It was written with The Faces’ guitarist Ronnie Wood, who joined The Rolling Stones in 1975. In 1974 Wood was working on his first solo album, I’ve Got My Own Album To Do, and co-wrote ‘Far East Man’ with Harrison. It was their only songwriting collaboration.
The idea came about because the Faces had done a tour of the Far East – and Woodie came into the session wearing a tee shirt with the wording ‘Far East Man’ (far out man!).
I Me Mine
Wood’s version, with Harrison on backing vocals, was released in September 1974. Harrison re-recorded it the following month in Los Angeles for Dark Horse.
The tune to the verse of ‘Far East Man’ was written with Ronnie Wood. We stumbled on it and other things during 1974. He wanted it then for the album he was making I’ve Got My Own Album To Do – and so he phoned me up and said ‘Can you write some words’ and so I thought of the words driving down the M4 on my way to his house, and as I couldn’t write them down I had to remember them in my head. I wrote the middle-eight to the tune and lyrics as we were starting to routine the song. I liked the song a lot and I brushed up the lyrics a bit, changed them here and there and generally made them better, and recorded it for my album Dark Horse.
I Me Mine
Wood’s album featured bass guitarist Willie Weeks and drummer Andy Newmark. Harrison invited both to join his live band for his 1974 North American tour, prior to which they cut several Dark Horse songs.
We were so happy to be part of it, this was like a big thing to all of us. We were completely thrilled to be asked to play on his record, to be invited to his home and experience the hospitality. It was the most exciting thing to happen to me. I had to keep pinching myself to remember it was real.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Simon Leng
The recording begins with Harrison’s spoken dedication to Frank Sinatra: “We love you, Frank, and we hope you include this one at Caesars Palace on your next live album.” That was likely a reference to Sinatra’s description of The Beatles’ ‘Something’ as “the greatest love song of the past fifty years”.