge store of songs that were dating back
probably with the Revolver sessions. But and I almost think
he wanted to prove a point to land U McCartney was, Look,
I had all this stuff to say, and you wouldn't
let me say it, and now you're gonna sit through

(30:46):
it three records worth. That's what I took it as.
So I thought that the kind of apple Jam stuff
was a little superfluous for me. See, Okay, I agree
with everything you just said. I agree that he was
trying to make a point. I agree that, like, there's
a lot of access on that record. It's also like
one of my favorite albums of all time. Um, there's

(31:08):
only about maybe three or four Beatles albums that I
like more than All Things Must Pass. I would say
it's definitely my favorite Beatles solo record, Like Heads and
shoulders above the rest and um the access part. Well,
first of all, you know, we kind of skipped over
the first two discs of that record because I think
it's all heaters for the most part. You to make

(31:30):
the argument that there's like a lot of like stately
mid tempo songs where there's like twelve people playing it
once and there is maybe sort of a semi nous
to it, but like what is life my sweet lord
wa wa be aware of darkness? About of Sir Frankie Crisp,
Let it roll? Um just just heat or after heater.

(31:54):
And you know, we touched on this in the previous episode,
like it was so different from what Lennon and McCartney
were doing on their solo records, where you know, McCartney
puts out the Bullet Cherry's record, as we discussed in
the previous episode, this homie, you know, sort of intentionally rough,
almost like deliberately amateurish sounding record, and then you have

(32:15):
like the primal Scream record from John Lennon Plastic Oh
No Band. They're going about it in two totally different ways,
but they're both, I guess, in a way trying to
de mythologize the Beatles, you know, scale down the great
heights that they had achieved, like on Abbey Road and
Sergeant Pepper, Whereas Harrison's like, I'm gonna like raise the
anti on those records. I'm gonna like not just have

(32:38):
you know, all these musicians playing on this record. I'm
gonna feel specter produce it, and then I'm gonna have
an album of like ten minute jams. You know that.
By the way, the Apple Jams section I think of
All Things Must Pass is the most coked up music
of all time. Like you can hear the nostrils flaring
amidst all those like Endless tar. It's like it's kind

(33:04):
of like why I like it. I mean, I don't
want to like glamorize this sort of thing too much,
but like you know, like Eric Clapton played on those sessions,
it's actually the beginnings of like Derek and the Domino's
like that band played on All Things Must Pass, And
he tells a story about how he got hooked on
heroin at this time because there was a drug dealer

(33:26):
that would come around to the studio where they were
making All Things Must Pass, and in order to buy
cocaine you had to also buy heroin. It was sort
of like a two for one deal, like a the
most illicit grocery store of all time. Like what a
great guy, by the way, drug dealer, What a nice guys.
But that's what was going on at this time. I
mean George was really I think he was feeling himself

(33:48):
at this time. It's like that that album was a
huge hit. You know, My Sweet Lord was a number
one song, and he really came out of the gate
and the Beatles is like he had like the biggest
solo career, like in that first year, like he was
the biggest solo star really at that time. Oh yeah,
I mean his high water mark I think was the
concert for Bangladesh. Like that's the moment when he was

(34:09):
center stage as you know, the King Beatle, when when
John and Paul were kind of squabbling and releasing albums
that seemed like you said, almost intentionally amateur ish. He
came out, got all of his you know, superstar friends
to back him, and yeah, that was in class. Russell

(34:29):
was there. Dylan shows up. He hadn't been on stage
I think since six I think that was his first
time since the Hawks tour. He comes out, Yeah, like
he was able to pull that together, and you know,
I think Lennon and McCartney were jealous. I mean, there
was there's a quote from Lenin from around this time

(34:51):
where he says, this is a quote I don't consider
my talents fantastic compared with the universe, but I considered
George's less then. Oh man, So he's saying like it's like, yeah,
I'm not the greatest thing in the world, but I'm
at least better than George Harrison, Like you know, that's
that's the gist of that. And then he says, this

