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The Evolution of George Harrison
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Egroeg Evoli
Across the universe
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11 April 2013 - 6.35am

Take a moment to think about the 1963 George, the one who wrote Don't Bother Me and sang songs such as Chains and Do You Want To Know A Secret.

Now, consider the 1968-69 George, the one who wrote songs such as While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Something.

Seems like an entirely different person, right?

Why do you think this is? Is it just because of the Indian influence... or was there something else?

Also known as Egg-Rock, Egg-Roll, E-George, Eggy, Ravioli, Eggroll Eggrolli...

~witty quote~

Ben Ramon
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11 April 2013 - 10.18am

It's an astonishing transition, isn't it? While John, Paul and Ringo generally stayed the same in their characteristics, sensibilities and creative priorities, George did become "an entirely different person." I sometimes wonder if he was just a little too young to be experiencing what the Beatles went through at the height of their fame - Beatlemania kicked off when George was 20, and I think it's to his credit that he wasn't destroyed by it. I certainly would have been. I think George's radical transformation over those four or five years occurred as a reaction to that madness, as an attempt to find some outlet that wasn't tied to being a "pop star." A kind of frustration.

There's certainly some foreshadowing, though; if you look at Don't Bother Me, George's first ever song, he's demanding solitude. Many ensuing ones have a similar theme.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mocker
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11 April 2013 - 3.48pm

Well, as they say, he was 'the Beatle that changed the most'. On the surface it appears that this is so. The factors in this, I think and from what I have read and gleaned from interviews are:

Maturing from a 20 year old to a 25-26 year old (a 20 year old man is pretty much a child...at least I was)

The result of the immense influence of Lennon-McCartney - Imagine being so up close to their songwriting process

His immersion into meditation/spirituality etc. - This certainly changed his whole perspective on the world and opened up the creative doors

McCartney & George Martin seem to intimate that George woke up to the rewards of songwriting and had pretty much gone along for the ride until this awakening.

Lennon seemed to initimate that this was simply George's gradual progression and it came with practicing his songwriting.

I don't have any particular references for the above. Personally though, I think the heaviest influence came from George's immersion into spirituality etc. It was such a massive part of his life and a LOT of his writing was based upon it. Within you and Without you, Something, My Sweet Lord etc. etc.

 

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Von Bontee
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11 April 2013 - 4.04pm

I don't see that George's evolution was any more profound than John or Paul's, myself. They started out writing silly (or otherwise) love songs, and so did he, except that he wrote a lot fewer of them, and no really noteworthy ones until Rubber Soul imo. But I guess the fact that he had to learn to write them all by himself, without any J&P-style give-and-take from a creative partner, makes his development failrly noteworthy.

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

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DrBeatle
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11 April 2013 - 5.40pm

That and the fact that, as he said in the Anthology doc, "they had all those years before we were recording to get their bad songs worked out...I had to compete with their classics when I began writing" (I'm paraphrasing here)

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

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Inner Light
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11 April 2013 - 5.54pm

DrBeatle said
That and the fact that, as he said in the Anthology doc, "they had all those years before we were recording to get their bad songs worked out...I had to compete with their classics when I began writing" (I'm paraphrasing here)

 

Von Bontee said
I don't see that George's evolution was any more profound than John or Paul's, myself. They started out writing silly (or otherwise) love songs, and so did he, except that he wrote a lot fewer of them, and no really noteworthy ones until Rubber Soul imo. But I guess the fact that he had to learn to write them all by himself, without any J&P-style give-and-take from a creative partner, makes his development failrly noteworthy.

I agree with both of these points. Everyone always forgets about all the bad songs that Lennon and McCartney wrote to get to were they were at. George wrote his first song with Lyrics in '63. As far as I'm concerned, George was just as talented as a musician as John and Paul. They all had there own input and style and that is what made them who they were. They needed each other. When George got into spirituality and meditation, this added a whole new dimension into the Beatles sound and production. I think a key to their long success with the period from '67 to their final album 'Abbey Road'

The further one travels, the less one knows

thewordislove94
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11 April 2013 - 7.02pm

Mocker said 

Maturing from a 20 year old to a 25-26 year old (a 20 year old man is pretty much a child...at least I was)
 
His immersion into meditation/spirituality etc. - This certainly changed his whole perspective on the world and opened up the creative doors

These two factors are the biggest ones, and you can't have one without the other. George matured when he realized that people could still be unhappy despite being rich, famous, and adored around the world. This got him into spirituality and the sitar, which made him mature as a songwriter.
 
