‘Simply Shady’ is the second song on George Harrison’s fifth solo album Dark Horse.

‘Simply Shady’ is about what happens to naughty boys in the music business. I suppose I got the idea here, at home, and then I escaped to India after that, and I wrote it in Bombay – it was a funny sort of song to be writing in Bombay – especially after the one about Karma!
George Harrison
I Me Mine

Much of Dark Horse was written during Harrison’s separation from Pattie Boyd. The song depicts his melancholy state of mind at the time, as well as susceptibility to drink and drugs.

After I split up from Pattie, I went on a bit of a bender to make up for all the years I’d been married. If you listen to ‘Simply Shady’, on Dark Horse, it’s all in there – my whole life at that time was a bit like [laughing] Mrs Dale’s Diary [a now defunct British radio soap opera].
George Harrison
Rolling Stone, 19 April 1979

There was a bad domestic year, 1974. All that splitting up around the house. ‘Simply Shady’ that song is about it. At the same time I was doing a Splinter album and a Ravi Shankar album and my own album and then during rehearsals, I was trying to finish my album and in the end [business manager] Denis O’Brien carried me out of the studio to my first concert (in Canada) because I was trying to finish the album in time to get it out to coincide with the tour, which is the way the ‘business’ needs it.
George Harrison
I Me Mine

Harrison worked on part of the album with members of LA Express, whom he had seen backing Joni Mitchell in London on 22 April 1974.

We all went back to the hotel and, the next day, the band and Joni went out to Henley-on-Thames to hang out. That night Joni went back to London and the band stayed and recorded with George until all hours of the morning. We cut those two tracks on Dark Horse: ‘Hari’s On Tour (Express)’ and ‘Simply Shady’.
Tom Scott, LA Express
Behind The Locked Door, Graeme Thomson

Previous song: ‘Hari’s On Tour (Express)’
Next song: ‘So Sad’
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