George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011) - full transcript

George Harrison first became known to the world as "The Quiet Beatle" of the Fab Four, but there was far more to his life than simply being a part of The Beatles. This film explores the life and career of this seminal musician, philanthropist, film producer and amateur race car driver who grew to make his own mark on the world. Through his music, archival footage and the memories of friends and family, Harrison's deep spirituality and humanity are explored in his singular life as he took on artistic challenges and important causes as only he could.

This programme
contains some strong language.

You know, just go ahead, George,

go on and fly away, babe.

Just be free and go.
And we'll see you down the line.

Erm... Just, leave.
Go to some place nice.

We'll be all right here.

And then he went on out.
That was it.

Is there anything you would say
to George if he was around today?

Fancy a cup of tea?

Where have you been?
I had a dream that I saw him.

And that was what I said to him
in the dream.



So I guess that's what would
be the question, wouldn't it?

Where've you been
since I last saw you?

And he answered it, so I can
tell you the answer as well,

which was, "Here the whole time".

Which doesn't really
help me in any way, but...

There's George with cancer
and he knows his life is limited.

And what he does is buys
a house in Switzerland,

so he can avoid paying
the taxman here.

The man who wrote the song Taxman,

even to his final hours, was
determined to cheat the taxman.

And then I thought,
"There's George." Grace and humour.

And a weird kind of angry bitterness
about certain things in life.

It's still difficult to try
and talk about him in a, kind of...

anecdotal, frivolous way.



It's, er, it's still too painful.

# Sunrise doesn't last all morning

# A cloudburst doesn't last all day

# Seems my love is up
and has left you with no warning

# It's not always
gonna be this grey. #

AIR RAID SIRENS

People in their gayest colours.

Red, white and blue rosettes.
Red, white and blue hats...

That, in accordance
with arrangements between
the three great powers...

# Make the world rejoice

# While you're playing your part
Keep a song in your heart

# Tra-la-la-la, la-la, la-la
Count your blessings and smile

# Sing low, sing high,
isn't it grand, beating the band?

# Who wants to die?
Oh, what a happy land.

# All things must pass

# All things must pass away

# Sunset doesn't last
all evening... #

OK. Do you want me to start?

OK. And then Pete can go.

Right. We lived in 12 Arnold Grove.

It was a two up and two down.

The only heating was a coal fire,
so there was no electricity.

Small backyard.
Toilet down the bottom of the yard.

It was a very cold place.

What kind of a kid was George?
He was cocky. A cocky little guy.

He had a good sense of himself,
he wasn't cowed by anything.

He had a great haircut. He had
this long hair that he quiffed back.

We had a friend, Arthur.

And he used to describe it as
"a fucking turban!

"Like a fucking turban!"

And it did. It looked like
a great big marvellous thing.

Looking back now, you know,
it was pre-fame.

So you were just an ordinary kid

who couldn't get in places,
cos you weren't famous.

Teachers didn't like you.

You know,
rock and roll hadn't arrived yet.

I always think of it as Dickensian.

And the school that I went to,
with George, incidentally,

was a very Dickensian old place.

In fact, Dickens had taught there.
That's how Dickensian it was.

You grew up wanting
to go somewhere else.

It made you hungry.

So art was
a great golden vision.

So for us, we wouldn't have called
it art then, it'd be rock and roll.

We needed a good guitar player.

Both John and I played a bit of
guitar, but we couldn't really solo.

We weren't that good.

And I said, "I know this guy.
He's a bit young, but he's good."

John said, "Well, you know,
let's meet him".

So I said to George,

"You want to meet these guys
I'm in a group with?"

"Yeah." So he brought his guitar.

We were all on the top deck
of a double-decker bus

in Liverpool, round where John
lived, a place called Woolton,

and nobody was on the bus.
It was late at night.

And John said, "Well, go on then.
Let's see you play" to George.

I said,
"Go on, go on, get your guitar out."

So George unpacked his guitar,
got it out,

and he played the thing called
Raunchy, which is...

MUSIC: "Raunchy" by The Beatles

Down, George, down!

Yeah. George, only
a brief document or two left.

