During 1977 I went to a lot of Formula One races, and I didn’t write any songs at all. I started feeling guilty because so many of the racing people were relating to me as George the Musician. But while they were entertaining me, I was not working.
I had been talking to Niki Lauda after the Watkins Glenn Race and he had said ‘Nothing nicer than being able to go home, relax and listen to some nice songs and records’.
I thought I should do some work and maybe write a song that Niki-Jody-Emerson and the gang could enjoy. That would make me happy. That was my inspiration.
Anyway, I thought I had better at least try. People had been telling me about Randy Newman: how he thought he had dried up. Then I was thinking ‘maybe it’s possible’ (paranoia!). But again I don’t really believe you dry up – I can imagine getting tired and lazy and not wanting to do it – but if you do have the desire to do it there is an unlimited supply to draw on.
It was sitting in the garden in a hut looking at the water as it was pouring with rain. We were having leaks in the house because some drain had blocked and I’d gone out in my hat and raincoat and was down there in the hut getting away from it all. The problems start when you get attached to the problems! That’s when the mind gets involved in too much thinking of whether one is supposed to go here, or do this or that; you know – the bullshit.
I was feeling rotten, a bit ratty; not feeling good in myself,.and it was all getting next to me. It is remembering again that that isn’t me. Remember what the masters say ‘I am basically a potentially divine, wonderful human being’, and all this rattiness or not feeling good is me attaching myself to the mind. The biggest thing that screws us up in life is the mind, it plays tricks on us and can trip you over.
I thought ‘I don’t have to feel all this! I do love everybody’, and that is really all you’ve got to do, manifest your love. The only thing we really have to work at in this life is how to manifest love.
All I’ve got to do is to love you
All I’ve got to be is to be happy
And that was ‘Blow Away’, as simple as that. I came in, found the chords to the tune that came into my head and then some time later wrote the verse. But then I thought that the tune was so obvious somehow, I got a bit embarrassed by it and didn’t want to play it to anybody. But when I recorded it I actually liked it more.
I Me Mine
‘Blow Away’ was the lead single from the George Harrison album.
It reached number 16 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and 12 on the Cash Box chart. In the UK it peaked at 51, but did better in Canada, where it reached number seven.
‘Blow Away’ I like because it’s so catchy; in fact, I was a bit embarrassed about it at first, but it turned our good and people seem to like it. That was the first new tune I wrote. I was in the garden and it was pouring down with rain, and I suddenly became aware that I was feeling depressed, being affected by the weather. And it’s important to remember that while everything else around you changes, the soul within remains the same; you have to constantly remember that and fight for the right to be happy.
Rolling Stone, 19 April 1979