For Millennials. By Millennials.
As the quiet Beatle, there’s no secret that George Harrison’s talent took some time to shine. But, as The Beatles came to an end, the time for Harrison to shine had arrived. And that was especially obvious by the time of ‘Abbey Road‘. A former Beatles Engineer confirms that by the end, Harrison had grown ‘ultra-confident’.
The other Beatles always ignored George
Despite growing as a musician, George Harrison had a hard time convincing John Lennon and Paul McCartney to include more of his tracks in their LPs. In the initial albums, he barely got one song, but as his talents blossomed, he was no longer content with just one or two songs in the album.
It was so tough for Harrison that even while recording Let It Be, he only got 4 minutes’ worth of material. George recorded songs like “All Things Must Pass,” “Let It Down,” and “Hear Me Lord“, but McCartney and Lennon ignored all three of them. Of course, these songs ended up becoming famous hits when Harrison released them in his solo albums.
However, by the time the Beatles recorded ‘Abbey Road‘, George was having none of it. He refused to be denied any further, recalls Geoff Emerick, the former Beatles engineer.
Former Beatles engineer reveals how Harrison became ultra-confident
In his book Here, There, Everywhere (2006), Emerick provides a unique look into the life of the fab four. When he talks about Abbey Road, Emerick noted that:
A lot of time and effort went into ‘Something,’ which was very unusual for a Harrison song.
This means that even when the Beatles’ final recording sessions took place, John and Paul still considered George Harrison beneath them. However, this time Harrison wasn’t giving in to the pressure. And it became obvious when Harrison tried telling McCartney what to do on the bass part of Something. Emerick recalls:
It was a first in all my years working with the Beatles. George had never dared tell Paul what to do.
This show of confidence by George Harrison forced Geoff Emerick to change his opinion of him. But, there was more to come from Harrison. George wasn’t convinced with his guitar solo from Something. So, Emerick suggested to him that he record his solo live with the orchestra. Instead of flinching for a second, he immediately said, “Ok, let’s do it”. And he recorded his solo with the orchestra in just a few takes!
It took a lot of nerve and self-confidence (for George) to be willing to put himself under that kind of pressure.
This just perfectly encapsulates how George Harrison was ready to embark on the journey of his solo career. And what a career he had!