(35:11):
is actually kind of a funny quote the cover of
All Things Must Pass. He says that George looks like
an asthmatic Leon Russell on the cover, So I mean,
just pure hate ration, you know, like this guy is
doing great and I'm not doing as well as him
right now, and you know, just just serving the hater

(35:34):
kool aid. At that point, well towards George. The Concertence
Bank that started a kind of a weird thing between
John and George because George asked John he has all
the ex Beatles to join. Paul said no, John was
gonna do it, but then George hadn't asked Yoko, and
Yoko was basically like, what about me and George Sam
not not you, Yoko, but but John You're welcome. And

(35:55):
Yoko was like, John, You're not seriously thinking of doing
the show without me, are you? And John was like, uh,
it's almost like a curb episode. So John backed out
because Yoko wasn't wasn't invited, which you know understandably created
some tension between the two, especially after George played the
slide solo on the on the Paul Bashing song how
do You Sleep? Oh Yeah, which yeah, we talked about

(36:15):
that a lot in the last episode and yeah, just
one of the most vicious disc tracts of all time
written by John Lennon towards George Harrison. It is funny
to me that George would play on that song even
where even like when John was still belittling him in
the press, Like, I don't know exactly what the timeline

(36:36):
was on all this, or if George was aware of it.
I mean, I do know that eventually there was a
falling out with George and John, and I mean for
a long time, I think in the Beatles, like George
and John we're closer than like certainly George and Paul
were like George and John. You know, I did a
lot of acid together around the same time. And George

(36:58):
just said that, like there was a period it where
he felt like they were equals, you know, because they
were doing acid all the time and they'd have these
really intense experiences together. But then, of course that that
feeling didn't really last. And I think, you know, by
the early seventies, I think George was starting to feel again.
I think he was feeling his oats. Uh. There's a

(37:19):
great story too about how like McCartney wanted to get
off of Apple, like he wanted to put his records
out on a different record label, and and he tells us,
tells us that George, and George says, you'll stay on
the fucking label. Harry Krishna slam, I mean that's what

(37:39):
Paul said. I mean, I don't know if George ever
confirmed that he said that. But you know, George has
this period again like in nearly seventies, like where he
is a huge star, but then really like by the
mid seventies, it starts to turn bad for George. And
of course Paul was really becoming a big star at
that point. But this was also like when sort of
like the legal entanglements of the Beatles, We're finally starting

(38:03):
to come to an end, right, Yeah. I mean this
is when George had dark Horse, which is you know,
just that's how he identified himself in the Beatles as
the dark Horse that was that would sort of come
out ahead and it's it's a good album. It suffers
because he had laryngitis during this time, so he sounds
really he sounds literally Horse on the dark Horse album. Uh,

(38:23):
and it was kind of a weird seller. And he
did this strange tour that I think also had Robbie
Shankar open for him. And is is that the tour
where he did the in My Life cover? Yeah? Okay,
yeah exactly, and yeah, like the just to go back
to dark Horse for a quick minute, because like, I
like that record a lot. I think it's an interesting
choice that he chose to like put that album out

(38:45):
because if you haven't heard it, you need to listen
to it. Because his voice, I'm just trying to like
describe it. I mean, he's like barking the songs. He
kind of sounds like Bob Dylan in like the two
thousand tents, you know, like yeah, like a seven indis
Ca seventies something, you know, Bob Dylan, And this is
like George Harrison. I don't even know if he he.
I think he had maybe just turned thirty, you know,

(39:07):
like he just sounds shot. Um. But yeah, like he
did this, He did this tour where he's like really
skinny and looks unhealthy. I think he was really abusing
coke at that time, um, which I think also contributed
to his vocals being pretty shot. And he does this
cover of in My Life, which is of course is
a famous Lennon McCartney song I think mainly written by

