Five For Friday: George Harrison (One Guy, Multiple Acts)

Yes, this is later than usual. I decided to do this today instead of yesterday because frankly, I needed the sleep. And I slept very well last night.

Figured I’d go with an easy one today. George Harrison is the reason I chose the guitar way back when. He had a long and productive musical life, as a member of The Beatles, The Traveling Wilburys, and as a solo artist. It was hard to just pick five songs to represent his career. I did my best, and I’ll explain my choices as we go along.

  1. The Beatles, "Don’t Bother Me": This was the first song George wrote for The Beatles. He says he wrote it to find out if he could write a song. For a first effort, it’s a minor masterpiece. It’s typically George, who was an introvert and would want to be left alone in the situation.
  2. The Beatles, "Savoy Truffle": George wrote this for Eric Clapton, who loved candy and as a result was always battling dental issues. The lyrics are the names of the various chocolate confections in a Mackintosh’s Good News box, and the warning was that, after eating all the candy in the box, you’d have to have all your teeth pulled out. George, who was typically limited to one song per album, was represented on all four sides of the white album (the others are "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Piggies," and "Long, Long, Long"). You can see that he really matured as a songwriter.
  3. "All Things Must Pass": George had written this and offered it as a track on Abbey Road, but it was decided to go with "Maxwell’s Silver Hammer" instead. George held on to the song and used it as the title track on his first post-Beatles album that shows he had been busy writing songs in the latter days of The Beatles. The album was six sides of some pretty incredible music.
  4. "When We Was Fab": From 1987’s Cloud Nine, a look back at his Beatles days. The sitar, cello, and overall psychedelic sound of the track make it sound like The Beatles circa 1967. There are numerous guest appearances, including Ringo, Jeff Lynne, Elton John, and Neil Aspinall, The Beatles’ former road manager, who bore an uncanny resemblance to John Lennon. For years, George claimed that the left-handed bass player in the walrus suit was Paul McCartney, but after George had died, Paul let on that he hadn’t been able to make the filming, so he told George to put someone in the waltus suit and tell everyone it was him.
  5. The Traveling Wilburys, "End Of The Line": From their first album. The video pays a beautiful tribute to Roy Orbison, who had died before the video was made. George is playing slide guitar in the video, a huge part of his sound in the latter days of The Beatles and the rest of his career.

I was tempted to include many more songs, but held it to five. Maybe next freebie day on Monday’s Music Moves Me, I’ll include many more. For now, that’s George Harrison, your Five For Friday, October 9, 2020. (And a happy heavenly 80th birthday to John Lennon…)

28 thoughts on “Five For Friday: George Harrison (One Guy, Multiple Acts)

    1. George and Ringo were introverts, and John and Paul were extroverts. George was also the youngest member of the band (Paul called him “our little brother”) and had more eclectic tastes in music, and I think that worked against him. For me, his was the greatest loss.

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  1. Hi John – glad you had a good sleep … and great few 5 of George’s songs … I always lovely listening to them – he was the quiet one … thanks for these – have a good week – Hilary

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    1. A while back I did a couple of posts with the songs he wrote as a member of The Beatles. He was a fine songwriter, and “Something” is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. And he was a funny, funny guy.

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  2. I love Don’t Bother Me… it was one of my first songs I heard by the Beatles. The first was It Won’t Be Long and this wasn’t far behind that one.

    Oh…I can’t say I’ll be cheering for your Braves…just the opposite…but I hope its a great series.

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    1. I haven’t followed baseball at all this year. I see the Braves are in the NLCS against the Dodgers, which never seems to go well…

      Both “It Won’t Be Long” and “Don’t Bother Me” were on the same album (either “With The Beatles” or “Meet The Beatles,” depending on which side of the Atlantic you are). That album really rocked…

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      1. Not many people mention Don’t Bother Me…I was happy when I saw your post.

        This year either one could win…they were the best in the NL

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  3. I’ve been surprised to read negative comments about “When We Was Fab” over the years from a few music writers who suggest it’s too kitschy. Who cares if it’s a nostalgic song? McCartney does it all the time, and it happens to be a really good song (and video).

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