Sunday, February 21, 2010

George Harrison on Abbey Road-1969



One of the benefits of my new Mac is that my ROLLING STONE Magazine CD’s purchased a couple years back—which never seemed to work on my PC for some reason and only partly on my wife’s laptop—work GREAT! Thus I have access to nearly 40 years of rock and social history as it happened so expect to see and read some bits here as we go along.

This morning, for instance, I came across an October, 1969 issue with George Harrison ‘s thoughts on the then-upcoming new Beatles album, ABBEY ROAD. They had recorded for the last time as a group but ABBEY ROAD and the earlier LET IT BE were still unreleased and the Fab Four had not yet officially split.

What did George have to say about it? I’m glad you asked.

The so-called “quiet Beatle” describes the now classic COME TOGETHER as “…an upbeat, rock-a-beat boogie, with very Lennon lyrics” and “…one of the nicest things we’ve done musically.”

His humble description of his masterpiece, SOMETHING? “When I recorded it, I imagined someone like Ray Charles doing it, that was the feel I thought it should have. But because I’m not Ray Charles—I’m much more limited in what I can do—we just did what we could. It’s nice, though. Probably the nicest melody I’ve ever written.”

He called it right on MAXWELL’S SILVER HAMMER. “We

spent a hell of a lot of time recording this one. It’s one of those instant, whistle-along tunes which some people will hate and others will love.” He added that it’s “…a fun sort of thing, but probably sick as well…”

While noting the fifties feel of McCartney’s OH, DARLING, George says that “…mainly it’s Paul shouting.”

Perhaps he read too much into Ringo’s pleasant throwaway, OCTOPUS’S GARDEN, saying, “On the surface, it’s a daft kids song but I find the lyrics very meaningful. I find very deep meaning in the lyrics which Ringo probably doesn’t even know ab

out.”

J

John's I WANT YOU (SHE'S SO HEAVY) is described by Harrison as “very heavy,” which, of course, it is. He then dances around about the chords and beats and John’s natural instinct, suspiciously avoiding actually saying anything about the Yoko-inspired piece.

George’s other show-stealer on the album, HERE COMES THE SUN has him recounting that, “We’d been through hell with business and it was all very heavy.” He headed out to Clapton’s garden to get away from it all. “Being in Eric’s garden felt like playing hooky from school. I found some sort of release and the song just came.”

Mr. H misses the bet on BECAUSE, the beautiful but lesser-known harmony-based piece that comes up next. “ I think this is the tune that will impress most people,” he says. Hip people will dig it and the straight people and serious music critics will, too. It’s really good.”

“Then begins the medley of Paul and John songs all

shoved together.” He doesn’t really say much about them mind you, simply recounting the titles and who was responsible for what. He does point out, in retrospect somewhat precognitively, that “THE END is just that, a little sequence that ends it all.”

Abbey Road studios have been in the news recently here in the 21st Century as EMI is apparently selling them. There is a movement under way to get them declared a historic place or salvage them in some other way.

1 comment:

Rick said...

This is the one album where George came into his own and stole the show. Even Ringo's song was a bright moment for him but I read that George helped him so much that he deserved c-writer credit. All their contributions evened out to create a masterpiece in the Beatles or anyones library.