(39:30):
John Lennon. At the end, instead of saying, you know,
like I love you more, he says I love God more.
And it just ends up being this sort of sign
to people like, oh, George Harrison has lost his damn mind,
you know, because he was doing like weird like reggae
versions of like what Is Life and like some of

(39:52):
those other songs like just really bizarre arrangements that didn't
work at all, um, And it seem like he was
like really fading commercially, it seems like at that time.
So it's in the midst of all this that the
Beatles like breakup paperwork is finally officially ready to go,
and they have it all laid out the Plaza Hotel.
They've got George's coming to sign it, Ringo is coming

(40:15):
to sign it, Paul's coming to sign it. John lives
literally across the street at Dakota, across Central Park. Always
to come is walk down the road and sign it.
He won't come, he said, his astrologers tells him the
stars aren't right to sign this paperwork. And George went
nuts on him. Apparently it was like a huge things,
like just huge, so badly one of the Beatles things

(40:36):
to be end and just be over and behind him,
be done, and and and John just wouldn't come down
the street to sign the paperwork. Yeah, And it just
seemed like another instance, I'm sure in his mind of like, oh,
this is just like when you didn't show up to
play on I mean mine or whatever in the late sixties,
Like you can't be bothered to accommodate me at all, um,

(41:00):
And it's you know, we talked in the previous episode
about how like you know, like Lennon and McCartney were
able to reconcile somewhat, you know, by you know, by
the time Lennon ended up being murdered. I feel like
this was like really kind of the end of their contact.
I mean, I don't think that they're really reconciled after this, No,

(41:20):
absolutely not. I mean, and George wrote a memoir in
nineteen seventy nine called I'my Mine, which is this really
weird book. It's like, remember remember buying it and being
like really disappointed because it's sort of like it's like
it's kind of like liner notes meets like you know,
like tab pages meet you know, like meets like lyric sheets.

(41:43):
It's it's not really like a coherent book. No, And
it's again it's it's like not nowhere near a real biography.
But the Beatles are barely mentioned, and John's I think
his name is in there, maybe ones I forget. John
takes huge offense to this, and which is weird when

(42:04):
you can sell, like you just said, it's not really
a biography. It's a very strange book. It kind of
makes sense that he's not mentioned much in it, Like
nobody's mentioned much in it, exapt like God and George himself. Um,
but that really hurt John's feelings and really to the
end of his life that was kind of like the
last the thing that was in the air between the
two of them was was how much he resented George

(42:24):
for not mentioning him and crediting him more. In in
his memoir it does he say something like, you know,
there's like every two bit sax player that ever was
on a George Harrison record has mentioned in this book.
But I'm like in there once and it's like I
helped him write tax Man, damn it, and he's got
every sax player that ever backed him. Yeah, No, he was.
He was really pissed about that, which, you know, on

(42:45):
one hand, you could say, you know, John, come on,
like this is sort of like another instance and we
talked about this in the previous episode of John being
this fascinating combination of like extremely confident in his own
ability and also extremely insecure here and that really comes
out in his relationships with certainly with Paul into a

(43:05):
lesser degree George, who seems like, you know, he had
to assert his dominance on George all the time and
remind George that he was, you know, not as good
as him. So then George kind of gives it back
to him in his own book by ignoring him, and
John can't take it, you know. And there's maybe in
Harrison's mind, maybe an element of revenge there, I wonder,

(43:27):
But yeah, I mean think all the us that John
didn't show up to his sessions, and when he was
going out on dates with his girlfriend, George will be
following behind him, and he'd be like, oh, don't look,
George's following me. Gone, keep going, keep going. Yeah, it
was John ignored George so often in the studio and
in personal lives, so it makes total sense. We're gonna
take a quick break and get a word from our
sponsor before we get two more rivals. So John, of

(43:59):
course is in December of eight. Terrible tragedy. As we
said before, You know, McCartney and Lennon were able to
established like a kind of rapport in the mid sevenies.
They busy each other. It seemed like they have a
good time. You know. Again, I keep thinking of the
v H one movie where they get stoned and listened

