‘Crackerbox Palace’ is the ninth song on George Harrison’s seventh solo album Thirty Three & ⅓.

The song was inspired by the Los Angeles home of the late comedian Lord (Richard) Buckley, whom Harrison had admired for several years.

I was in Cannes for the Midem Music Festival in 1975 and I met a man and talked to him and said ‘I don’t know if this is an insult or a compliment, but you remind me of Lord Buckley’. He said ‘I managed him for eighteen years’, which was an incredible coincidence.

Lord Buckley was a hip comedian. He was very ‘up’ all the time and he was very important to me during the sixties.

So I was talking with this guy, George Greif, in France, about Lord Buckley, and he said Buckley lived in an old beaten-up house in Los Angeles which he called ‘Crackerbox Palace’. I thought ‘Ah, that sounds like a song’ and wrote it down on a cigarette pack. I came home and wrote the song; the last verse says:

Some times are good… some times are bad
It’s all a part of life
And standing in between them all
I met a Mr Greif
And he said
I welcome you to Crackerbox Palace
Was not expecting you
Let’s rap and tap at Crackerbox Palace…
Know that the Lord is well and inside of you

Crackerbox Palace is now the world:
I was so young when I was born
My eyes could not yet see
And by the time of my first dawn
Somebody holding me… they said
I welcome you to Crackerbox Palace
We’ve been expecting you

George Harrison
I Me Mine

‘Crackerbox Palace’ was released on 24 January 1977 as the second US single from Thirty Three & ⅓.

The single, with ‘Learning How To Love You’ on the b-side, peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100, and 17 on the Cash Box Top 100.

Monty Python’s Eric Idle directed a promotional video for ‘Crackerbox Palace’ in and around the grounds of Harrison’s Friar Park mansion. The setting caused many to believe that the title was Harrison’s term for his own home.

The video featured Harrison, his future wife Olivia Arias, Neil Innes, Eric Idle, and a number of other friends. It was first shown, along with the video for ‘This Song’, on the 20 November 1976 episode of Saturday Night Live, which featured Harrison as a special musical guest.

I’ve tried a couple of times – I must say, not too serious – but I’ve tried to make a tune into like a reggae feel. ‘Crackerbox Palace’. But like I say, it’s harder than it appears, you know?
George Harrison, 9 February 1979
Roundtable, BBC Radio 1

Previous song: ‘Pure Smokey’
Next song: ‘Learning How To Love You’
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