The Story Of The Life-changing Advice John Lennon Gave To George Harrison

via @Beatle Stories | YouTube

It is no news that after parting ways with The Beatles, George Harrison had a great solo career, but what not many knows is that most likely this would not have happened without the help of John Lennon.

The frontman of the Liverpool quartet can sometimes be perceived as an egomaniac determined to defend his work above others, but the truth is that Lennon was eager to see the success of all the Beatles, in or out of the band. So when George was struggling to speed up his songwriting, Lennon gave him advice that not only changed what was left of his time with the Fab Four but potentially did the same with his entire life.

“The most difficult thing for me is following Paul’s and John’s songs,” Harrison once said os having to work within the band of songwriters. “Their earlier songs weren’t as good as they are now, and they obviously got better and better, and that’s what I have to do.”

Harrison would eventually overcome his own “complexes” on writing music. 

“I used to have a hang-up about telling John and Paul and Ringo I had a song for the albums because I felt at that time as if I was trying to compete. I don’t want the Beatles to be recording rubbish for my sake just because I wrote it — and on the other hand, I don’t want to record rubbish just because they wrote it.” For Harrison, it was simply, “The group comes first.”

Of course, Harrison’s tme with The Beatles was productive, and in the later stages of the band’s career, the guitarist’s impact was conceivably the most enduring. Producing some of the best Fab Four songs like “‘ While My Guitar Gently Weeps ”, “ Here Comes The Sun” and, of course, the timeless “Something ”, which would not have happened without Lennon.

Harrison: “I wrote the song ‘Something’ for the album before this one, but I never finished it off until just recently. I usually get the first few lines of words and music together, both at once and then finish the rest of the melody. Then I have to write the words. It’s like another song I wrote when we were in India. I wrote the whole first verse and just said everything I wanted to say, and so now I need to write a couple more verses. I find that much more difficult.”

Fortunately, the glorified Beatle had remarkable advice for the fledgling songwriter: “John gave me a handy tip,” Harrison remembered. “He said, ‘Once you start to write a song, try to finish it straight away while you’re still in the same mood.’ Sometimes you go back to it and you’re in a whole different state of mind.”

“So now, I do try to finish them straight away,” recalled Harrison. After accepting the advice, he created one of the sweetest songs in the band’s history.

It’s a manner that Harrison carried with him into his solo music and the debut solo album All Things Must Pass which put George Harrison at the peak of the Beatles group, if just for a little while.