(44:20):
to reggae bands in the park. I don't think that
actually happened. But you know, they said they had a
good time. They weren't. They weren't that fun, but they
were still having a good time. Um, Harrison didn't really
achieve that kind of piece, but then he did. He
did write a song that came out. I think it's
an eighty one that song all those years ago, which
is an interesting song. It's just it was gonna be

(44:42):
a Ringo song, and then after and then after John
was shot, they made it into a tribute for him,
and it was actually it was a Beatles reunion song
sort of. They got Paul to do bass and backing
vocals and Ringo played drums on it. It's it's kind
of chipper for attribute song, which I think, yeah, it's
you know, well, because McCartney had a song around the
same time called Here Today, which is on the Tug

(45:03):
of War album that George Martin produced, and that is
it's basically like a Yesterday rewrite, you know, acoustic guitar
with like a string section. It is more of like
a straightforward, you know, emotional type tribute, whereas Harrison's it
is almost like a Buddhist type tribute where you know,

(45:25):
you're accepting, yeah, like you're accepting like that loss is
a part of life and you're not just dwelling on
your sadness that you're you know, almost being joyful about
your friend passing to another dimension or something. Um So,
I mean it seems like at least in death, he
started to have some warm feelings towards John. It's interesting too,

(45:50):
because like in the eighties, the eighties were actually a
pretty good decade for George Harrison, especially towards the end
of the eighties, um in a way that they weren't
for McCartney. I feel like McCartney like is putting out
like Pressed the Play in like the late eighties. All
the Flowers in the Dirty Things is a pretty good record,
but like Pressed the Play, I feel because like definitely

(46:11):
like a neighder for for him, whereas George has the
aforementioned Cloud nine record, and then he knows in the
Traveling Willberries, And I was wondering, like if the Traveling
Willberries were like his way of like reliving the Beatles experience,
but like with more actual friends. Yeah, exactly, It's like

(46:31):
I can be experience. Yeah, it's like these are all
famous people like me, but like we're actually bros and
we can have a good time. And like, you know,
Bob Dylan was in that band, you know, his old
songwriting partner from you know, twenty years earlier. It's like, Hey, Paul,
you're not going to be in the Traveling Willberries because
you've never right with me. But I'm gonna bring Bob
Dylan into my band because he right with me. Man,

(46:55):
when George is having hits around this time and Paul,
I guess would kind of make over chers are saying, oh, yeah, George,
we should write together. And then George would go in
the press and say, yeah, Paul must all right with me.
I don't know what, like why now, Like if I
was there for thirty years and he never wanted to
write with me, but now I'm starting to like, do okay,
Paul's write with me again. Well, then they ended up
dot better. I mean, they did come together eventually in

(47:19):
the nineties with the Anthology Project, and they recorded some
old you know, John Lennon demos essentially, I don't know,
like what do you think of those songs? Like Free
as a Bird in Real Love were the two songs
that came out of that. I mean, I I sort
of forget them. I mean, in a way, I'm glad
they existed. I'm glad that at least the three of
them had that moment together. But I in terms of

(47:40):
just what they add to the Beatles legacy musically, I
I don't really I don't really rank them much, but
it goes. I was like, George absolutely hated the experience
of the studio though all the old wounds with Paul
came right back, right well, yeah, because I mean Paul

(48:00):
was basically trying to dictate the sessions, just like he
did in the sixties, right, yeah, I mean, but George
agreed to do it because he needed money because his
his um his film studio was was just hemorrhaging money.
So he agreed to do it, but he had terms,
and one of the terms was getting Jeff lynn Is
traveling Wolberry Buddy to to produce it. And and they

(48:21):
sort of laid down all these kind of ground rules.
But yeah, George said it was like being a Beatle again,
and he didn't mean it in a good way at all,
Like they when they were tackling Free as a Bird.
Paul wanted it to be this like big, lush orchestral track,
and then George kind of wanted it to be what
it became. Really, it's almost like a slide guitar heavy,
almost like a my Sweet Lord Reduct sort of song. Right.

