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The band that made George Harrison fall back in love with music


George Harrison’s relationship with music was complex towards the end of his life. With that, he began working in the studio less frequently, a decision that was reflected in his minimal output. Furthermore, Harrison also stopped listening to new acts, but there was one band that helped him rediscover his love of music.

In 1977, Harrison first began to grow discontent with life in the music industry and took a hiatus from everything related to it. In an interview, he explained that he’d “turned off from the music business altogether” and instead began to enjoy life as a family man.

Although this break was only short, with Harrison soon returning with his eponymous album in 1979, his unhappiness with the industry still wasn’t resolved, and it only continued to inflame. The former Beatle lost the love for the art form that drove him in his early days, and there were very few acts that inspired him.

Another reason Harrison’s love for music dissipated was a bitter court dispute centred around his song ‘My Sweet Lord’. The case dragged on for many years, showing the former Beatle an ugly side to the music business that he greatly resented.

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Harrison later looked back on it in an interview with Rolling Stone about the arduous saga which resulted in him being found guilty of ‘subconscious plagiarism’ and stated: “It’s difficult just to start writing again after you’ve been through that. Even now when I put the radio on, every tune I hear sounds like something else.”

In 1992, Harrison opened up to Guitar World and revealed that no new music had “the same spark” as those he admired in his youth. However, he was thankful to his son, Dhani, for introducing him to The Black Crowes, who he greatly admired.

“I can’t say I’ve really heard anything that gives me a buzz like some of that stuff we did in the fifties and sixties,” Harrison admitted. “The last band I really enjoyed was Dire Straits on the Brothers in Arms album. To me, that was good music played well, without any of the bullshit.

He added: “Now I’m starting to get influenced by my teenage son, who’s into everything and has the attitude. He loves some of the old stuff, like Hendrix, and he’s got a leather jacket with Cream’s Disraeli Gears album painted on the back. As for recent groups, he played me the Black Crowes, and they really sounded OK.”

Remarkably, Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms album came out seven years before Harrison’s comments, and for that to be the last record he loved speaks volumes about his dire relationship with music. Thankfully, Dhani helped bring new sounds into his life, reigniting Harrison’s love of music.

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