GW: Did those tight, Beatles vocal harmonies also come out of Hamburg?

GW: Did those tight, Beatles vocal harmonies also come out of Hamburg?

GH: We'd always loved those American girl groups, like the Shirlelles and the Ronnettes. So yeah, we developed our harmonies from trying to come up with an English, male version of their vocal feel. We even covered some of those songs, like "Baby, It's You" on the first album.

GW: The Beatles stopped touring in 1966 around the time of Revolver. That album was a quantum leap in terms of the band's playing and songwriting. Rock could now deal with our inner lives, alienation, spirituality, and frustration, things which it had never dealt so directly with before. What kicked that off was it Dylan, the Byrds, Indian music, philosophy?

GH: Well, all of those things came together around the time of Rubber Soul and Revolver we just became more conscious of so many things. We even listened deeper somehow. That's when I really enjoyed getting creative with music - not just with my guitar playing and songwriting but with everything we did as a band. It all deepened and became more meaningful.

GW: When you did that tour with Eric Clapton in Japan, you opened with "I Want to Tell You" from Revolver. There's a weird, jarring chord at the end of every line that mirrors the disturbed feeling of the song. Everybody does that today, but that was the first time we'd heard that in a rock song.

GH: That's an E7 with an F on the top, played on piano.The song was about frustration we all feel trying to communicate things with just words. I realized the chords I knew at the time just didn't capture that feeling. So after I got the guitar riff, I experimented until I came up with this dissonent chord that really echoed that sense of frustration. John later borrowed it on Abbey Road. If you listen to "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" it's right after John sings "it's driving me mad!"

GW: When you came back from India, did you intentionally copy on guitar any of the techniques you learned there?

GH: When I got back from this incredible journey to India, we were about to do Sgt. Pepper's, which I don't remember much at all. My ears were just all filled up with this Indian music so I wasn't really into sitting there thrashing through "I'm fixing a hole". Not that song anyway! But if you listen to "Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds", you'll hear me try and play the melody on guitar with John's voice, which is what the instrumentalist does in Hindustani vocal music.

GW: What about John? He was a much looser, more intuitive musician and composer. Did you help him flesh things out?

GH: Basically, most of John's songs, like Pauls, were written in the studio. So as the songs were being written, they were being given ideas and structures, particularly by John. As you say, John had this flair or a "feel". But he could also be bad at knowing exactly what he wanted to get across. He could play a song and say, "It goes like this." Then he'd play it again - totally differently! Also his rhythmn was very fluid. He'd miss beats or maybe jump a beat.

GW: Like a lot of old blues players.

GH: Exactly like that. And he'd often do something really interesting in an early version of a song.

GW: The medley on side two of Abbey Road is a seamless masterpiece. How did you manage all that with just four and eight track recorders?

GH: We worked it all out carefully in advance. All of those mini songs were just partly completed tunes. There was a bit of chorus here and a verse there. We welded them all together into a routine. Then we actually learned to play the whole thing live. Obviously, there were overdubs.

GW: Was Paul just trying to hold the band together or was he becoming a control freak?

GH: Well ... sometimes Paul "dictated" for the better of a song, but he also pre-empted some good stuff that could have gone in a different direction. George Martin did that too. They've all apologized to me for all that over the years.

GW: But you were pissed off enough about all of this to leave the band for a short time during the "Let It Be" sessions. What was it that upset you about what Paul was doing?

GH: Paul couldn't see beyond himself. He was on a roll - but it was a roll encompassing his own self. And in his mind, everything that was going on was just there to accompany him. He wasn't sensitive to stepping on other people's egos or feelings. Having said that, when it came time to do the occassional song of mine - although it was difficult to ever get to that point - Paul would then be really creative with what he'd contribute, you just have to listen to the bass line on "Something" to know that, when he wanted to, he could give a lot. But, you know, there was a time when....

GW: How difficult was it to squeeze your songs in between the two most famous songwriters in Rock?

GH: To get it straight, if I hadn't been with John and Paul I probably wouldn't have ever thought about writing a song, at least not until much later.

GW: "Something" was your most successful song. I think every guitar player wonders, did you get that riff first?

GH: No, I wrote that song on the piano. I don't really play piano, which is why certain chords sound brilliant to me - then I translate them to guitar and it's only C.

GW: You made music that awoke and changed the world. Could you sense that special dimension of it all while it was happening, or were you lost in the middle of it?

GH: A combination of both, I think. Lost in the middle of it - not knowing a thing - and at the same time somehow knowing everything. Around the time of Rubber Soul and Revolver it was like I had a sudden flash, and it all seemed to be happening for some real purpose.

GW: Finally, any recent acid flashbacks you care to share?

GH: No, no, that doesn't happen to me anymore. I've got my own cosmic lightning conductor now. Nature supports me.


Q: "We have with us George Harrison in the basement of Comiskey Park in Chicago. George, at the taping last week of your show, I was concerned about whether you would do one song-- 'Help!' and you did it. And the quality of the song in-person, in contrast to the recording, was just so fantastic. I just couldn't believe it. Did the Beatles have problems perfecting a stage sound?"

