Hear the secret recording session George Harrison and Bob Dylan shared in 1970
We’re digging into the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you a very special session between two of rock and roll’s greatest songwriters, the iconic Bob Dylan and George Harrison, dating back to 1970.
It’s no secret Bob Dylan, like the rest of the world, had his favourite Beatle and it’s no secret that it was the band’s mercurial guitarist, George Harrison. Furthermore, Dylan wasn’t just a fan, he was also a close friend and a mentor.
Dylan’s particular affection for Harrison was a known fact. The two songwriters collaborated on a number of occasions, most notably with the supergroup Travelling Wilburys which also included Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. However, this session ranks as some of their best.
Aside from this, Dylan saw Harrison as one of the most important songwriters of a generation. However, he later admitted that working with Harrison in an attempt to try and find his voice outside of The Beatles, George constantly referenced the freewheelin’ Bob Dylan as an influence.
“George got stuck with being the Beatle that had to fight to get songs on records because of Lennon and McCartney. Well, who wouldn’t get stuck?” he said in a 2007 interview. It’s hard to argue with, it must’ve been relatively stifling to sit between two such musical powerhouses as John and Paul. “If George had had his own group and was writing his own songs back then, he’d have been probably just as big as anybody.”
In 1970, Dylan got together with The Beatles’ man with the guitar for a recording session from which produced this beautiful set of gentle guitar fumblings. Not only does the session include a cover of The Beatles classic ‘Yesterday’ but also an ethereal rendition of the Everly Brothers’ ‘Dream Dream Dream.’ It’s a warm and charming combination that highlights one thing more than anything else—these two are truly great friends.
The session was a relatively scandalous affair at the time. With The Beatles only recently disbanded, Harrison meeting with the folk singer was seen as a bit of a betrayal. Dylan’s producer Bob Johnston even denied the session took place: “Where did you hear that? Some people’ll say anything!” he said.
However, the session surely did go ahead and it provides one of the finest collaborative recording sessions you’ll ever hear as the two songwriters trade covers and smiles.
As we’re all looking for an extra bit of happiness in our lives, this session has it in spades.