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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "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.
- "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.
- 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…)