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George Harrison: Loner?
20 January 2014
9.32pm
Expert Textpert
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I am reading Anthology and this quote seems to shed some light on some inner darkness in George.  He is talking about being witness to John and Paul writing songs and how he ended up writing them alone:

"Writing on my own became the only way I could do it, because I started like that.  Consequently, over the years, I never really wrote with anyone else and I became a bit isolated.  I suppose I was a bit paranoid because I didn't have any experience of what it was like, writing with other people.  It's a tricky thing.  What's acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another.  You have to trust each other."

Am I alone in thinking this points to some inner qualities in George, maybe some bitterness and introversion and lack of trust?

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

20 January 2014
9.57pm
Billy Rhythm
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I'm not sure when exactly that specific interview that you referenced took place, but I'm guessing that it was back in the earlier days, or George reflecting upon his early days.  He collaborated quite well with Ringo later on, and then eventually with the Traveling Willburys who as you know were comprised of some great writers in the own wright.  Socially, he was no "Loner", as evidenced by the multitude of close friends that flew from all over the world to pay tribute at the one year anniversary of his passing during the 'Concert For George', you could even make a good case that he was perhaps, along with Paul, the most social of all four, even if that wasn't as much the case earlier on...:-)

20 January 2014
10.47pm
ivaughan
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Yeah, it seemed to me that Harrison was quite extroverted.

20 January 2014
11.15pm
HeyTrud
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I've heard an interview with George where he makes a comment something like "it's pretty hard to write good songs when you have two musical geniuses in the band writing all the hits".  I think he definitely felt isolated in that capacity.

I believe it was also in Anthology where I read when George was writing Taxman and needed some help.  He wouldn't go to Paul, of course, so he asked John.  John helped him, but said he "didn't want to help him".  I thought that said a LOT.

I don't think he was a loner, as Billy Rhythm said, but definitely introverted.  I found a lot of his comments in Anthology leaning toward the fact that he didn't enjoy being famous, etc.

"....take a sad song & make it Meilleur"....

20 January 2014
11.40pm
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I seem to recall that at some time or other he spent lots of time alone in his mansion without many visitors.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

20 January 2014
11.52pm
Inner Light
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I think Beatlemania pushed him to the edge. As soon as the last show at Candlestick Park was completed he flew to India to start his journey of self realization. He needed time to heal and cleanse himself. He was in constant battle with the material world and spiritual world and wanted to find out more about himself and why he was here and what God had in store for him. Sometimes to do this you end up shutting yourself down and closing yourself to the world. I am sure that Friar Park and becoming a Gardner helped him. Being a loner is not a bad thing as long as you don't shut yourself off from everyone. He always seemed to have close relationships with those near him. I think that Olivia helped him to get through the tough times and help getting him back on the road to recovery.  

 

The further one travels, the less one knows
21 January 2014
2.22am
bewareofchairs
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Funnily enough, reading "Tune In" I got the impression that Paul was more of a loner than George, at least when they were younger. 

Maybe he felt that way at first, but in later years he seemed to really enjoy working with musicians like Ringo, Splinter, Badfinger, Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, The Traveling Wilburys, etc. Klaus mentions in his book that when he worked with him, George was very into collaborating with everyone and making everyone feel involved, much more so than John.

21 January 2014
2.51am
ivaughan
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I still get the sense that Paul is more of a homebody. I guess George was too, but very likely to invite people over. Are there many stories of nightly singalongs going on at the Macca household that extends towards anyone outside the family unit?

21 January 2014
3.11am
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ivaughan said
I still get the sense that Paul is more of a homebody. I guess George was too, but very likely to invite people over. Are there many stories of nightly singalongs going on at the Macca household that extends towards anyone outside the family unit?

mmm and I dreamed up one once :-) Hot chocolate was involved if I remember correctly.

 

21 January 2014
3.50pm
fabfouremily
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I know he spent a lot of time on his own at different stages in his life, but does that make him a ''loner''? He had plenty of friends, some of them very close, so I don't think that term is really appropriate.

