Martin Scorsese's portrait of George Harrison, which traces his life from his beginnings in Liverpool to becoming a world-famous musician, philanthropist and filmmaker.
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This programme contains some strong language.
You know, just go ahead, George,
go on and fly away, babe.
Just be free and go. And we'll see you down the line.
Erm... Just, leave. Go to some place nice.
We'll be all right here.
And then he went on out. That was it.
Is there anything you would say to George if he was around today?
Fancy a cup of tea?
Where have you been? I had a dream that I saw him.
And that was what I said to him in the dream.
So I guess that's what would be the question, wouldn't it?
Where've you been since I last saw you?
And he answered it, so I can tell you the answer as well,
which was, "Here the whole time".
Which doesn't really help me in any way, but...
There's George with cancer and he knows his life is limited.
And what he does is buys a house in Switzerland,
so he can avoid paying the taxman here.
The man who wrote the song Taxman,
even to his final hours, was determined to cheat the taxman.
And then I thought, "There's George." Grace and humour.
And a weird kind of angry bitterness about certain things in life.
It's still difficult to try and talk about him in a, kind of...
anecdotal, frivolous way.
It's, er, it's still too painful.
# Sunrise doesn't last all morning
# A cloudburst doesn't last all day
# Seems my love is up and has left you with no warning
# It's not always gonna be this grey. #
AIR RAID SIRENS
People in their gayest colours.
Red, white and blue rosettes. Red, white and blue hats...
That, in accordance with arrangements between the three great powers...
# Make the world rejoice
# While you're playing your part Keep a song in your heart
# Tra-la-la-la, la-la, la-la Count your blessings and smile
# Sing low, sing high, isn't it grand, beating the band?
# Who wants to die? Oh, what a happy land.
# All things must pass
# All things must pass away
# Sunset doesn't last all evening... #
OK. Do you want me to start?
OK. And then Pete can go.
Right. We lived in 12 Arnold Grove.
It was a two up and two down.
The only heating was a coal fire, so there was no electricity.
Small backyard. Toilet down the bottom of the yard.
It was a very cold place.
-What kind of a kid was George?
-He was cocky. A cocky little guy.
He had a good sense of himself, he wasn't cowed by anything.
He had a great haircut. He had this long hair that he quiffed back.
We had a friend, Arthur.
And he used to describe it as "a fucking turban!
"Like a fucking turban!"
And it did. It looked like a great big marvellous thing.
Looking back now, you know, it was pre-fame.
So you were just an ordinary kid
who couldn't get in places, cos you weren't famous.
Teachers didn't like you.
You know, rock and roll hadn't arrived yet.
I always think of it as Dickensian.
And the school that I went to, with George, incidentally,
was a very Dickensian old place.
In fact, Dickens had taught there. That's how Dickensian it was.
You grew up wanting to go somewhere else.
It made you hungry.
So art was a great golden vision.
So for us, we wouldn't have called it art then, it'd be rock and roll.
We needed a good guitar player.
Both John and I played a bit of guitar, but we couldn't really solo.
We weren't that good.
And I said, "I know this guy. He's a bit young, but he's good."
John said, "Well, you know, let's meet him".
So I said to George,
"You want to meet these guys I'm in a group with?"
"Yeah." So he brought his guitar.
We were all on the top deck of a double-decker bus
in Liverpool, round where John lived, a place called Woolton,
and nobody was on the bus. It was late at night.
And John said, "Well, go on then. Let's see you play" to George.
I said, "Go on, go on, get your guitar out."
So George unpacked his guitar, got it out,
and he played the thing called Raunchy, which is...
MUSIC: "Raunchy" by The Beatles
Down, George, down!
Yeah. George, only a brief document or two left.
For the record, I'd like to say these are more papers
that I don't know what they say...
-Any of these?
-..that I'm signing.
-Yes, all those.
-Gentleman's name is Lennon. No, no, no.
Or Richard Starkey, or John Lennon, or George Harrison.
Krishna, Krishna, Krishna.
May the Lord help this to become final.
The small gathering on Savile Row was only the beginning.
The event is so momentous that historians
may one day view it as a landmark in the decline of the British Empire -
the Beatles are breaking up.
# It's funny how people just won't accept change
# As if nature itself
# They prefer rearranged. #
When I was still at school and I was really small,
I know John was really embarrassed, cos I was so tiny.
I only looked about ten years old.
When I met John, he had four strings on his guitar.
I mean, John didn't even know guitars had six strings.
And I said, "What are you doing? What's that?"
And he would say, "Well, why?"
You know, he thought that's what it was.
So we showed John the guitar chords,
E and A and all those.
My mother was a real big fan of music
and she was really happy about having the guys around.
You know, and John was always keen to get out of his house,
because his Aunt Mimi was, kind of, very stern and strict
and she embarrassed him.
I remember going to John's house once when I first had met him.
I was still at the Institute.
And we were trying to look like Teddy boys, which was like that style in those days.
And I must've looked good, cos she was like...
She didn't like me. She was shocked.
She said, "Look at him! Who is this? Bringing this boy to this house.
"Look at him. He looks dreadful, like a Teddy boy."
And he'd just say, "Shut up, Mary, shut up!"
# Don't you try to tame a wildcat
# You just don't understand
# The wildcat's what they name me No kitten's gonna tame me
# Oh, no. Not me. #
Our wedding was just one of those occasions where they thought
they would practise on people and see what happened.
They were not exactly what the majority of people there expected.
They had a tea break.
An elderly lady, who was one of the guests,
came along to play the piano,
who was a real pub player.
She could really hammer out tunes that everybody wanted to sing to.
The three lads reappeared from the bar, pints in hand,
and John just poured a pint over this lady's head,
just straight over the head, saying, "I anoint thee, David."
And just walked away.
And this lady surprised me,
because there was absolutely nothing. There was no reaction.
She just smiled and got up and went away and got dry again.
You know, it was... And I thought it was funny,
because in those days, people used to say,
"See you had a wedding in Liverpool. How many fights were there?"
But there wasn't even a fight.
The nearly fight was John Lennon pouring a pint on her head.
When I met John, he had a lot of power, really.
Sometimes they'd pick somebody to march behind
on the way to war.
Well, he was certainly out front.
When you thought you wanted to be a musician,
-where did you think you'd end up?
-There's no justification for it.
We kind of had a feeling that that's what we were going to do.
And I always felt that something good was going to happen.
But then, in those days, something good would just be
getting to do a tour of Mecca ballrooms.
That was, like, a big deal.
# She's got a way that makes me act like a fool
# Spends my money then she plays me cool
# I'm begging for her kisses on a bended knee
# Oh, won't you give me some a-loving, baby?
# Please, please. #
# Watch out now
# Take care Beware of falling swingers
# Dropping all around you
# The pain that often mingles... #
After wartime, we still had lots of bombed houses.
