Saturday, November 11, 2006

Interview: George Harrison, London - March 11, 1970

Date: 11 March 1970
Time: 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Location: Studio H25, Aeolian Hall, London
Interviewer: Johnny Moran
Broadcast: 30 March 1970, 4:31-5:15 pm
BBC Radio 1
The Beatles Today

GEORGE: Ringo's completed a great album. I think it's called . . . Sentimental Journey it's called. And it's all the songs that Elsie and Harry and his uncle and aunties, that's his father and mother, they used to all sing and have parties all the time. So he sings all these old songs with the sort of old arrangements. He doesn't do the sort of modern arrangement, and it's really a nice album. Then John's doing an album, a Plastic Ono album, I think he's going to do that with Phil Spector. And I think Paul's doing an album which is, I should imagine like, if you remember Eddie Cochran did a couple of tracks like "C'mon Everybody" where he played bass, drums, guitar, and sang. So Paul's doing this sort of thing, where he's going to play all the instruments himself. Which is nice, because he couldn't possibly do that in the Beatles, you know, if it was a Beatle album automatically Paul gets stuck on bass, Ringo gets on drums. So in a way it's a great relief for us all to be able to work separately at the same time, and so maybe if I get a chance, I'd like to do an album as well, just to get rid of a lot of songs. So maybe. . .

JOHNNY MORAN: Just a George album.

GEORGE: A George album, [laughs] and so I'll try and get that together sometime during this summer, and I expect by that time we should be ready to do a new Beatle album.


GEORGE: It's the end of the Beatles like maybe how people imagine the Beatles. The Beatles have never really been what people thought they were, anyway. So, in a way, it's the end of the Beatles like that, but it's not really the end of the Beatles. The Beatles, you know, are going to go on until they die.


GEORGE: As far as the Beatles go we've got the Let It Be album. It's being held up really because we're trying to put the film out in about forty different cities throughout the world all at once, rather than sort of put on a premiere in New York and then let the critics say, "oh, well we think it's this, and we think it's that."

JOHNNY MORAN: What's the Beatle film going to be about?

GEORGE: The Beatle film is just pure documentary of us slogging and working.


GEORGE: Yeah on the album, and the hold-up of the album is because we want this film to go out simultaneously. Originally we were rehearsing, we were rehearsing the songs that we were planning to do in some big TV spectacular or something. We had a vague idea of doing a TV show, but we really didn't know the formula of how to do it because we didn't really want to do . . . obviously we didn't want to do a Magical Mystery Tour, having already been on that trip, and we didn't want to do sort of the Tom Jones spectacular. And we're always trying to be . . . to do something slightly different. And we were down in Apple rehearsing, and we decided to film it on 16mm, to maybe use as a documentary, and the record happened to be the rehearsal of the record, and the film happened to be, rather than a TV show, it happened to be the film of us making the record. So it's very rough in a way, you know, it's nice because again you can see our warts. You can hear us talking, you can hear us playing out of tune, and you can hear us coughing and all those things. It's the complete opposite to this sort of clinical approach that we've normally had, you know, studio recording, everything, the balance, everything is just right, and you know, the silence in between each track. This is really not like that, but there's nice songs, really good songs on it. "Let It Be", of course, and "Don't Let Me Down." I think they're the two that you people would have heard of. There's one song which is a 12-bar, because I've never written a 12-bar before, and that's called "For You Blue." And it's just a very simple, foot-tapping 12-bar. The other one is a very strange song which I wrote the night before it was in the film, you see. At this time we were at Twickenham, and I wrote this song, it took five minutes just from an idea I had. I went into the studio and sang it to Ringo, and they happened to film it. And that film sequence was quite nice, you see, so they wanted to keep that sequence in the film, but I hadn't really recorded it in Apple with the rest of the songs. So we had to go in the studio and re-record it. Also, we put on "Across The Universe," which was a song on the album . . . for the charity album, it came out for Wild Life and that really got lost. It's been around for about three years now, 1967 [sic] I think we did that.


GEORGE: In fact, some people may be put off at hearing it, it sounds maybe . . . my attitude when we decided to use it as an album was that people may think we're not trying, you know, because it's really like a demo record. But, on the other hand, it's worth so much more than those other records because you can actually get to know us a bit, you know, it's a bit more human than the average studio recording.


GEORGE: I certainly, you know, don't want to see the end of the Beatles. And I know I'll do anything, you know, whatever Paul, John, Ringo would like to do, you know, I'll do it.