I think he doubted his talents sometimes, but that doesn't say much about the rest of his personality IMO.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

22 January 2014
9.05pm
Zig
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It seems many people think/thought he was a 'loner'. It was addressed in an interview someone posted in these pages a while back. When the interviewer asked him about that perception, George basically replied that he goes/went out quite often, but never felt the need to publicize it.

There are many references (most recently in Lewisohn's book) to George's dislike for nosey people. I always got the impression he was more private than lonely.

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Oudis

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22 January 2014
9.28pm
Sky999
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I think he was defiantly introverted. People seem to think because you are quiet that you must be a loner or something is wrong with you; however, it is just the opposite of that. Sometimes being around a lot of people or just being around people all the time can be quite draining as an introvert. Which maybe one of the reasons he did not like touring that much in The Beatles heyday. After being around people for a while, you sort of have to recharge and spend alone time. You don't have to talk all the time. He spoke his mind and cracked jokes when he want it to. I say this as being a introverted person myself. 

He may have had some insecurities as well such as doubting his songwriting. I could imagine it would be a bit stressful to compete with John & Paul. Or to even ask for their help. He may have had other doubts too. 

23 January 2014
12.13am
trcanberra
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From what I have seen in the Scorsese documentary he was far more social than I imagined - just look at all that stuff with the Formula-1 teams and drivers.

23 January 2014
1.00am
meanmistermustard
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George wasn't a loner, he just liked his privacy away from the gazing and prying media and public who wanted to know every single thing about him. Since he didn't give pointless interviews for no reason other than getting his name in the paper or play their game, George got the reputation of being some kind of mad recluse, but he was out there doing things, seeing people, just not doing a song and dance about it like so many celebs do.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
23 January 2014
1.20am
Gerard
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not to mention that stabbing incident

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23 January 2014
1.31am
Inner Light
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meanmistermustard said
George wasn't a loner, he just liked his privacy away from the gazing and prying media and public who wanted to know every single thing about him. Since he didn't give pointless interviews for no reason other than getting his name in the paper or play their game, George got the reputation of being some kind of mad recluse, but he was out there doing things, seeing people, just not doing a song and dance about it like so many celebs do.

Very well put!

The further one travels, the less one knows
29 January 2014
5.16pm
thisgirlthatgirl
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I've never had the impression that George was a loner, he always came across quite sociable, adept at making friends and, from an early age, pretty outgoing.

From Chris O'Dell and Patti's books, it seems like there was always a small entourage hanging around Friar Park, so it seems like he chose to be part of a crowd. I guess he wrote alone (while in The Beatles) because there was no-one really to write with. He collaborated a lot outside of the group...

It's interesting that he became close friends with Eric Idle, who was also a sole writer in his group.

Peace and love

29 January 2014
11.50pm
Billy Rhythm
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Here' a nice little clip of George socializing in an English Pub, it's a pretty casual setting where George is conversing about the London Bob Dylan show that he'd attended the previous night.  Hanging out at the neighborhood Pub & going to concerts isn't exactly what I'd call "loner" behaviour, and if you ever wanted to know what it's like to have a late night drink with George Harrison then go pour yourself a little something and pull up a chair:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....A2MJlmeju8

 

It's hard to picture the others doing anything like this, maybe Ringo back in the day when he was a drinker but knowing him he'd probably have balked at the idea of doing it on television, this man appears to me to be quite social and not at all uncomfortable about it...:-)

10 February 2014
12.20am
tulane
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I did read somewhere that George said when he did his 1974 tour, he saw that much of the audience had shown up predominantly to get wasted rather than for the music and he said to himself "have I got anything in common with these people"?

I don't think loners usually want to be alone - it's just that they feel they don't fit in and so basically have little choice but to go it alone.

Also, George was of course very interested in Indian culture and eastern religions, the sitar etc and very few English speaking people are interested in stuff like that so again George would feel out of place.

I read somewhere that Eric Clapton said that George became a recluse after the stabbing, which is sad but understandable.

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29 July 2014
8.21am
Oudis
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I apologize for my ignorance, but could anybody please post a link to the “stabbing incident”? I’ve no idea what happened.

Thanks and sorry,

Oudis.

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