Not poverty. I mean, the Germans were rich quite quick.
It didn't take them long to pick up on that one.
That particular day, I had an argument with Astrid.
I was really angry and I wanted to let steam off.
And I quite often went that direction, to the harbour.
The Reeperbahn is really for the sailors,
for the people getting drunk.
For people going to see naked women or having sex or whatever.
That's what this place is known for.
Klaus was always very laid back.
You know, you couldn't quite
impress him by things.
He always said, "Yeah, great. Fantastic."
But when he came home seeing the Beatles for the first time,
I've never seen him like that before. He just went crazy.
When I came down to the Kaiserkeller with Klaus,
after, he had to persuade me for three days. I just freaked out.
Seeing them onstage, faces I always dreamt of taking pictures of,
because they had so much personality and were still young, like I was.
# Gonna write a little letter, gonna mail it to my local DJ
# It's a rocking little record I want my jockey to play
# Roll over Beethoven, got to hear it again today. #
We didn't really have that much money.
We only just really had enough to feed ourselves,
so there was nothing really to show for it.
But everything else was such a buzz.
You know, being right in the middle of the naughtiest city in the world
at 17 years old. It was kind of exciting.
And learning, you know, about it all.
There's the gangsters and the transvestites.
And there's the... You know, it was like that. There's the hookers.
They looked real strange, teddy boy-like.
They didn't have the leather gear yet.
The leather thing came when they met Astrid and me
and the way we were walking around.
We loved this band.
We were knocked out. And we didn't realise how they lived.
The Bambi Kino was a porno cinema.
The room they stayed in first was a sort of place where
you'd normally put brooms and things.
There was no window, there was just a light bulb on the ceiling.
And they were sort of living in these little cupboards,
so to speak, right behind the screen of that cinema.
And it was terrible, because they were smelly, stinky.
They couldn't wash their clothes properly.
Klaus introduced me to them, and John did his, you know,
"I'm a man, I'm a man" thing.
And Paul was doing his, "I'm a good boy, good education" bit, you know.
Said hello and shook my hand.
And George was just, looked at me and said, "Oh, hello.
"And you are Klaus's girlfriend?"
But he was ever so sweet.
I came to know George then.
And he was interested in so many things, but let's say, on the quiet,
because Paul was the one who said, "Oh, who is that?"
And "who wrote this book?" And "who is that on that picture?"
George was just sitting there, looking at my room, which must
have been very strange to them, because it was completely black,
with leaves and branches hanging from the ceiling.
I think, at first, George thought I was a bit mad.
But that became very shortly a very lovely and nice friendship.
Astrid took them to her house
and she cooked for them.
Astrid's mother was cooking their favourite meals for them.
So they had their little home, suddenly,
which Astrid really took care of them really well.
GEORGE: Yeah, it was really good for us to meet them, too.
They, in themselves, were very artistic.
I mean, for us, we started hanging out with them
and Astrid was so loving. She really helped us a lot.
You may think it was sexually.
Of course, in a way, they all fancied me,
because I was quite good looking
and charming, in my own little way, with my funny English.
When I started falling in love with Stuart,
it was great that I was a photographer,
so I could just go up easily to him and ask him,
"Do you mind if I take pictures of you?",
because I felt so attracted to him.
# A taste of honey
# Tasting much sweeter than wine
# Do do-dem-do
# Do do-dem-do
# I dream of your first kiss and then
# I feel upon my lips again
-# A taste of honey
-A taste of honey
# Tasting much sweeter than wine. #
I always had a vision that I want to take pictures of outstanding faces,
who can tell a story behind the mask.
Imagine what is behind this rough young man, John Lennon.
And what is behind the funny, joking Paul.
Or the lovely, sweet little George.
George was only 17 years of age, but he was calm,
he looked you straight in the face,
he was funny
and he was a catalyst in the band, you see?
Paul and John were so different.
And George was bringing a certain peace into this set-up.
I mean, Ringo wasn't with them at the time, because Pete Best was playing the drums.
And Stuart was more on the side,
but George was right in the middle, between those two characters.
After Stuart's death, John and George
really cared about me.
You know, they used to come and see me in my home.
And so... It was actually John's suggestion.
John said, "Can I see where he used to paint?"
So I said, "Of course, you can." In that moment,
I had to take a picture of them.
And I just grabbed this old chair and put it there.
And John was so full of emotion, being in the same room
where his friend was just painting,
that he nearly burst out in tears.
And George was all...a bit worried.
So I just said to George, "Well, stand behind him."
You could see how quickly
George understood what it was all about -
death and being alive.
He was only just turned 18.
And when you look at the picture and see his eyes,
they're so full of protection for John.
And John was just falling to bits, sitting there.
And you could see that in his face.
I gave that guitar away. Ah, that's the one.
# That boy
# Took my love away
-# He'll regret it some day
# This boy wants you back again
# That boy isn't good
# For you
# Though he may want you, too... #
Good song, though. Good sad song.
# This boy wants you back again... #
John was as blind as a bat and he'd never wear his glasses,
so he couldn't see a thing.
# Oh, and this boy
# Would be happy just to love you... #
# But oh my-hi-hi-hi
# That boy won't be happy
# Till he's seen you cry-hi-hi-hi. #
AIRCRAFT ENGINE ROARS
It was almost like we were waiting to get going.
We couldn't go until all the Beatles were in the frame.
Ringo was a member of the band.
It's just that he didn't enter the film
until that particular scene, you know.
We were always, kinda, you know, a little nervous before each step
we went up the ladder.
And that was the good thing about being four together.
We all shared the experience.
How many Beatles does it take to change a light bulb?
# Well, she was just seventeen You know what I mean
# And the way she looked was way beyond compare
# So how could I dance with another
# Oh, since I saw her standing there? #
We just went in. We were punks, really, you know what I mean?
We were like just these punks.
We went in. We're all incredibly grateful to be on vinyl.
You know, the idea of getting a record.
Then, when it was going up the charts in England, we'd stop the car,
cos you'd know when it was coming on. BBC at, uh, 4.19.
"Stop the car!" And then we'd listen to the record
and then drive on up to the gig.
# Now I'll never dance with another
# Ooh, since I saw her standing there
# Waaah! #
Does the continuous living and working together impose any temperamental stress upon you?
No, actually, it's quite lucky, cos we've been...
# We've been together now for 40 years. #
You know, we have all been mates for quite a long time,
so we don't get on each other's nerves as much as we could.
I think I saw you being greeted by somebody outside.
-No, no, that was George.
-That was me. That was me.
Well, actually, it was, um, my mother.
-Your mother has to come to Ireland to see you?
# Well, we danced through the night
# And we held each other tight
# And before too long I fell in love with her
# Now, I'll never dance with another, ooh. #
Do you find any difficulty in keeping up your public image?