(48:42):
And it's interesting too that by getting Linda to produce it,
those songs sound like late period George Harrison songs, you know,
even though he didn't sing them like they have the
sound of like Cloud nine in the Traveling Wilbury's records. Uh,
you know, so as much like Paul might have wanted
to be in control, they weirdly sound like George Harrison songs,

(49:06):
you know, as much as anyone. I gotta say to like,
you know, as we were getting ready for this series,
you know, I know you did the same thing. Like
I rewatched Beatles Anthology and Harrison is like maybe my favorite.
He's great. Like one of my favorite parts of that
of that series is like where he's talking about you

(49:27):
know this well no, I was gonna say, like when
they were just talking about the songwriting situation and like
how he had to start from nothing and he was
trying to assert himself, you know, in the mid sixties,
and he just has this line where he says, you know,
I had to come up with something that could fit
next to there are many wondrous hits, and he says

(49:49):
it was like this little smirk. It's so dry and perfect,
you know, just this idea. Again, this is like many
years later, this is like, you know, him being reviewed
in the early nineties. It's still sticking in his craw
that you know, he's going to be compared to these
guys all the time, and he has to have, you know,
sort of the the image of Lennon McCartney hanging over

(50:11):
his head no matter what he does. In in every
interview post nineteen seventies seventy one, he gives you the
impression that being in the Beatles was the worst thing
that ever happened to him, Like it was a giant trauma,
like I really if you go all the way through,
and in the apology too, he has like very little
nice to say about it. And even at the end
to when like they're kind of giving the final episode,

(50:33):
they're giving their like final thoughts and ringoes talking about
you know, it's a lot of really kind loving moments
between four people. And and Paul was doing his thing
and talking about what a great little rock and roll
band they were, and he I think that what would
he say something Beatles gave their nervous system, which was like,
you know, I gave so much of myself. Yeah, you

(50:55):
really get the experience that it was something that he
really didn't like and never recovered from and even thirty
years later. I think this that's part of the contradiction
of him in a way, because I know, I'm sure
this is there's a big part of him that felt
that way that being a Beatle was a burden and
it uh, you know, it was detrimental to his nervous

(51:15):
system and all that stuff. But also he was the
guy that also seemed most comfortable growing it up with
other rock stars. And I guess I think of like
the traveling Wilbury is being a big example of that
UM in a way that I don't think John and
Paul necessarily are, you know, and I in a way
it probably has something to do with Harrison, I think

(51:38):
ultimately being most comfortable in the band. And again I
think that's another irony of his career. Where as great
as he could be as a solo artist, he does
seem like someone best suited for collaboration, like where he
can be around other creative people and he can contribute
what he can contribute and also benefit from other people. UM,

(51:59):
because you can see a solo career a pretty big
drop off after he put out he puts out All
Things Must Pass, which is essentially material that he accumulated
when he was in the orbit of Lennon and McCartney,
and then his next solo records. There's some really good
stuff on some of those records, but they're not nearly

(52:19):
as good, and then he's also not as prolific for
a long time after that. And as much as he
might have hated being in that environment, it's hard to
argue that he didn't benefit tremendously as an artist from
being in that environment as well. Yeah, I mean, it
almost seems like he'd proven his point and he lost

(52:40):
interest in that side I think. I mean, he was
very busy in the late seventies doing stuff with Monty
Python on film production work, Formula one racing and all.
He has a lot of things to keep him busy,
but it almost seemed like he needed that. I always
thought of All Things Must Pass as being like a
spite album, like one of the great spite albums of
all time. All three albums are three discs worth, and
almost felt like he needed to brush up against Lennon

(53:02):
and m carton to to to spur him to those heights. Yeah,
you know, when we think about I guess like the
end of Harrison's life, you know, which came in two
thousand one, it's so sad to me. I mean, this
is like another way that he's linked with the other Beatles,
because of course, you know, Lennin was brutally murdered five
supposed fan of Night and then Harrison is also attacked