For the record, I'd like
to say these are more papers

that I don't know what they say...

Any of these?
..that I'm signing.

Yes, all those. Gentleman's name
is Lennon. No, no, no.

Or Richard Starkey, or John Lennon,
or George Harrison.

Krishna, Krishna, Krishna.

May the Lord help this
to become final.

The small gathering on Savile Row
was only the beginning.

The event is so momentous
that historians

may one day view it as a landmark in
the decline of the British Empire -

the Beatles are breaking up.

# It's funny how people
just won't accept change

# As if nature itself

# They prefer rearranged. #

When I was still at school
and I was really small,

I know John was really embarrassed,
cos I was so tiny.

I only looked about ten years old.

When I met John,
he had four strings on his guitar.

I mean, John didn't even know
guitars had six strings.

And I said, "What are you doing?
What's that?"

And he would say, "Well, why?"

You know, he thought
that's what it was.

So we showed John the guitar chords,

E and A and all those.

My mother
was a real big fan of music

and she was really happy
about having the guys around.

You know, and John was always keen
to get out of his house,

because his Aunt Mimi was,
kind of, very stern and strict

and she embarrassed him.

I remember going to John's house
once when I first had met him.

I was still at the Institute.

And we were trying to look like
Teddy boys, which was like that
style in those days.

And I must've looked good,
cos she was like...

She didn't like me. She was shocked.

She said, "Look at him! Who is this?
Bringing this boy to this house.

"Look at him. He looks
dreadful, like a Teddy boy."

And he'd just say,
"Shut up, Mary, shut up!"

# Don't you try to tame a wildcat

# You just don't understand

# The wildcat's what they name me
No kitten's gonna tame me

# Oh, no. Not me. #

Our wedding was just one of those
occasions where they thought

they would practise on people
and see what happened.

They were not exactly what the
majority of people there expected.

They had a tea break.

An elderly lady,
who was one of the guests,

came along to play the piano,

who was a real pub player.

She could really hammer out tunes
that everybody wanted to sing to.

The three lads reappeared
from the bar, pints in hand,

and John just poured a pint
over this lady's head,

just straight over the head,
saying, "I anoint thee, David."

And just walked away.

And this lady surprised me,

because there was absolutely
nothing. There was no reaction.

She just smiled and got up
and went away and got dry again.

You know, it was...
And I thought it was funny,

because in those days,
people used to say,

"See you had a wedding in Liverpool.
How many fights were there?"

But there wasn't even a fight.

The nearly fight was John Lennon
pouring a pint on her head.

When I met John,
he had a lot of power, really.

Sometimes they'd pick somebody
to march behind

on the way to war.

Well, he was certainly out front.

When you thought you wanted
to be a musician,

where did you think you'd end up?
There's no justification for it.

We kind of had a feeling that
that's what we were going to do.

And I always felt that something
good was going to happen.

But then, in those days,
something good would just be

getting to do a tour
of Mecca ballrooms.

That was, like, a big deal.

# She's got a way
that makes me act like a fool

# Spends my money
then she plays me cool

# I'm begging for her kisses
on a bended knee

# Oh, won't you give me
some a-loving, baby?

# Please, please. #

# Watch out now

# Take care
Beware of falling swingers

# Dropping all around you

# The pain that often mingles... #

After wartime,
we still had lots of bombed houses.

Not poverty. I mean,
the Germans were rich quite quick.

It didn't take them long
to pick up on that one.

That particular day,
I had an argument with Astrid.

I was really angry
and I wanted to let steam off.

And I quite often went that
direction, to the harbour.

The Reeperbahn
is really for the sailors,

for the people getting drunk.

For people going to see naked women
or having sex or whatever.

That's what this place is known for.

Klaus was always very laid back.

You know, you couldn't quite

impress him by things.

He always said,
"Yeah, great. Fantastic."

But when he came home seeing
the Beatles for the first time,

I've never seen him like that
before. He just went crazy.

When I came down
to the Kaiserkeller with Klaus,

after, he had to persuade me
for three days. I just freaked out.