Our image is just us, you know, as we were.
We didn't try and, uh, make an image. It just happened.
And so we don't have to keep it up.
We just remain ourselves, don't we, Ringo?
Well, we do. It's the other two we're worried about!
RINGO: The general atmosphere, we all loved it.
We all dug it, but you know, still in the band,
we all had personalities and attitudes.
We stopped at a motorway cafe, you know,
eat some grease.
Paul had the keys and George
was sitting behind the wheel, as we came up.
And so an argument went on for at least an hour and a half.
"I've got the keys." "Well, I'm sittin' behind the wheel."
And it was like, we had to sit there and go through this,
cos no-one was going give up.
"I got the keys." "I've got the wheel."
# So please listen to me if you wanna stay mine
# I can't help my feelings I'll go out of my mind
-# I'm gonna let you down
-Let you down
# And leave you flat
# Gonna let you down and leave you flat
# Because I've told you before Oh, you can't do that
# You can't do that... #
"Dear Mum and Dad,
"The shows have been going great, with everybody going potty.
"And everywhere we go, we have about 20 police on motorbikes escorting us.
"We have had two Cadillacs every place, but tonight, when we finished the show and ran out,
"the cars weren't there and had gone to another door.
"So we went back inside until we could get out.
"All the kids came out of the show and saw the two cars around the side
"and stormed them and jumped all over them."
"The drivers had to get out and both cars were completely wrecked - the roofs were right down on the seats.
"Some girl fell through a skylight from the roof of a building and 45 more were put in hospital.
"In the end, we escaped in an ambulance,
"but don't worry, because no-one can get near us, for all the police and security."
# I got something to say that might cause you pain
# If I catch you talking to that boy again
# I'm gonna let you down
# And leave you flat
# Because I told you before Oh, you can't do that. #
What actors would you like to meet in Hollywood?
RINGO: We were all in our early twenties, so were just going with it.
The good side of it was that
you could really go shopping!
You know, there's the great line
that the Beatles, they had one day off a month.
And on the day off, Paul would judge a beauty pageant.
# Everybody's green
# Cos I'm the one who won your love
# But if they'd seen you're talking that way
# They'd laugh in my face
# So please listen to me if you wanna stay mine
# I can't help my feelings I'll go out of my mind
# I'm gonna let you down
-# Let you down
-And leave you flat
# Gonna let you down and leave you flat. #
The Beatles only ever had one car
and two rooms, in any hotel, between them.
We got closer together. The bigger it got,
the closer we became, because from the minute you sort of left
the security of your apartment, the heat was on.
People wanted a piece, wanted to talk, wanted their photo.
And so we sort of, you know, kept each other company.
FANS SHOUT BEATLES' NAMES
When we first came to New York, it's a great story
because we had the whole floor in the Plaza
and the four of us ended up in the bathroom.
We were just sitting in there,
"Hey, how you doin'? What's goin' on?"
just to get a break from, you know, the incredible pressure.
# Money don't get everything it's true
# What it don't get, I can't use # Now give me money
-That's what I want
-That's what I want
# That's what I want. #
The next song I'd like to sing...
..is our latest record...
..or our latest electronic noise, depending on whose side you're on.
-# That's what I want
-That's what I want
# That's what I want
# That's what I want, yeah. #
Are you individually millionaires yet?
JOHN: No, that's another lousy rumour. I wish we were.
All right then, where does all the money go?
Well, a lot of it goes to Her Majesty.
She's a millionaire.
# That's what I want
# A lot of money
# That's what I want
-# That's what I want
-A lot of money
# That's what I want. #
"This morning, we're off to Wellington.
"We've been and played here in Sydney
"and it was the biggest drag of all time.
"The stage revolves every three minutes and we have to walk right down the aisles,
"like boxers, to get to the stage. At the first house, I punched a policeman,
"because he was shoving me. And some kids had a hold of me when I was trying to get off the stage.
"I was swearing my head off at one policeman. Sorry.
"Later, the chief apologised to me.
"After the show, there was a party in the hotel for Paul's birthday."
It's great at the beginning,
You know, where, you know, you're recognised,
you get a great seat in a restaurant and, you know,
things are bigger and things come to you faster.
Um, you know, all that is great.
And then you really want that to end.
Thank you very much, ta.
This number... Shush.
This number we'd like to sing now...
You fight for it, and then when you get it,
you want it to end, but it never ends.
That's the deal.
We do like the fans and enjoy reading the publicity about us,
but from time to time, you don't realise that
it's actually about yourself.
You see your pictures and read articles about,
you know, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul and John, but you don't
actually think, "Oh, that's me. There I am in the paper."
It's funny. It's just as though it's a different person.
# Well, gonna write a little letter
# Gonna mail it to my local DJ
# Well, it's a rocking little record I want my jockey to play
# Roll over, Beethoven
# I gotta hear it again today
# You know my temperature's rising
# And the jukebox's blowing a fuse. #
Do you know where you were this time last week?
-No. I haven't a clue.
-I don't even know what day it is.
-You don't know what day it is?
-No. What is it?
"We've been to the Hollywood Bowl and done the show, which was great.
"And the place was marvellous.
"The seats go right up the side of big hills.
"Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis's manager, came to see us,
"and gave us all real leather belts and holster sets. Cowboy things.
"And little covered wagons, which are television lamps.
"He was good too and said that Elvis wants to meet us
"and has invited us to his house in Memphis, Tennessee.
"Tonight, we were invited to Burt Lancaster's house and he made us very welcome.
"His house was a knockout and cost him a million dollars.
"I had a swim in his pool, which was great - and as hot as a bath almost.
"After that, the men organising the tour wanted us to go to
"this place called Whiskey A Go-Go, on Sunset Strip.
"They said we wouldn't be bothered.
"We got there and went in and fought our way, with Mal and a few big hard men, to a table
"where John and Derek were. And Jayne Mansfield."
"By this time, after fighting through the crowd,
"I was annoyed and threw some Coke on a cameraman.
"We all fought our way back out and jumped in the car and went home.
"It was a drag and we were there for about ten minutes altogether.
"You see why we don't usually bother going out now."
How did George deal with it?
George, you know, George had two incredible separate personalities.
He had the lovebag of beads personality and the bag of anger.
He was very black and white.
-Whether you will go along with any change in taste.
Well, you never know, because we have.
-We change anyway, don't we?
We hope you've enjoyed the show tonight. Have you enjoyed it?
# There's a fog upon LA
# And my friends have lost their way
# We'll be over soon, they say
# Now they've lost themselves instead
# Please don't be long... #
I was boss of Parlophone Records
and I'd made it my business, over the previous years,
to develop Parlophone as a comedy label. And, in fact,
when Brian Epstein desperately took us on, or hoped we would take him on,
he felt he'd hit rock bottom, cos he'd been everywhere else
and now he was ending up on a comedy label.
