For the second time in 1969, George Harrison gave an interview to the BBC’s David Wigg for the Scene And Heard show.
Again the interview took place in The Beatles’ Apple headquarters in London’s Savile Row. Extracts were first heard on 12 and 19 October 1969, with both editions broadcast from 3-4pm.
The conversation began with Harrison discussing his public persona. He claimed that the Beatle George tag, although likely to remain with him for life, was largely irrelevant compared to more spiritual matters.
Talk turned to The Beatles fortunes, and how much tax the group gave to the British government. Harrison quoted from the Abbey Road song ‘You Never Give Me Your Money’, and claimed that “it’s illegal to keep the money you earn”. He adds, however, that money doesn’t necessarily bring happiness.
As with many of Harrison’s interviews of this time, religion played a key role. Harrison spoke of his first encounter with members of the Radha Krishna Temple and how he agreed to record Hare Krishna Mantra with them. Wigg asked if he practiced abstinence from alcohol, drugs, meat and extra marital sex, like other members of the Krishna movement, and Harrison explained that he had given up alcohol and meat, hadn’t taken drugs since before his March 1969 drugs bust, adding that a clean mind and body were needed to get spiritually high.
On the subject of Abbey Road, Wigg described Harrison as a “late developer”, although Harrison tells him that he contributed four songs to the White Album, adding that he shouldn’t be compared to John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Asked about the inspiration behind ‘Something’, Harrison said it was “Maybe Pattie, probably”. He was more forthcoming about ‘Here Comes The Sun’, telling the story of its genesis, and explaining how important it was to complete a song as soon as possible – citing an unfinished composition from Rishikesh.
Harrison said his favourite song from Abbey Road was ‘Because’, and spoke approvingly of its three-part harmony. He also sang a bit of ‘Yes It Is’, and praised ‘Golden Slumbers’ and ‘Octopus’s Garden’.
Less welcome was talk of The Beatles returning to the stage. He did, however, admit that he enjoyed playing the guitar. The interview closed with Harrison again saying that he would always be spiritually connected to the other Beatles, adding “if you’re listening, I’m the walrus too!”
Also on this day...
- 2015: Ringo Starr live: Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, Victoria, BC, Canada
- 2014: Ringo Starr live: Moody Theater, Austin, Texas
- 2010: Google publishes animated tribute to John Lennon
- 2010: John Lennon fingerprint card seized by FBI
- 1971: UK album release: Imagine by John Lennon
- 1968: Recording: Long Long Long, I’m So Tired, The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill
- 1964: Recording: She’s A Woman
- 1962: Radio: The Friday Spectacular
- 1960: Live: Kaiserkeller, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.