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George's Sitar-playing
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18 May 2011
1.11pm
McLennonSon
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Rishikesh
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I've been very inspired of George's playing on sitar because it is so sentimental.

And when played sitar on songs like 'Norwegian Wood' and 'When We Were Fab' etc... etc...

It completes the piece musically, and the song is more intresting to hear.

So what do you guys think?

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18 May 2011
4.01pm
Inner Light
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When George first introduced the Sitar into western music on 'Rubber Soul', I knew the direction of the band was going to change. George really started having a major impact in the group. I first heard indian music when I saw 'HELP' in the theater back in 1965 and fell in love with the sound. 

I am so happy he continued to use this instrument in other songs as well and I remember when I first heard 'When We Was Fab' and he had the Sitar at the end I thought that was so awesome. The one thing I liked about George is he stood his ground on what he believed and never wavered from it. He fell in love with Indian music in 1965 and kept his faith and inspiration until his death which I truly admire.   

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18 May 2011
8.08pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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My Problem measuring his talent is I don't know what makes great sitar work. Although I didn't like his 3 Indian songs for a long time, I have now come around (Thanks to Von.)

As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

18 May 2011
9.11pm
Inner Light
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George never was a great Sitar player but he was innovative enough to incorporate into the Beatles music. Ravi Shankar used to say that George was dedicated to learning and that it was a hard instrument for him. I have to admit, the Sitar is difficult. I have not been able to put enough time into my own playing but hopefully with a lot of practice I will continue to learn more.

One thing for sure, when I'm not playing it, I have it up in a corner with a picture of the Taj Mahal above it. I just love to look at it.

The further one travels, the less one knows
19 May 2011
7.59am
McLennonSon
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Rishikesh
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mr. Sun king coming together said:

My Problem measuring his talent is I don't know what makes great sitar work. Although I didn't like his 3 Indian songs for a long time, I have now come around (Thanks to Von.)

That's great!!!

 

Inner Light said:

George never was a great Sitar player but he was innovative enough to incorporate into the Beatles music. Ravi Shankar used to say that George was dedicated to learning and that it was a hard instrument for him. I have to admit, the Sitar is difficult. I have not been able to put enough time into my own playing but hopefully with a lot of practice I will continue to learn more.

One thing for sure, when I'm not playing it, I have it up in a corner with a picture of the Taj Mahal above it. I just love to look at it.

GEESUZ!

You are one GREAT beatles-fan!

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6 May 2015
8.16pm
BenniChann
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I heard there was a Huge debate going on that George Wasn't really Playing the Sitar, What even??

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6 May 2015
8.21pm
Ahhh Girl
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Welcome to the Beatles Bible, BenniChann. Where have you run across that debate? Is there a book or website you could point us to for reference?

6 May 2015
8.23pm
Silly Girl
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Quick derail: 

Welcome to the forum, @BenniChann! apple01 And what my signature says, and that :)  

Sorry, you all go back to discussing George's sitar playing. 

Half of what I say is meaningless... but I say it just to fill the other half with Beatlerubbish. 
 
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6 May 2015
9.29pm
trcanberra
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I love his playing on the Wilbury track "The Devil's Been Busy". It really makes the song work for me.

6 May 2015
10.47pm
BenniChann
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I don't really Have references (;_;) but is was about the story of Ravi Shankar being the 5th Beatle, was he the one that plays the Sitar in "Within You Without You" or "Love You To"? or was it Ravi?

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6 May 2015
11.03pm
Von Bontee
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It does seem to be generally accepted by a lot of people that the sitar player on "Love You To" was someone other than George, someone with much more experience. Not Ravi, however. Weren't the musicians recruited from the Indian Music Society of London or something?

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
7 May 2015
7.03am
Ahhh Girl
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Ah, yes, I see that Joe's entry for Love You To says "other musicians" for the sitar and tambura.

7 May 2015
7.54am
Ron Nasty
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George recruited musicians from the Asian Music Circle in Finchley for Within You Without You. I would suggest it's likely that the additional musicians on Love You To were also from the same organisation.

EDIT:
With some further investigation, I found this quote from a 1992 Billboard interview, where George talks about his initial introduction to Indian music (I have only included the end of the quote, as it seems the most pertinent to George's connection to Indian musicians in London):

The only way I could describe it was: my intellect didn't know what was going on and yet this other part of me identified with it. It just called on me ... a few months elapsed and then I met this guy from the Asian Music Circle organisation who said, "Oh, Ravi Shankar's gonna come to my house for dinner. Do you want to come too?"

This does seem to indicate that the Asian Music Circle were his main contact with Indian musicians in London. This, I think, makes it highly likely that when he needed London-based Indian musicians, his first call would have been to them.

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7 May 2015
12.38pm
Bongo
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I have to admit, I've come to admire more of Georges sitar style songs over the years.  Of course I always considered Norwegian Wood a classic, but that was a Lennon/McCartney composition. a-hard-days-night-george-10

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30 June 2015
6.15am
P3pperish
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In India, people usually start learning sitar, veena, and instruments like that very young. So, considering George played the sitar the way he did on Norwegian Wood, without having much knowledge about the instrument or how to play it (at that point), he did a commendable job. 

Btw, I've heard that George had an excellent way of getting around to play instruments he had nothing to do with in his life before. I heard he played a violin on "All You Need Is Love" having never picked up a violin before that in his life. Is it true?

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30 June 2015
6.24am
meanmistermustard
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Yip to 'All You Need Is Love'. If you listen to the backing track (in the spoiler below) isolated from 'Rock Band' you can hear him scrapping away (he's playing the parts that make you cower). I think he was trying to beat Paul in a game of who can play an instrument the worst after Paul's trumpet horrors in 'Only A Northern Song'.

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30 June 2015
7.30am
P3pperish
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Ok ok.paul-mccartney The isolated version sounds baaadddd! a-hard-days-night-ringo-13

But I still think he did a good job with a sitar. ahdn_george_06

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30 June 2015
10.42pm
Wigwam
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I'd wager not many of us know much about the sitar…….

There's a story about how Ravi and his fellow musicians went on stage for a  trendy Western audience…….. 

After about 10 mins plinking and plonking silence reigned and they received a standing ovation…. Only for Ravi to announce they'd just finished tuning their instruments..

30 June 2015
11.46pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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Smarter people than me: @Wigwam is talking about the Concert For Bangladesh, right? That story was from the CFB, right? I've tried googling it but i can't find the answer. 

As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

1 July 2015
3.02am
Wigwam
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I'll see if I can find the origin……It may not even be true. It was someone like Geoff Lynn……in a slightly self-mocking interview.

I bet you knew that 'Ravi' means 'sun'…..in sanskrit. 

 

Here's the first i found and it was at the CFB.

 

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=OSZKCXtx-wEC&pg=PA191&lpg=PA191&dq=Indian+musicians+given+standing+ovation+for+tuning+up&source=bl&ots=xLi5LnEX7X&sig=yFOy9nXv-5NTIokF1dZCXrrvg-o&hl=en&sa=X&ei=A5-TVY6mAsHJuASDgJ3ADg&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Indian%20musicians%20given%20standing%20ovation%20for%20tuning%20up&f=false

 

Perhaps this is better from our own hallowed vaults…...

 

http://www.beatlesbible.com/19.....la-desh/3/

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