I first met The Beatles in 1962.
I wasn't terribly impressed with the first stuff they did.
I couldn't make out the sound. You know, it was something I hadn't heard before.
So I looked at these four guys, and thought,
"Well, none of them shines as being above all the others."
And I had to make up my mind,
in my silly mind, who the lead singer was going to be.
Suddenly, I realised I would take them as they were, as a group.
The hell with a lead singer. They would be singing together.
So we were struggling with the sound a bit.
And I said to the boys, after we'd done a few takes of rather nondescript songs,
"Come into the control room and have a listen
"and see what we've been doing.
"And if there's anything you don't like, tell us."
And George was the one who took the leap.
And he said, "Well, I don't like your tie for a start."
And the others were horrified. They thought, "God, he's blown it."
But, of course, I fell around laughing.
I thought it was so cheeky and so funny that I...
You know, he endeared himself to me at that point.
# I give her all my love
# That's all I do
# And if you saw my love
# You'd love her, too
# I love her... #
John and I would write the songs the week before the studio. Brian Epstein would ring us up and say,
"You're in the studio next week. You've got a week off." We'd go, "Yes!"
He'd say, "But you've got to write the album." We'd go, "Yes!"
So we'd just, you know... Each day we'd write a song,
so we can have seven or so songs to go in with,
which was enough to start with.
And we'd go in the studio, ten in the morning,
and this was the first time George and Ringo had heard any of the songs.
So this is how good they were. John and I would go, "It goes like this."
# She loves you, yeah... # Or whatever it was.
And they'd go, "Mmm-hmm."
George would cop the chords. He'd go, "Uh-huh," not writing them down.
It was just like, "Yeah, I can see what you're doing. Cos I'm one of you.
"I didn't write it, but I see what you did."
And Ringo would just stand around with his sticks and do a little thing.
I was just thinking actually about my song And I Love Her.
# And I give her all my love... # I had that,
but then George comes in with... # Do-do-do-do. #
Now, you think about that. That's the song.
But he made that up on the session. Cos knew the chords, and we said,
"It needs a riff." I didn't write that.
When we got together in the studio, whoever had written the song
would be the kind of boss in leading the other guys through it.
Paul and John, being the songwriters -
and at that stage, George wasn't showing himself to be a songwriter -
they were the dominant forces.
George and Ringo were slightly behind Paul and John,
because Paul and John were the writers and the lead singers.
I guess George was kind of a loner, really,
because he was outside the team that were providing the hits.
John and Paul had each other to play against.
And their collaboration was much more of a competition than a collaboration, really.
One would do something, and the other one would say, "Gosh, I think I can do better than that,"
and try and make something better.
George was the sole guy. He had no-one to work with.
The funny position I was in was that, in many ways, you know,
this whole focus of attention was on The Beatles,
so in that respect, I was part of it.
But from being in them...
..an attitude came over, which was John and Paul.
"OK, you know, we're the grooves and you two just watch it."
I mean, don't forget, I spent ten years in the back of the limousine with them.
Don't Bother Me. This is remake recording, take ten.
'Don't Bother Me was the first song. It was written basically as an exercise
'to see if I could write a song, cos I thought,
'"Well, if John and Paul can write, everybody must be able to."'
Two, three, four.
# Since she's been gone I want no-one to talk to me... #
-Hang on, it's going too fast.
'I wrote that in the hotel in Bournemouth.
'We were doing the summer season, and I was sick in bed.
'Maybe that's why it turned out Don't Bother Me.
-It's not a particularly good song,
'but it at least showed me that, you know, all I needed to do was keep on writing
'and maybe some day I'd...
'write something good.
'I still feel, right at this point,
'I still keep thinking, "I wish I could write something good."'
# Since she's been gone I want no-one to talk to me
# It's not the same but I'm to blame
# It's plain to see
# So go away, leave me alone, don't bother me
# I can't believe that she would leave me on my own
# It's just not right when every night I'm all alone
# I've got no time for you right now, don't bother me
# I know I'll never be the same
# If I don't get her back again
# Because I know she'll always be
# The only girl for me. #
When I saw George and Pattie together,
the way they fit into The Beatles thing, all of their domesticity
seemed to be like Camelot, you know. It was like...
And I was the Lancelot, in a way.
I was kind of this lone wolf
without really any direction.
I saw The Beatles
play at the Hammersmith Odeon
when I was bottom of the bill in The Yardbirds.
This band was like... They were like a single person.
It was an odd phenomenon, in fact, that they seemed to move together and think together.
It was almost like a little family unit.
I was very, very suspicious about what they were up to.
But when I saw them play, I mean, I was overwhelmed by their gift.
Each one of them seemed to be very well-endowed with their own musical capacity.
But the sad part was
that no-one listened to them, and that their audience,
which they had cultivated, I suppose,
they were 12-year-old girls.
He was clearly an innovator.
George, to me, was taking certain elements
of R&B and rock and rockabilly
and creating something unique.
They were very generous to everybody. They took time to come and talk to everybody.
I didn't feel threatened at all, because I had quite a lot
of self-confidence going in my concept of myself
as being this sort of blues missionary, as it were.
And I wasn't looking for any favours from anybody.
And George recognised me as an equal, because I had a level of proficiency even then
that he saw as being fairly unique too, you know.
George chose to move into a house in Esher.
And Esher is maybe eight miles north of where I was born.
And we became friends and I would go and visit them there.
Something grew out of the music and the kind of people we were.
I think we shared a lot of tastes, too.
You know, superficial things - cars or clothes, but...
And women, obviously.
But I think what George might have liked about me
was the fact that I was a kind of free agent.
And I think, if anything,
he may have already been wondering about whether he was in the right place being in a group,
cos the group politic is a tricky one. You know, there was a lot about
what he had going which I envied,
and there was a lot about what I had going that he envied.
What did he have going that you envied?
Well, I suppose, money, status.
You know, the classic things.
The Beatles, man, come on.
In the beginning, in the early days,
what was good about being George's friend
was that it was kind of like basking in the sunshine
of this immense creativity.
-We'd like to carry on with a song
which is off our last LP.
The LP's called Rubber Soul, and the song,
which is sung by our guitarist George,
is called If I Needed Someone.
# If I needed someone to love
# You're the one that I'd be thinking of
# If I needed someone
# If I had some more time to spend
# I guess I'd be with you, my friend
# If I needed someone. #
This is largely an appeal to the feminine heart,
the heart of the young girl who worships love
and the goddess of love
and the heroes of love.
And this plays the dominant part in her life.
So the vast majority of the fans are girls,
who come there to worship at the shrine of the goddess
or the young god hero, as they did in the ancient past.