GEORGE: "No. We've never had much trouble, because right from the beginning when we started recording we used to just record in one take, you know. Things like 'Twist And Shout,' and 'I Saw Her Standing There,' which are all on our first album in England-- we just turned the recorder on, we got a sound balance in the studio, just put the tape on, and did it like that. So we never did any of this overdubbing or adding orchestras or anything like that. And only recently where we've been using a bit of overdub stuff, we've added things like tambourine which you don't notice. You know, because we still like to think we can get basically the same sound on stage."

Q: "You have, in actuality, two personalities-- You're a Beatle, this is your job, your profession. You're also George Harrison, the guy who at first was not a Beatle, and has a family and everything else. Which life do you prefer best?"

GEORGE: "Well, now the two personalties have sort of merged into one. I definitely couldn't go back to, you know, the thing that was going before Beatles. You know, it's just become me. This is my life. If I was taken away from records and guitars and crowds and everything... But my personality, I think, has broadened since we became famous because you can't be inferior in our position. You know, you've got to meet people, you've got to talk, and you've got to be what they expect you to be. So naturally you come out of a shell. That's one thing I think-- Ringo-- it's more obvious with him than with me, say. Because he was very introvert when he joined us, but now he's as extrovert as all of us."

Q: "This is the last question, because this is right after the show and I don't want to keep you long."

GEORGE: "Actually, I don't mind all you fellas because you get... with being on the plane and seeing you every day, it feels as though you're sort of part of the group, rather than on the other side, you know."

Q: "Do you have any individual plans for further songwriting in the future?"

GEORGE: "Umm... Well, I'm still trying to churn out a couple. You know, my main problem is trying to write lyrics. And I don't think it's worth writing songs and getting somebody else to do the lyrics, you know, because there's no point-- You don't feel as though you've done it, really. So I've written a few more songs I've got taped at home, but I don't... If I get something going then I'll tape it, and I'll leave it for about five weeks and I'll suddenly remember. And then I'll add a bit more to it. And so probably it will take me about three months before I've really finished one song. I'm so lazy, you know, it's ridiculous. But I'd like to write more."

Q: "George, thanks alot for talking with us, and I hope you have a great vacation out in Hollywood."

GEORGE: "Oh, thank you."

Najlepsza Odpowiedź!
J. Polski

JOHN: Nasza najlepsza piosenka po dwóch dniach weszla na listy przebojów i wszyscy zaczeli mówic, ze to przekret, bo nasz manager ma sklep i wykupil plyty ze zwrotów. Ale tak nie bylo.
GEORGE: Bylismy w Hamburgu, gdzie kazali nam "mach schau" - robicz szol, wiec robilismy show: John tanczyl jak goryl, a my potrzasalismy glowami. Kiedy wrócilismy do Liverpoolu, gdzie wszystkie grupy staly nieruchomo jak Shadowsi, to my, z naszym zachowaniem, smiesznymi fryzurami i skórzanymi ubraniami zaczelismy robic calkiem niezle wrazenie.

JOHN: Ubieralismy sie w skóry. Nie dlatego, zeby nadac jakis wyglad calej grupie. Po prostu lubilismy to jako ludzie. Kiedy wrócilismy z Niemiec, wszyscy mysleli, ze jestesmy Niemcami. - Jak dobrze mówicie po angielsku - chwalili.

Chodzilismy w skórach az nadszedl czas Briana (Epstein).

Paul: Wlasciwie skóry byly juz niemodne. Zbyt wielu ludzi z nas sie smialo. To bylo glupie. Nie chcielismy tez wygladac jak banda idiotów. Brian zaproponowal, zebysmy chodzili w normalnych garniturach. I tyle.

(rozmowa o efektach obecnej popularnosci zespolu)

GEORGE: Lubimy fanów i cieszymy sie czytajac o sobie, ale czasami to jest takie nierealne. Wiesz, czytam w prasie o George'u Harrisonie i nagle zaczynam sobie zdawac sprawe - O, to przeciez o mnie !

RINGO: Jak sie dowiedza, gdzie mieszkam zabiora mi perkusje. Kiedys chlopcy przyszli po mnie - weszli przywitac sie z rodzicami - musielismy uciekac tylnymi drzwiami, bo od razu znalazlo sie te dwadziescia, trzydziesci osób, które chcialy autograf. Tlum wzrósl do dwustu osób.

GEORGE: Przysylaja nam zelki, czekoladki i inne takie rzeczy, bo kiedys John powiedzial w gazecie, ze mial takie gumisie ale ja mu je zezarlem. Teraz dostajemy tego okolo dwóch ton dziennie, a co gorsza rzucaja tym w nas na scenie. Nawet mam jedna w oku i nie jest to zbyt mile.
(Pytano Beatlesów jak widza swoja przyszlosc i jak dlugo jeszcze potrwa ich kariera.)

JOHN: Mozna byc optymista i powiedziec, ze to potrwa dziesiec lat ale myslimy sobie - bedziemy mieli szczescie, jesli to potrwa jeszcze trzy miesiace.

PAUL: Prawdopodobnie zawsze John i ja bedziemy sobie pisac piosenki, wiesz, troche tak na boku.