(53:27):
his home a person when in his home, and I mean,
was the person a fan of his attacked him? What
it was? I think he definitely had some kind of
mental illness. I forget what is rationale was though I
think he was a fan. But like we all love
the Beatles, and yet like two of the Beatles like
were brutally attacked, and like Harrison survived his attack, but

(53:49):
he was already in the throes of, you know, fighting
cancer at that time. And you know, like when you
watch that great Martin Scorsese documentary about George Harris and
Um called Living in the Material World, is it? You know,
Danny his son says basically, like, you know, I feel
like that attack took a lot out of him and

(54:11):
it was hard for him to you know, basically keep
that fight up for his health after that, which you know,
of course makes all the sense in the world that
that would happen. Um, it's so sad to me that,
like there's that echo between John and George, you know,
like these guys that we all love, Like, why would
they be attacked? You know, It's just such a bummer

(54:33):
to me standing for love and peace. Yeah, it's really
really one of the cruelest diaronies of the whole saga
Beetles saga that that was how that was the faith
that befell both of them, I mean, and yeah, I
mean that attack was absolutely vicious. That that's Corsse movie.
I don't think I've ever watched it with and and
not not gotten choked up or sobbed. That is an

(54:53):
incredible documentary, highly recommended and saying it, I mean, the
last time I saw it, I totally got Joe up
at the part where Tom Petty tells a story about
George Harrison calling him up to say to tell him
that Roy Orbison has died, and George Harrison says to
Tom Petty, aren't you glad it's not you? And that

(55:15):
was like not a dry eye, and the Steve Hiden
household Larner, because it's like Tom Petty saying, aren't you
glad it's not you? Of course Tom Petty is not
with us, George Harrison is not with us, and you
know Roberson died, and you know thirty some years ago.
Do we need to take a moment? I feel like
there's lots of tears on this podcast. Uh well, the

(55:38):
thing that, yeah, well, the thing that makes me feel
a little better about all of this and and makes
the tears go a little bit is that Paul and
George kind of by the end of George, like, George
knew he had limited time left and he didn't want
what happened with John to happen with him and Paul,
so they kind of patch things up and they had
a nice moment before before he went. So I as
a fan, I hold onto that. And I know, like
when I saw McCartney last time played live, which was

(56:01):
a couple of years ago, he was still playing something
in his set, like like in the ukulele, which is
something he's done for a really long time, and I
think there was a picture of George on the screen.
I don't remember there being a similar moment for John
Lennon in the set, I think, you know, he didn't
take a moment to pay tribute to John Lennon. He

(56:22):
was still doing that for George though, and I think
it's worth remembering, you know, it was a reminder that,
you know, they were mates before there was a Beatles,
you know, like he was friends with George before he
knew John, I think, and certainly before George knew John.
So really like a lifelong friend who had passed and

(56:42):
that clearly still meant a lot to him. Um, as
we look at like this relationship between you know, Lennon,
McCartney and Harrison, it really is a fascinating dynamic because
you think of George Harrison is being this iconic, legendary figure,
you know, who takes a back seat no one except
these two guys, and it happens to be the two

(57:04):
guys who are in the band that he's most famous for.
And it it's such a unique situation because, as we've said,
it seems to have tortured him on some level, but
on the other hand, was obviously a boon for him
to be in a band with these guys, you know,
Like it's hard to say that he suffered from being

(57:25):
in these guys Orbit, but it was also a burden
as he tried to assert himself and to not be
the little brother figure anymore. Oh yeah, I mean that's
what's so fascinting about him is that he's supposed to
be like the biggest rock star on the planet except
for these two other guys, and those feelings of frustration
and inadequacy that that he would feel make him so