I've seen this with the most dramatic intensity
with The Beatles playing to 2,000 or 3,000 young girls in Manchester.
Apart from another journalist, I was the only male in the audience.
And I've never experienced anything like it myself.
If I were confronted with 10,000 Loch Ness monsters,
I wouldn't be so impressed by this whistling and wailing
and possession of the soul of these young girls.
Would you say it's true that the devotion your group attracts
-is essentially religious in nature?
-In what way is it not?
-Well, in what ways do you think it is?
The fervour, the excitement that it inspires in young people.
Would you say football crowds are any more religious,
or football fanatics have any more religion in them than Beatle fanatics? I don't think so.
One value divides the generations more sharply than any other -
religion. The gap is greatest between college students
and their parents.
The question was whether belonging to some organised religion
is important in a person's life.
Nine out of ten parents say it is.
Only four out of ten college students say religion is important.
And the more radical the youth, politically,
the more likely he is to reject the religious values of adult society.
Still, the gap is there, whatever the politics.
Well, some of the remarks attributed to you in some of the newspapers, the press here,
concerning the remark you made comparing the relative popularity of The Beatles with Jesus Christ,
and that The Beatles were more popular - created quite a controversy and furore here.
Would you clarify the remark?
Well, I've clarified it about 800 times.
I could have said TV, or something else, you know.
And that's as clear as it can be.
There were other evidences that that ol' time religion was under attack.
Evangelist Billy Graham went to London,
hoping he could stop England from swinging.
In the process, he was almost engulfed by sin on a Soho street.
And I think a great deal of what we see among young people today
is actually a spiritual search. These young people are searching for a creed to believe in,
a song to sing and a cause to follow.
# Carve your number on my wall
# And maybe you will get a call from me
# If I needed someone
# Ah. #
Before we sort of made it, as they say,
money was part of the goal, but it still wasn't a sort of, "Let's get some money."
But we sort of got... We suddenly had money, and then it wasn't all that good.
By having the money, we found that money wasn't the answer,
because we had lots of material things
that people sort of spend their whole life to try to get.
And we managed to get them at quite an early age.
And it was good, really, because we learned that that wasn't it.
We still lacked something. And that something is the thing that religion
is trying to give to people.
Have they changed because of all this?
Altered....developed, perhaps, but not...um...
not changed too much. They're not in any way contaminated by it.
Not nearly as seriously contaminated as many of the people who...
um...occasionally surround us.
They remain very calm and bland and simple.
And they don't know what it's all about.
They simply want to play their music and write it.
They're very normal. Thank goodness.
I came home one day with the kids and Derek said, "Brian's just phoned."
Brian Epstein. "And he's having a housewarming in Sussex,
"and he wants us to go. He wants all his friends to be there."
So we rallied all our babysitters together
and we found ourselves on a plane.
And we arrived at Heathrow,
and waiting for us was John and George.
And they were dressed in this exotic way.
They had silk shirts, and they were this incredible colour.
And they hugged us and they kissed us, and they...
All of a sudden, it's like there are no barriers. No handshakes, it's...
.."What's happening?" And we were swept out to this...
to outside Heathrow Airport, where John's Rolls-Royce,
like a Romany caravan, was waiting for us.
George, in his Mini,
and us in the Rolls-Royce, with Procol Harum playing Whiter Shade Of Pale,
driving along the English country roads
from Surrey to Sussex. And Brian was waiting for us.
And there were all sorts of his friends, famous and not-so-famous.
And George gave Derek acid
and John gave me acid.
And then John gave Derek acid.
So Derek had a double dose.
And we spent the whole night with them...
on this mind adventure,
which Paul had described to us as "controlled weirdness".
I'm not quite sure how controlled it was, but it was weird.
But it was wonderful, and it bonded us, because they were so kind to us.
And we came through it
and we walked out into this English country garden
with the night receding
and the sun coming.
Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun - well,
that was what happened, literally, what happened.
When we took the notorious wonder drug LSD...
..it was... We didn't know we were having it.
John and I had this drug and it was given...
We were having dinner with our dentist...
..and he put it in our coffee and never told us. And we'd we never heard of it.
I mean, it's a good job we hadn't heard of it, because there's been so much paranoia
created around the drug, that people now, if they take it,
they're already on a bad trip before they start.
Whereas for us, we didn't know anything. We were so naive.
So we had it and we went out to a club and it was incredible.
It was really incredible.
Something like a very concentrated version
of the best feeling I'd ever had in my life.
It was just, like, fantastic.
I just felt, like, in love.
But not with anything in particular, or anybody, just with everything.
Just everything was perfect.
And we walked and things weren't the same that night as they'd been.
It was... All this Alice In Wonderland stuff was going on,
but strange things.
I remember Pattie was, you know, half playfully,
but half kind of crazy,
was trying to smash a shop window.
And I was kind of being like, "Come on now, don't be silly.
"This way." And we got round this corner
and there were all these lights and taxis.
It looked like there was a big film premiere going on. It was probably just the doorway to the nightclub.
It seemed like, you know, it looked very bright.
And all these people with makeup that was like, this thick on their faces.
You know, like masks.
I had this lingering thought
that just stayed with me after that.
And this thought was the Yogis of the Himalayas.
I don't know why. It just... I'd never thought about them for the rest of my life.
But suddenly this thought was in the back of my consciousness.
It was like somebody was whispering to me, you know.
"The Yogis of the Himalayas."
# Dayaa karo
# Prabhujee dayaa karo
# Maname aana baso
# Maname aana baso
# Prabhujee. #
Interview du Mister George Harrison et Ravi Shankar par Michel Guillard.
Sound is God.
And through sound, or that is true good music,
there can be also music which can be devil.
I don't want to name which music.
But music can excite you and make you, ahh, and go mad.
People go, you know, crazy. That is also music.
But it didn't...doesn't lead you
spiritually towards God. But music has this power,
whether it is through the Gregorian chants
or beautiful Baroque music,
or Indian music, or even folk songs,
beautifully sung by people with beautiful voices.
Our music has been handed down from person to person.
It's an oral tradition. It's not a written-down music.
And the guru passes not just the technique,
but the whole spiritual, uh, aspect.
All the meaning of life, philosophy,
everything is passed along with the music.
FURIOUS SITAR MUSIC
The fact that I met so many people, I can meet anybody, you know.
You could go in all the film stars' houses and Elvis and everybody.
And we met a lot of really good people, but we didn't...I never met one person who really impressed me.
The first person who ever impressed me in my life
was Ravi Shankar and he was the only person who didn't try to impress me.
-Why did he impress you?
-Because it was by his being.
He taught me so much without actually saying a word.
It's by example.
-Now try to count five, five and six. Five, five makes ten.
And six makes 16.
Nine, ten, 11, 12, 13, 14.
One, two, three, four, five.
-One, two, three, four, five.