 
 
  

 

"The world is a very serious and, at times, very sad place - but at other times it is all such a joke."-George Harrison

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Egroeg Evoli
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11 April 2013 - 8.51pm

Von Bontee said
I don't see that George's evolution was any more profound than John or Paul's, myself.

I never said that. I just decided to focus on George.

Also known as Egg-Rock, Egg-Roll, E-George, Eggy, Ravioli, Eggroll Eggrolli...

~witty quote~

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bewareofchairs
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12 April 2013 - 1.29am

I agree that part of it was a reaction to the madness around him as well as the effect LSD had on him. George was apparently a very private person even as a young boy, so aside from being the youngest I imagine that made Beatlemania extra difficult for him. It's a good thing he ended up discovering spirituality because otherwise I think he might have gone down a much darker path. 

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Gerard
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12 April 2013 - 9.58am

Von Bontee said
I don't see that George's evolution was any more profound than John or Paul's, myself. They started out writing silly (or otherwise) love songs, and so did he, except that he wrote a lot fewer of them, and no really noteworthy ones until Rubber Soul imo. But I guess the fact that he had to learn to write them all by himself, without any J&P-style give-and-take from a creative partner, makes his development failrly noteworthy.

A proper love song must always be silly in my opinion.

Silly actually means holy, the English borrowed the German word: "selig" which means the same thing.

If you go to the deeper meaning of love then you could say it is "holy" and thus silly.

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fabfouremily
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12 April 2013 - 4.35pm

This is something I think about a lot, and have been thinking about particularly recently so it's funny that this has come up now.

Everyone that has contributed has practically said everything there is to say in terms of the reasons why he ''changed''. I don't think he liked people saying that, did he?

I think the main difference between 1962/63 George and 1968/69 George is that he grew up in that time. He went from being a 20 year old man to a 26 year old man. He matured.

Plus, there were other factors which have already been mentioned (learning from J&P, discovering God, etc.). Something that hasn't been said though is living away from home and having to support himself. When Beatlemania shocked the world, George hadn't been on his own two feet for very long, and then there were a few years of Brian and his office doing a lot of their work for them (by work, I mean paying bills and things like that). By 1969, he was a full-grown man with his own house, wife, etc. Of course he isn't going to write or think in the same way as somebody much younger who is still new to lot's of life experiences.

Moving along in our God given ways, safety is sat by the fire/Sanctuary from these feverish smiles, left with a mark on the door.

(Passover - I. Curtis)

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Egroeg Evoli
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13 April 2013 - 6.04pm

Gerell said

Von Bontee said
I don't see that George's evolution was any more profound than John or Paul's, myself. They started out writing silly (or otherwise) love songs, and so did he, except that he wrote a lot fewer of them, and no really noteworthy ones until Rubber Soul imo. But I guess the fact that he had to learn to write them all by himself, without any J&P-style give-and-take from a creative partner, makes his development failrly noteworthy.

A proper love song must always be silly in my opinion.

Silly actually means holy, the English borrowed the German word: "selig" which means the same thing.

If you go to the deeper meaning of love then you could say it is "holy" and thus silly.

Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs. What's wrong with that? I'd like to know...

 

fabfouremily said
Something that hasn't been said though is living away from home and having to support himself. When Beatlemania shocked the world, George hadn't been on his own two feet for very long, and then there were a few years of Brian and his office doing a lot of their work for them (by work, I mean paying bills and things like that). By 1969, he was a full-grown man with his own house, wife, etc. Of course he isn't going to write or think in the same way as somebody much younger who is still new to lot's of life experiences.

I hadn't thought of that. Very true.

Also known as Egg-Rock, Egg-Roll, E-George, Eggy, Ravioli, Eggroll Eggrolli...

~witty quote~

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JauntyMonty
93 Posts
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3 July 2014 - 4.12am

Egroeg Evoli said
Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs. What's wrong with that? I'd like to know...

'Cause here I go . . . . AGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!

IIIIIIIIIIII LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVEEEEEE YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Sorry. 

"Something in the way she moves . . . attracts me like a pomegranate" - George Harrison

Jeff20
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3 July 2014 - 12.59pm

It's a combination of factors.  He was growing up and much more mature in the late sixties.  His experience with meditation and LSD had a profound inspiration in his life as far as he saw the world.  Plus the whole Beatlemania circus affected him in ways of wanting to be left alone and the craziness of stardom.

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