(57:45):
much more relatable, you know. I mean it just goes
to show like, no matter how far you get, there
are certain things that we as humans feel that are
unavoidable and inescapable. And that that's what I think is
one of the many things that fascinates me about him
is that, you know, he he could be George Harrison,
who author of Something and Here Comes the Sun, but
still get needled by Paul McCartney when they go back

(58:07):
in the studio thirty years later for the anthology, and
it still hurts him pisces them off. Yeah, I know,
there's something really human about that. Yeah, And I think
that's why, you know, like when people talk about their
favorite beatles, you know, and I don't even know the
answer to that. For myself, I feel like I change
all the time. Um, you know, but there's something about
George and I think this is probably true of Ringo too,

(58:29):
But like, I think one reason people gravity to George
is for what you were saying, that there's something a
little more relatable to George, which is weird to say,
because it's like he was an obscenely rich and famous
man who you know, talented, good, wonderful things. He's not like,
you know, he's he's the opposite of like a Joe
six pack or something. But compared to let it In McCartney,

(58:51):
you know, there's just something about him that was maybe
a little more sort of down to earth, And of
course Ringo is like the ultimate example of that. Um.
But I mean, I think if you look at these two, like,
if we're gonna make a pro case for Lennon and McCartney,
we probably don't need to spend too much time on that.
I mean, it's pretty obvious, what with the pro cases
for Lennon McCartney, greatest songwriting partnership ever. Uh, two of

(59:15):
the most beloved rock stars of all time, head of
the Beatles. You know, I don't know what more you
need to say about those two, Um, but the pro
case for George Harrison. I mean we've kind of made
it already. I mean, like, well, what would like, what
are the things for you that stand out about George Harrison, Like,
what are the keys to his greatness as far as
you're concerned. Well, I think musically, we were saying earlier,

(59:37):
I mean two of the most identifiable sounds of the
decade are sort of come from him, the the the
Indian sitar sound and the Chinese electric twelve string stuff.
And then also, like you were saying in the early seventies,
that slide guitar sound. His his musical influence I think
really goes really uncommented on a lot. I mean, of
course Lennon McCartney had all those songs, but the actual

(59:58):
sound of it really a lot of that came from him,
and I think that's that's important. And also, like we're
saying earlier too, he is the dark horse. I think
he has the most fascinating growth arc of all four
of the Beatles too, And it's like it's like a
musical rocky tale, you know. I mean, he's this guy
who came from nothing to go up against two of
the greatest songwriters of their generation, or you know, maybe

(01:00:20):
even any generation, and by the end on Abbey Road
he was on par with them, and you know when
he got the A side single. And there's this funny
story where recently, um there was this tape of a
late Arab Beatles meeting right after Abbey Road was released,
where they were actually discussing making another album, which is
very strange to think about now, and the plan it's

(01:00:43):
so crazy, right, and and the idea was that they
were John, Paul, and George were all going to contribute
four songs, so he was going to be an equal
partner finally, And that's really interesting that he made it,
you know, he that was even in their eyes. They
all admitted, like we gotta give George equal time here.
So I don't know, I think that that's so inspiring.
And something is a fan that I really admire about

(01:01:04):
his whole story is he did it. You know, he
came from from nowhere, and not that being you know,
next to one end of McCartney on stage is nowhere,
but just creatively, he worked at it. He put in
the work and he did it. I think that's really cool. Yeah,
I agree with everything you just said. I think, you know,
he was a great guitarist again, like a very distinctive
sound of like rock music of that era. His slide

(01:01:26):
guitar is like one of my favorite sounds of that era.
I think again, I think he has the best Beatles
solo album. I think people could maybe argue for Plastic
Odo and Band or you know, I know a lot
of people love Ram. I think Ram is your favorite
Beatle solo record. Yeah, all Things Must Passed? His number
two and All Things Must Passed really is like one
of my favorite albums made by anybody. I love that record.

