Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: David Parker / Alamy)

Music

The one thing about making music that George Harrison hated

@josephtaysom

The process of making music was one that George Harrison once adored, and creating something from a tiny grain of inspiration gave him an incomparable thrill. However, this later changed after one facet of the industry cancelled out his joy.

Harrison began to grow ill feelings towards the music business after his track ‘My Sweet Lord’ became the subject of a long-winded lawsuit, one that opened his eyes to the dirty side of his profession. It was a different world from the one he hoped to be a part of, and dealing with suits was something that Harrison had never planned for.

A few months after the track’s release, The Chiffons’ publishing house Bright Tunes Music noticed the similarities to ‘He’s So Fine’ and sued Harrison for plagiarism.

It would take years for the case to conclude, and every passing day took its toll on the Beatle as life in music became far more complicated than he ever imagined. Harrison’s former manager, Allen Klein, bought Bright Tunes in 1976 after Harrison dismissed him, and he then took bitter revenge.

Eventually, he was found guilty of committing “subconscious plagiarism” on August 31st, 1976, and ordered to pay around $1.6 million, completely switching his relationship with the music industry.

George Harrison once gave Paul Simon the ultimate Beatles gift

Read More

A year after the unwanted incident, Harrison opened up about his dismay at the industry, which had made him seek pleasure from other art forms, and he lost his desire even to pick up a guitar.

“I am a bit out of touch with the other music,” he admitted to Rolling Stone. “There’re certain artists that I always like to listen to, but I don’t listen a great deal to the radio. I just got out of it – I was ‘skiving,’ as the English say. Everybody else doesn’t notice, because if your past records still get played on the radio, people don’t notice that you’re not really there. But I just got sick of all that,” he added.

After spending close to a decade in the most famous faction on the planet, seeking notoriety was no longer something Harrison cared to crave, and he was content lurking in the shadows. “Really, it comes down to ego,” he continued. “You have to have a big ego in order to keep plodding on being in the public eye. If you want to be popular and famous, you can do it; it’s dead easy if you have that ego desire. But most of my ego desires as far as being famous and successful were fulfilled a long time ago.”

The constant self-promotion was another bugbear for Harrison, who’d rather have been at home gardening. He said the “whole thing of when you put it out, you become a part of the overall framework of the business. And I was a bit bored with that. If I write a tune and people think it’s nice then that’s fine by me; but I hate having to compete and promote the thing. I really don’t like promotion”.

Over the final decade of his life, Harrison finally jumped off the conveyor belt. He decided that the rewards of releasing music didn’t outweigh the positives of his albums resonating with his audience. Additionally, the guitarist didn’t need the financial incentives and instead found solace in leading a quiet, distraction-free family-oriented life.

Follow Far Out Magazine across our social channels, on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.