-One two, three, four, five. One, two.
Five. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.
One, two, three, four, five, six.
What you can do, if it is difficult for you to touch,
one, two, three, four. Just...
It's very difficult.
Two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four,
-One, two, three...
If you're trying to find something,
to find the source of that thing is very difficult,
but my blessing was to be able to have Ravi as my, uh, patchcord.
He could plug me in to the real thing,
so my experience of it was always the best quality.
# Each day just goes so fast
# I turn around, it's past
# You don't get time to hang a sign on me
# Love me while you can
# Before I'm a dead old man... #
Ravi and the sitar was kind of like an excuse to try and find
this spiritual connection.
I read stuff by various holy men and Swamis
and mystics and I went around and looked for them.
Ravi and his brother gave me a lot of books by some wise men.
One of the books, which was by a Swami Vivekananda, who said,
"If there's a God you must see Him
"and if there's a soul, we must perceive it.
"Otherwise it's better not to believe.
"It's better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite."
And after all my life I've been brought up, well, they tried to bring me up as a Catholic.
They had told you to just believe what they're telling you,
and, you know, not to have the direct experience.
And this, for me, going to India
and hearing somebody saying, you know,
"No, you can't believe anything until you have direct perception of it".
And I thought, "Wow, you know, fantastic! At last, you know,
"found somebody who... makes some sense."
And so I wanted to go deeper and deeper into that.
I think that George's experiences of expanding his mind with acid...
led him to looking for something that didn't need chemicals.
He knew that there was a point where you couldn't keep on doing that.
And it wouldn't be good for you, if you did keep on using chemicals.
So he was looking for...
He was always looking for the truth
and he was also looking for peace of mind...
..because it was... it was pretty crazy.
John would pick us up in this big Rolls Royce with blacked-out windows,
and Ringo, John and I all moved out of town to Surrey.
And then he'd pick up Ringo and then pick me up
and then we'd head into town and, by the time we got to Hammersmith, we were just loaded
and feeling ill, cos, you know, a Rolls Royce doesn't have the proper springs.
They just roll around. And the black windows,
you couldn't see anything out and the windows would be shut
and so you'd just be getting double doses of these reefers.
And then we'd pull up at Abbey Road Studio and just be, like, fall out of the car.
We have to thank Paul that we made as many records as we did because,
you know, John and I, cos we lived in the same area,
would be hanging out.
It's like a beautiful day in the garden in England
and the phone'd ring and we'd always know it was him.
"He wants us to work!"
I mean, everywhere we went, people were smiling and,
you know, sitting on lawns, drinking tea.
I went to Haight-Ashbury, expecting it to be this brilliant place,
I thought it was going to be all these groovy
kind of gypsy kind of people, with little shops making works of art
and paintings and carvings.
But, instead, it turned out to be just a lot of bums.
And many of them, they were just very young kids
who'd come from all over America
and dropped acid and gone to this Mecca of LSD.
We'd walk down the street
and I was, like, being treated like the Messiah or something.
I was really afraid, because I could see all these spotty youths and they were...
still an undercurrent of Beatlemania,
but from a, kind of, twisted angle.
And they were... People were handing me things,
like there was this big pipe,
like a big Indian pipe with feathers on it
and books and incense and, you know, all kinds of stuff.
And trying to give me drugs and,
you know, I'd say "No, thanks, I don't want it."
We were walking quicker and quicker. We went through the park
and back out of the park, and in the end, we just said,
"Let's get out of here."
And we drove back to the airport, got on the jet, and as it took off,
the plane went into a stall, and the whole dashboard lit up,
saying "Unsafe" right across.
It certainly showed me what was really happening in the drug cult.
It wasn't what I thought of all these groovy people getting...
having spiritual awakenings and being artistic.
It was like any addiction.
So, at that point, I stopped taking it, actually,
the dreaded Lysergic.
That's where I really went for the meditation.
# Let me take you down
# Cos I'm going to Strawberry Fields
# Nothing is real
# And nothing to get hung about
# Strawberry Fields forever
# Living is easy with eyes closed
# Misunderstanding all you see... #
We'd stopped touring. We were now in the mid-60s.
We were partying
and I think we, kind of, lost, sort of, our spiritual direction.
Not that we ever had one, but we lost it.
So we were, kind of, experimenting in anything.
It was the time of Sgt Pepper,
and I'd written a song, the title song,
and I put it to the guys that what we should do,
we could make this record now under another persona.
We'll be this other band. And it will free us.
The idea was we could bring anything we wanted,
because now, you know, there was no lid on what we could do.
When we were doing Sgt Pepper, he presented us with a song which I thought was boring.
And I had to tell him so. And I said,
"George, honestly, I think we could do...you could do something better for this record,
"because it's going to be an astonishing record.
"There's so many great moments in it.
"And do you mind going away and thinking about it and coming up with something else?"
# We were talking
# About the space between us all
# And the people
# Who hide themselves behind
# A wall of illusion
# Never glimpse the truth
# Then it's far too late
# When they pass away-ay-ay... #
He came up with Within You Without You.
Now, Within You Without You
was not a commercial song, by any means.
But it was very interesting.
He had the way of communicating music by the Indian system
of, kind of, a separate language, like, tiki-tiki-ta-ta-ta,
tiki-tik, tika-da - the kind of things that would be the rhythms suggested
by the tabla player. And you had to get inside that to find out
what it was about. So it was like working out a puzzle with George.
He had Ravi play at his house once. And we all went.
And we're sitting on the floor and Ravi made the announcement,
"Please don't smoke while I'm playing."
And, uh, anyway, there was like a crowd of us and a crowd of Ravi's friends just sitting around
and Ravi's playing away and this is how little we understood at the time,
that Ravi's pals are all like going...
Which it sounded like to us they were saying, "Aw, God, crap!"
But they were really going, "Ohhhh. Ohhhh."
We were like, "Keep the noise down"!
# When you've seen beyond yourself
# Then you may find peace of mind is waiting there
# And the time will come
# When you see we're all one
# And life flows on within you and without you. #
When you get a sort of typical westernized Englishman coming to you,
what is the most important thing you have to teach? Concentration?
No. Just allowing the mind to take its natural course.
Say, it was surprising someone one day, uh,
started to meditate. Next day he came for checking and he said,
"I feel wonderful. I slept very deep
"and the whole thing is good, but tell me what you have taught me."
I said, "Nothing."
Because the process of thinking has not to be learned.
We are used to think. We know how to think from birth.
I got a message from John and a message from George, saying,
"We're going to Wales. We've met this guy.
"We listened to him. He's great. Come."
We'd seen this giggly little Indian guy with a beard coming on TV, and we liked him.
He was a funny little character, who was going to save the world.
So he came around and we were ripe for saving.
You know, I wanted to get into meditation.
