Monday, 6 February 2017

Annie Nightingale With George Harrison - 1. Episode 1

BBC Radio 6 Music broadcast: 27th December 2016

Annie shares an interview she did with George Harrison on his last days with the Beatles & his early days as a solo artist including the Concert for Bangladesh.

This is the original information for the program written in 1977:

Since the Beatles split he has been getting divorced and making albums. He wrote 'Something' for the White Album but he could do nothing with it for 6 months. That and 'Here Comes the Sun' were probably his most successful songs if termed in the number of cover versions that were recorded. 'Something' covered about 150 times - wrote it at the Abbey Road studios at the time of The Beatles' White Album - originally gave the song to Joe Cocker to record - 'Here Comes The Sun' has been covered a few times.

During the last few years with the Beatles he was writing a lot of material but so were the others and so it was very difficult to get anything on an album. It was like "being constipated". Some tracks from 'All Things Must Pass' written back in '66 - tried occasionally to get them on Beatles' album. They officially broke up in 1969 but things had been very bad whilst recording the 'White' album. They had been together too long and were limiting each other. It was a relief for him when they did split. He says that it felt strange playing with other musicians, that he had already left the Beatles before they had finished recording the album 'Let It Be'. Now being a solo artist it's a whole new thing; he did not like being the front man and tried to make others contribute. The first version of 'My Sweet Lord' was by Billy Preston. It was not until his version was recorded that the trouble started. Jodie Miller claimed that it was the same as his song 'He's So Fine'. They had to go to court and Harrison lost. He talks about all the other records that have pieces of other songs in them.

He then goes on to talk about the Concert for Bangladesh. They decided to stage the concert in a big way - film and record it - terribly difficult to get everyone to do it - Bob Dylan needed a lot of encouragement to appear. Eric Clapton was on heroin at the time but finally decided to appear - Eric played tremendous guitar that night without any rehearsal. All the musicians were really good and "put down their own egos". The 2 shows raised $250,000 - with album and film it's about $5 million at the moment. The tax people don't help - they put far too many barriers up - took months to get the film right with Bob Dylan's help. It took 2 years of his life that one concert. The gate money was paid straight to UNICEF by cheque. $110,000 was paid to fly and put musicians up in hotels; that money came from Apple. He hopes the money sent to UNICEF makes its way to the right people. Many people gave money, which was very encouraging; people don't do anything unless they're inspired.

The London Philharmonic Orchestra - Something
James Brown - Something
The Beatles - Something
The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps
George Harrison - Isn't It A Pity
Billy Preston - My Sweet Lord
The Chiffons - He's So Fine
George Harrison - My Sweet Lord
Jody Miller - He's So Fine
George Harrison - This Song
Bob Dylan - A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (Live At Madison Square Garden)
George Harrison - While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Live At Madison Square Garden)
Bob Dylan - It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry (Live At Madison Square Garden)
George Harrison - Bangla Desh (Live At Madison Square Garden)

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