Category: george harrison 1971

George Harrison, Isle of Skye Scotland, 1971, by Pattie Boyd.


George Harrison on the Dick Cavett Show November 23, 1971

         for @templeton21 

George Harrison at Friar Park, 1971, by Pattie Boyd

George Harrison, Isle of Skye Scotland, 1971, by Pattie Boyd.

George Harrison & Eric Clapton, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at the Concert for Bangladesh, August 1 1971, New York City

George Harrison, 1971. It’s like a selfie of his soul.

George Harrison, with Mike Love of The Beach Boys, 1971


George Harrison and Bob Dylan rehearsing “If Not For You” for the Concert for Bangladesh (1971)

“I don’t mean to embarrass Bob or anything like that, but he’s said and done more, I think, than the lot of show business put together. You can take just one tune from back in the Sixties and it’s more meaningful than twenty or thirty years of what everybody else said, and yet he’s cranked out so many of them and said it with such insight and such wit – because that’s the thing that I pick up from him, he’s really funny. And I suppose in a way he’s a hero of mine. But, at the same time, like with Ravi, I’m blessed in as much as being with them just makes life that much better.”

– George Harrison, Living in the Material World

George Harrison and Bob Dylan rehearsing “If Not For You” before the Sunday afternoon show of the Concerts for Bangladesh, Sunday, August 1, 1971. It’s messy, but adorable.

Like The Beatles, Bob Dylan had quit touring in 1966. Unlike The Beatles, and apart from  a 1969 TV performance with Johnny Cash, and an appearance with The Band at the Isle of Wight, Bob had all but disappeared. While he was generally up for lending a hand to George’s effort, he wasn’t sure what to sing, and was even less sure if he was going to be able to pull himself together to even show up at the appointed hour. When George introduced him that afternoon, he was by no means certain that Bob would actually walk out. 

While they were working out which songs to perform together, “If Not For You” was an obvious place to start. A lovely tune that Bob introduced on New Morning almost exactly a year earlier (August 12, 1970), George covered it on his own album All Things Must Pass, which was the #1 album in the US for the first 7 weeks of 1971, and for the months of February and March 1971 in the UK

Neither Bob nor George released “If Not For You” as a single, but in May 1971, it was the debut single for 22 year old Olivia Newton-John. Based on George’s arrangement rather than Bob’s, it reached #7 in the UK, and in the US, #25 on the Billboard Hot 200, and eight weeks straight at #1 on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart! 

(Yes, I bought it. Yes, I still love it. Yes, I will post it later.)

Our boys passed on performing this for the big show(s), but this rehearsal is an enduring reminder that beyond being two of the all-time giants of popular music, and rock gods, they were also both just so incredibly fucking adorable.

George Harrison, “My Sweet Lord.” A 1971, Singapore-only EP that also includes “What Is Life,” “Isn’t It A Pity” and “Apple Scruffs.”