But it's one thing reading about it and the other thing of how do you do it?
So I got myself to the point where, "OK, I need a mantra."
You know, where do you go?
You know, do you go to Harrods and get a mantra?
But then David Wynn showed me this picture and said,
"Oh, he's coming to do a lecture at the Hilton.
"He's called Maharishi."
-You give each person a sound, don't you?
Is that the same sound that you give to each person?
-No. Each person gets different.
-How many sounds are there?
-Oh, there are lots of them.
-I mean, hundreds or thousands or...?
We could say thousands.
And when a person has been given their own particular sound,
how do they use it? I mean, when they're meditating,
how do they use the sound you've given them. Why is that sound useful to them?
See, every man has his own impulse of individuality, yes?
Some man goes by and you feel attracted towards him.
Other man goes and you feel repulsed. Something exchanged
in the rhythm of the individual. Like, everyone has his own rhythm.
Now, the rhythm of a sound which will resonate to the existing rhythm of the individual.
-And that will be the sound suitable to him.
So that you try to find, give the person the sound
-that fits in with the rhythm of their own lives and being?
We were at Maharishi's meditation camp
when the news came through about Brian.
And it was horrifying, because we'd experienced loss,
but with Brian dying,
it was like one of us dying.
Uh, and you can kind of come to terms with your parent dying,
because you know they'll probably die before you.
But Brian, it was, "Woah!"
He was such a big part of the equation. People used to call him "the fifth Beatle".
So it was like, "Oh, my God, now we're on our own."
It was very strange for it to happen at that precise moment.
We'd just got involved with this meditation.
You know, I mean, that may not sound like a big deal,
but it actually was. It was... It's a big change in your life
when, you know, when you start making the journey inward.
And for Brian to, like, kick the bucket that particular day,
it was pretty far out.
Is the mantra something you use to get back to the subject
if you find earthly or irrelevant thoughts intruding?
-Yes, sort of.
-Or is it more than that?
You know, you just sort of sit there and you let your mind go,
whatever it's going, no matter what you're thinking about.
Just let it go. Then you just introduce the mantra or vibration
just to take over from a thought.
You don't will it or use your willpower.
If you find yourself thinking
then the moment you realise you've been thinking about things again,
then you replace that thought with the mantra again.
Sometimes you can go on
and you find that you haven't even had the mantra in your mind.
There's just been a complete blank. But when you reach that point,
because it's beyond all experience,
then it's down there and that level is timeless,
spaceless, so you can be there for five minutes and come out.
You don't know how long you've been there.
Then the aim, as opposed to sitting and thinking, or anything
is to reach a part of the sense where you have no thoughts?
JOHN CHANTS MUMBO-JUMBO, LAUGHTER
# Without going out of my door
# I can know all things on Earth
# Without looking out of my window
# I could know the ways of heaven
# The farther one travels
# The less one knows
# The less one really knows. #
The word, for instance, the word "God", I mean has...
Does it mean something different to you now
than it did before the Maharishi?
-It could be.
-It means all sorts of things to me.
It means... I mean, the first concept of a man in the sky,
well, I kicked that one a few years ago.
But I've got back to that now,
because it's a man in the sky as well, if you like.
It's just everything. The whole thing that...
It's just everything.
Every aspect of creation is part of God.
I think that perhaps we should try and get it a little clearer
what we're talking about.
If we're talking about a mystical religious belief,
which I think that George is,
but are we really talking about mysticism
or are we talking about a technique of improving yourself
-which is totally scientific and rational?
-You can take it either way.
You can take it either way.
This is because it is a perceptual method.
If a man has got a great conceptual apparatus and he meditates,
he will begin to understand the nature of a conceptual apparatus and if he's wrong about it,
he'll begin to understand where he's wrong about it.
If he's got no conceptual apparatus, he simply perceives an abstract experience.
Now, when he's had an abstract experience,
he may wish then to give himself explanations of it.
But it's primarily a perceptual method.
-And so what this offers is an experience?
Why should this abstract experience be any more valuable than any other experiences?
George talks about a bliss experience.
You can have a bliss experience by drinking a bottle of whisky.
MURMURS OF DISAGREEMENT
-Speak for yourself.
-Now, why is a bliss experience...
You'd have a non-bliss experience the next morning.
..more valuable than anybody else's experience? Or are we talking about a universe
which has some hidden laws
and a hidden creator, who manifests himself only to people like
Mr Harrison and the Maharishi, when they get into a state of trance? That's what I want to know.
Well, let's face it.
These laws that you say - hidden laws - they are hidden.
But they're only hidden by our own ignorance.
And the word mysticism is just being arrived at
through people's ignorance.
There's nothing mystical about it,
only that you're ignorant of what that entails.
# Arrive without travelling
# See all without looking
# Do all without doing. #
He wanted to be a spiritual being, more than anything,
but he couldn't, because he had to deal with this life.
So he could be loving, because that was really his true nature,
and sweet and kind and gentle.
But then the anger came from the frustration
that he had -
when you glimpse something that you understand,
but you can't be there,
because there's something earthly holding you back.
And he was very aware of that.
What were the earthly things that pulled on him the most?
Well, the other three Beatles
and what they were creating and were continuing to create -
this huge empire, Apple.
I think he felt that he'd found
something that he totally understood and wanted to just be there.
Be in it. He became
totally absorbed with meditation.
"Dear Mum, Thanks for your letter last week
"and if it's any comfort to you, don't worry about me
"or don't think anything negative about Maharishi, because he's not phoney.
"It's only the bullshit that's written about him that's phoney. He's not taking any of our money.
"All he's doing is teaching us how to contact God
"and as God isn't divided into different sects,
"as religious leaders here make out,
"then it doesn't affect my dedication to Sacred Heart in any way. It only strengthens it.
"But we will help to spread his teachings,
"so that everybody can attain this and new generations
"will grow up and have this right from the start,
"instead of going through the ignorance that seems to dominate
"everything and everyone at the moment, causing them to feel that it's mysticism or black magic.
"Don't think that I've gone off my rocker, because I haven't.
"I now love you and everybody else much more than ever.
"So it's not that bad, is it?"
# Creme tangerine and Montlimar
# A ginger sling with a pineapple heart
# A coffee dessert, yes
# You know it's good news
# But you'll have to have them all pulled out
# After the Savoy truffle. #
Whenever we were together, in the public,
say, for instance, I would turn... I mean, for all of the amount
of weight that I thought I carried, would turn to nobody.
If we were going into a restaurant or a club,
the way people would behave around their aura, you know.
I mean, by "their", I mean, the Beatles, was beyond belief.
George had two sides to his character.
I mean, you know, I'm his mate, so I can't tell too much, but he was a guy.
You know what I'm talking about.
He was a red-blooded man, you know.
So he would like, you know, the things guys like.