GEORGE: Mam nadzieje, ze bede mial troche pieniedzy na zalozenie wlasnej firmy kiedy to wszystko flop'nie. Mam nadzieje, ze utrzymamy sie w biznesie jeszcze jakies cztery lata.

RINGO: Zawsze sobie myslalem, ze bede mial salon fryzjerski dla pan.
J. Angielski

JOHN: "The best thing was (Love Me Do) came to the charts in two days. And everybody thought it was a fiddle because our manager's stores send in these... what is it... record things."

GEORGE: "Returns."

JOHN: "Returns. And everybody down south thought 'Oh, aha! He's buying them himself or he's just fiddlin' the charts,' you know, but he wasn't."
GEORGE: "Actually we'd been at it a long time before that. We'd been to Hamburg. I think that's where we found our style... we developed our style because of this fella. He used to say, 'You've got to make a show for the people.' And he used to come up every night, shouting 'Mach schau! Mach schau!' So we used to mach schau, and John used to dance around like a gorilla, and we'd all, you know, knock our heads together and things like that. Anyway, we got back to Liverpool and all the groups there were doing 'Shadows' type of stuff. And we came back with leather jackets and jeans and funny hair-- maching schau-- which went down quite well."

JOHN: "We just wore leather jackets. Not for the group-- one person wore one, I can't remember-- and then we all liked them so it ended up we were all on stage with them. And we'd always worn jeans 'cuz we didn't have anything else at the time, you know. And then we went back to Liverpool and got quite a few bookings. They all thought we were German. You know, we were billed as 'From Hamburg' and they all said, 'You speak good English.' (smiles) So we went back to Germany and we had a bit more money the second time, so we wore leather pants-- and we looked like four Gene Vincents, only a bit younger, I think. (smiles) And that was it, you know. We just kept the leather gear till Brian (Epstein) came along."

PAUL: "It was a bit, sort of, old hat anyway-- all wearing leather gear-- and we decided we didn't want to look ridiculous going home. Because more often than not too many people would laugh. It was just stupid. We didn't want to appear as a gang of idiots. And Brian suggested that we just, sort of, wore ordinary suits. So we just got what we thought were quite good suits, and got rid of the leather gear. That was all."

(Next, the topic of discussion turned to the present fame of the group, and the sudden glare of media attention.)

GEORGE: "We do like the fans and enjoy reading the publicity about us, but sometimes you don't realize that it's about yourself. You see your pictures and read articles about George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul and John-- but you don't actually think 'Oh, that's me. There I am in the paper.' (smiles) It's funny. It's just as though it's a different person."

RINGO: "When we go home, we go in early in the morning when we've finished a job, and the kids don't know you're at home. But if they find out, where I live, they get the drums out and beat it out! (laughs) 'Cuz it's a play street and, you know, there's no traffic or nothing bothering them. Once when the boys came for me-- they popped in to see me Mum and me Dad, you know-- we had to go out the back 'cuz there were twenty or thirty outside. And they wouldn't believe me mother, you know, knocking and saying 'Can we have their autographs.' So it built up so much. There was about two hundred kids all around the door, peeping through the window and knocking."

(Beatles giggling)

RINGO: (laughs) "In the end, me mother was ill, you know-- terrified out of her life-- with just all these kids and boys and girls, you know."

GEORGE: "They send us alot of Jellybabies and chocolates and things like that, just because somebody wrote in one of the papers about presents and things that we'd had given to us. And John said he'd got some Jellybabies and I ate them. But ever since that we've been inundated. We get about two-ton a night. (smiles) But the main trouble is they tend to throw them at us when were on stage. (laughs) And, uhh, once I got one in my eye which wasn't very nice. (holds finger to eye) In fact I haven't been the same since."

JOHN: "It all sounds complaining, but you know, we're not. We're just putting the point that it affects your home more than it does yourself, you know, because you know what to expect but your parents and family don't know what's happening."

(The Beatles were then asked what they saw in their own future, and how long their fame might last.)

JOHN: "'How long are you gonna last?' Well, you can't say, you know. You can be big-headed and say, 'Yeah, we're gonna last ten years.' But as soon as you've said that you think, 'We're lucky if we last three months,' you know."

PAUL: "Well, obviously we can't keep playing the same sort of music until we're about forty-- sort of, old men playing 'From Me To You'-- nobody is going to want to know at all about that sort of thing. You know, we've thought about it, and probably the thing that John and I will do, uhh, will be write songs-- as we have been doing as a sort of sideline now-- we'll probably develop that a bit more we hope. Who knows. At forty, we may not know how to write songs anymore."

GEORGE: "I hope to have enough money to go into a business of my own by the time we, umm, do 'flop.' (laughs) And we don't know-- it may be next week, it may be two or three years. But I think we'll be in the business, either up there or down there, for at least another four years."

RINGO: "I've always fancied having a ladies hairdressing salon."

(Beatles giggling)

RINGO: (undeterred) "You know, a string of them, in fact! Strut 'round in me stripes and tails, you know. 'Like a cup of tea, Madam?'"