(01:01:47):
I think what makes the Beatles special And I guess
we're gonna pivot now into our together section, like where
everyone comes together and the spirit of peace and harmony,
we bring the rivals under the same tent. I think
what makes the Beatles like one of the things that
makes the Beatles so great and interesting is that they
did have this third songwriter, uh that was outside of

(01:02:09):
the power couple of Lennon and McCartney. You know, the
Beatles had just been Lennon McCartney songs, they would have
obviously still been a huge band, very successful. They would
have been great. But Harrison's musical elements, like what he
was able to bring in from you know, the Indian
music influences and just his persona, which was this loner, introspective,

(01:02:31):
philosophical guy. It just added another layer of richness to
the Beatles, and it was another thing that made them
totally unique, because there's not a lot of bands that
have that element where you know, you listen to the band,
you're sort of used to an authorial voice. You know,
you have someone who's sort of in charge of writing
the songs. You know, you have the singer, you have

(01:02:54):
the focal point of the band. But the Beatles really
had multiple focal points. And even if George Harrison wasn't
at the same level as Lennon McCartney, it was a
very sort of unique presence in the band. Um And
to have a song like Within Without You, or to
have a song like Something next to all those great

(01:03:17):
Lennon McCartney songs, it just makes the Beatles I think
that much greater. Lennon McCartney wouldn't let him in to
their songwriting partnership, but he was able to compliment them
anyway with what he brought to the table. Yeah, no,
I totally agree. I mean I think that the when
you actually think back on it, A lot of the
stuff that we associate with the Beatles really did originate

(01:03:38):
from him. I said it before and I say it again.
With all the sitar sounds and and the twelve string. Yeah,
I think that that he was such a crucial underappreciated
element on top of all the songs that he brought
to just just little things. I mean, Paul tells the
story about and I love her. He wrote that Paul
George is the one who wrote the guitar lick to that,
you know, I mean, all these little that's the thing

(01:04:00):
you think about when you think of that song. I
think that that sums up his time in the Beatles.
This really a lot of the little moments that you
do remember really did come from him. It's kind of
amazing too that like he wrote that lick, but he
didn't get credit, because like that is the hook of
that song, that that little guitar part. Oh. Well, do

(01:04:24):
you have a favorite Beetle by the way, I mean,
if I'm honest with myself, it's Paul um. I I
think there's different times when I wish it was John,
and I admire elements of John, but I think the
sort of like people, pleasing, great great nature that I
tend to have is more and more of a Paul thing.
And I also I love his his music. I think
the callity of his voice is so amazing and adaptable

(01:04:45):
from doing like Ray Charles E stuff like The Long
Winding Road and to All the Way, the Little Little
Richard Howells and all the folks stuff like I will
I just I love his voice. So yeah, I gotta say, Paul,
I think it's my favorite. I mean, I think Paul
was the most talented. I think John was in a
way the most interesting. George is the one I think
I want to hang out with the most tall Georgian Ringo,

(01:05:08):
but I really would want to hang out with any
of the Beatles. So there's two of them left. And
as I've said many times in these episodes, Paul Ringo,
text me call me. You've talked to Jordan like a
ba jillion times. You've never talked to me. Give me
some love. It's gonna be weird in our next episode
to not talk about the Beatles. D oh man, I know,

(01:05:33):
it's like, do we Yeah, it's like the world needs
another Beetle podcast. I think you know, there's not there's
there's a real shortage of people talking about the Beatles
right now. Um, but we'll find a way. It's always
fun talking about what rival reaes with you. We'll be
leaving Liverpool in our next episode and we'll be going
into some other new musical war zone. I can't wait
for it. I'll get my pith hat on, I can't

(01:05:55):
wait here. Rivals is a production of I Heart Radio.
The executive producers are Shawn Tyitone and Noel Brown. The
supervising producers are Taylor Chacogne and Tristan McNeil. I'm Jordan
run Tug. I'm Stephen Hyden. If you like what you heard,
please subscribe to leave us a review. For more podcasts

(01:06:16):
for My heart Radio, visit the I heart Radio app,
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