# But you'll have to have them all pulled out
# After the Savoy truffle. #
I distinctly remember putting the saxes on and I got
what I considered to be a good sax sound. They blended well.
It was very nice and George comes up, after teaching the parts,
and says "Yeah, they sound great.
"Now distort them."
It was, "What?!" "Yeah, they're too clean, they're too nice.
"Distort them." "OK."
So I had to, one way or another, mess them up.
When we were mixing it, George Martin walks into the control room.
He says, "Uh isn't it a bit bright?
"Isn't it a bit toppy?" And George turned around to him
and said, "Yeah. And I like it."
And he just turns around and we carry on working.
And George Martin just upped and walked out, went to a studio where they were doing other work.
They were like the kids that just left home,
whose parents aren't looking after them anymore.
A guy called Joe Massot was making this film
and he'd asked George to do the soundtrack.
It was really just, um.
I showed up, you know.
George told me he'd like me to play on something
and we'd write as we went along.
We put down this thing and George then put backwards guitar on top
and was, you know, it was very experimental and it was good fun.
MUSIC: "Wonderwall" score by George Harrison
I think that, in England, there was a sort of cultural revolution
in the '60s
which touched on every branch of life.
You can thank your lucky stars you're working with me.
And a smile now. Come on.
'That's why Antonioni decided to do Blow-Up in England
because of it being the spot where everything was going on.
What do they call you in bed?
I only go to bed to sleep.
'I remember the mystery that was around'
I wouldn't have asked him a question.
I wouldn't have dared, because of feeling
he was onto something else.
There was a lot of energy around.
Everybody was inspiring everybody else.
We'd go to David Hockney's studio and watch him paint.
"Oh, David, can I just have that little sketch?"
And he'd say, "No, you can't."
And then we'd go off and he'd say,
"Oh, let's go and see the Stones.
"They're recording at so and so."
Then off we'd go there.
So we could just do anything. Nobody minded.
Everybody was flying around like that.
It was all so possible and so easy and we didn't think twice about it.
I was in New York and some people came and said,
"Aren't you coming to London?
"London is swinging. London's great!" And I think, "Well, I don't know."
I was so New York, you know,
I didn't want to, sort of, leave New York.
But then things happened and I went to London and it was great.
There was a, kind of, feeling of freedom
and I felt that it's almost like the air was, kind of,
had an intelligent smell about it, yeah?
George and John and I made...Number Nine.
And that was actually George who, sort of, instigated it.
He said, "Let's do it, let's do it".
And he didn't have that feeling of,
"Well, Yoko is a separate thing and, you know, we shouldn't
"be nice to her or anything like that."
He was just very nice.
I thought it's very interesting
to know about what the Beatles do,
because, you know, I come from an avant-garde background
and all that and here they were making music in a way
that was very different from what we used to do.
It had power of its own.
And I thought, "Well, this is what you can do."
George had two sides, like we all do, you know.
Sometimes he was very nice and sometimes he was
just being too honest or something -
frank about things, yeah?
He would say something right away, before he's thinking.
So he didn't, uh, mince words.
And sometimes it's, you know, "Oh, dear, you think that?" or something.
He'd just hurt me, maybe.
But John said, "Oh, that's George, you know."
And I got used to that, too. It was very nice.
I remember a particular occasion, when I'd written Hey, Jude,
and I brought it in.
And I'd go, # Hey, Jude, don't make it bad. #
And George was playing, # Hey, Jude... #
# Don't make it bad... #
And I had to sort of say, "No, George, look, I really don't think
"you can put a guitar riff after every line, you know."
And it was like a real, "Oh, OK, then."
But, you know, I knew he couldn't do it.
Maybe he knew he couldn't do it.
But it created tension, you know. And it was like...
Then this feeling that I was just dictating things
started to grow, you know.
And I was dictating things, cos I knew how I wanted my song to go.
Similarly, John would say how he wanted his song to go
or George would say how he wanted his to go.
The intensity that they had together must have had its limits
and it had to explode at some point.
Now they were out in London, travelling a lot and getting...
having different people influence them.
So coming back together, it didn't work as well.
I quit the band in '67, on the White Album,
because...I was just in,
I don't know, in some emotional state
where I honestly felt that I wasn't playing well.
For some reason, I felt I just wasn't playing good.
And those three were really close.
And I thought, "Well, I've got to deal with this, anyway."
So, I went over to John's - he was staying with Yoko in my apartment -
and I said, "Look, man," I said,
"You know, I have to say, look, I feel I'm not playing really good.
"And you three are really close."
And he goes, "I thought it was you three."
And I went to Paul's and knocked on his door and I said the same thing.
I said, "You know, you three are really close."
"I thought it was you three!"
And I thought, "Oh, shit, I'm goin' on holiday.
I'm off. And I went to Sardinia.
When I got back, it was, "Oh, come on back.
"We love you", blah, blah, blah."
George had decorated the whole studio with flowers, you know.
And, you know, that was a beautiful moment for me.
# I look at you all
# See the love there that's sleeping
# While my guitar gently weeps
# I look at the floor
# And I see it needs sweeping
# Still my guitar
# Gently weeps
# I don't know why
# Nobody told you
# How to unfold your love. #
It was crap, you know.
We were trying to do the song and it wasn't happening.
You know, they weren't taking it serious.
And, uh, I don't think they were even all playing on it.
And so, I went home that night and I just thought,
"Well, that's a shame, cos I know this song is pretty good."
And then the next day, I was driving into London with Eric,
and I said, "Hey, what're you doing?
"Why don't you come to the studio
"and play on this song for me?"
And he says, "Oh, no, I can't do that.
"Nobody's ever played on a Beatles' record.
"And the others wouldn't like that."
And I said, "Well, you know, look, it's my song
"and I'd like you to play on it."
We'd all learned to grow together and, you know,
some days one'd grow a little taller, and the next day
someone else'd grow a little taller, you know? It's how we were.
It had been a few years since I'd seen them and they had changed.
And this particular song
was a strong view of... It was coming very much from where George had found himself,
as a result of becoming involved with, um, mysticism.
And seeing John and George and Paul sing together,
when they were doing harmonies and things, and Paul playing, I mean, it was fantastic.
# I look at you all
# Still my guitar
# Gently weeps. #
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Martin Scorsese's portrait of the late George Harrison.
Scorsese traces Harrison's life from his beginnings in Liverpool to becoming a world-famous musician, philanthropist and filmmaker, weaving together interviews with George and his closest friends, photographs and archive footage including live performances - much of it previously unseen. The result is a rare glimpse into the mind of one of the most talented artists of his generation. Part one looks at George's early years in The Beatles - from their first gigs in Hamburg and the beginning of Beatlemania, through to his psychedelic phase and involvement in religion and Indian music.
The programme includes contributions from Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, Sir George Martin and Phil Spector.