GEORGE THE GUITARIST   part 2

 

 

HARRISON AND THE SLIDE GUITAR

George was always learning and practicing music. As we know, he's interested in many different music styles. 

George experimented a lot with guitars. That was already obvious in the Beatles period. Trink, tor instance, 

about '12-Bar Original'. Recorded on November the 4th, 1965, and represented in a shortened version on 

ANTHOLOGY 2. Here George already experimented with several foot pedals with different effects.

George got in contact with playing slide guitar in 1969, when he played in the backing band of Delaney and Bonnie.

Slide (also called bottleneck) means playing with a small metal tube around the finger. He had never played the guitar 

that way before, but still it made rum decide to give it a try. Eventueally he did a good job.

For a recognizable point in George's guitar work is often rus choice tor melodious slide solos.

Through the years his slide guitar playing became appreciated. Many friends and fellow musicians invited George to 

do the slide work on their records. For instance, big names like John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynne 

and Duane Eddy invited George to show what he could do on their albums.

On all his solo albums George played several slide solos. aften they weren't fast and creaky, but pure and melodious.

George often used the Fender Stratocaster for his slide work, like on a very recent Beatles number, 'Free As A Bird'.

Actually, Paul McCartney has never been too impressed by George's slide playing.

From Paul we know that he likes a little more solid slide work, instead of George's pure and melodious style. 

So during the making of 'Free As A Bird' Paul was a little insecure about George's slide part. But after aIl the result 

(and Paul thinks so too) was sublime. George had energy coming out of his toes while a somewhat heavy sound. 

So George surely is an allround guitarist and musician. Rhythm parts, solo's, slide work, sitar, etc. George certainly has 

no problem with any of it.

LIVE PERFORMANCES

George isn't really known as being a live artist. Not that he plays miserably during live shows, but something 

keeps George from performing. Through the years we have come to know George as being slightly unsociable. 

Strange? Not at all! He wants to have peace around his own person and just wants to be a human being. 

Could you disagree with him? Still, George appeared on stage quite a lot during his career. Of course I can't

discuss all of his career as far as live performances are concerned, but a small important list of big performances 

should be no problem.

 

August the 1st, 1971

New York - Madison Square Garden

On behalf of Bangladesh, George played two concerts with friends like Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ravi Shankar, 

Billy Preston, etc. George was the big conductor of the concerts. They went down in history as one of the biggest 

and best charity performances. Actually the precursor of Live Aid. The concerts were filmed and shown on TV 

several times. A triple LP box and a double CD set exist as well: the LP box Apple STCX 3385, CD-2 Epic 468835

(Sony Music), and for a short while it was on sale on video.

 

November the 2nd, 1974 -December 20,1974

North American Tour (USA and Canada),

During this period George did fortyfour concerts in the USA and Canada to promote rus (then to be released) album

DARK HORSE on December the 20th, 1974. In this period during the concerts George had to put up with some 

negative comments from the press and even fans. People expected George to be the Beatle, playing songs like 

'Something', 'Here Comes The Sun', 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and 'Taxman'. George chose for many Indian 

sounds through his friend Ravi Shankar, soul sounds through friend, organist and singer Billy Preston and himself 

revealed his deep respect for Hare Krishna.

George went his own way during this tour. Although the music was not bad, the audience didn't get spoiled with real

Beatle sounds. Adding the fact that George's voice was very bad and hoarse from a1 his studio work just before the tour.

George on the 1974 North American Tour: "I know that every time at least ten people will say at the end of a show it 

was worthless. But I also know that there were more than a hundred who, when you ask them "Did you get what you wanted?", will say "We got a lot more than we ever dared hope for". People expect so much. If you don't expect anything,

life is one big bonus. But if you expect too much you will be disappointed. I don't let anyone down. Why do people want Beatle George?

I'm not saying that's what I am. Ghandi says you should choose and create an image you like. You should hold on to that

image and maintain it. The image I chose for was never the one of Beatle George.

Why should I live in the past? You should be in the presence, whether you like me or not. This is me!", says a fanatic, and a

maybe right George in 1974.

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