Seeing them onstage, faces I always
dreamt of taking pictures of,

because they had so much personality
and were still young, like I was.

# Gonna write a little letter,
gonna mail it to my local DJ

# It's a rocking little record
I want my jockey to play

# Roll over Beethoven,
got to hear it again today. #

We didn't really
have that much money.

We only just really
had enough to feed ourselves,

so there was nothing really
to show for it.

But everything else was such a buzz.

You know, being right in the middle
of the naughtiest city in the world

at 17 years old.
It was kind of exciting.

And learning, you know,
about it all.

There's the gangsters
and the transvestites.

And there's the... You know, it was
like that. There's the hookers.

They looked real strange,
teddy boy-like.

They didn't
have the leather gear yet.

The leather thing came
when they met Astrid and me

and the way we were walking around.

We loved this band.

We were knocked out. And we
didn't realise how they lived.

The Bambi Kino was a porno cinema.

The room they stayed in first
was a sort of place where

you'd normally
put brooms and things.

There was no window, there was just
a light bulb on the ceiling.

And they were sort of living
in these little cupboards,

so to speak, right behind
the screen of that cinema.

And it was terrible,
because they were smelly, stinky.

They couldn't
wash their clothes properly.

Klaus introduced me to them,
and John did his, you know,

"I'm a man, I'm a man" thing.

And Paul was doing his, "I'm a good
boy, good education" bit, you know.

Said hello and shook my hand.

And George was just, looked at me
and said, "Oh, hello.

"And you are Klaus's girlfriend?"

But he was ever so sweet.

I came to know George then.

And he was interested in so many
things, but let's say, on the quiet,

because Paul was the one who said,
"Oh, who is that?"

And "who wrote this book?"
And "who is that on that picture?"

George was just sitting there,
looking at my room, which must

have been very strange to them,
because it was completely black,

with leaves and branches
hanging from the ceiling.

I think, at first,
George thought I was a bit mad.

But that became very shortly
a very lovely and nice friendship.

Astrid took them to her house

and she cooked for them.

Astrid's mother was cooking
their favourite meals for them.

So they had their little home,
suddenly,

which Astrid really took care
of them really well.

GEORGE: Yeah, it was really good
for us to meet them, too.

They, in themselves,
were very artistic.

I mean, for us, we started
hanging out with them

and Astrid was so loving.
She really helped us a lot.

You may think it was sexually.

Of course, in a way,
they all fancied me,

because I was quite good looking

and charming, in my own little way,
with my funny English.

When I started
falling in love with Stuart,

it was great
that I was a photographer,

so I could just go up
easily to him and ask him,

"Do you mind
if I take pictures of you?",

because I felt so attracted to him.

# A taste of honey

# Tasting much sweeter than wine

# Do do-dem-do

# Do do-dem-do

# I dream of your first kiss
and then

# I feel upon my lips again

# A taste of honey
A taste of honey

# Tasting much sweeter than wine. #

I always had a vision that I want to
take pictures of outstanding faces,

who can tell a story
behind the mask.

Imagine what is behind this
rough young man, John Lennon.

And what is behind
the funny, joking Paul.

Or the lovely, sweet little George.

George was only 17 years of age,
but he was calm,

he looked you straight in the face,

he was funny

and he was a catalyst in the band,
you see?

Paul and John were so different.

And George was bringing
a certain peace into this set-up.

I mean, Ringo wasn't with them
at the time, because Pete Best
was playing the drums.

And Stuart was more on the side,

but George was right in the middle,
between those two characters.

After Stuart's death,
John and George

really cared about me.

You know, they used to come
and see me in my home.

And so...
It was actually John's suggestion.

John said,
"Can I see where he used to paint?"

So I said, "Of course, you can."
In that moment,

I had to take a picture of them.

And I just grabbed this old chair
and put it there.

And John was so full of emotion,
being in the same room

where his friend was just painting,

that he nearly burst out in tears.

And George was all...a bit worried.

So I just said to George,
"Well, stand behind him."

You could see how quickly

George understood
what it was all about -

death and being alive.

He was only just turned 18.

And when you look at the picture
and see his eyes,

they're so full of protection
for John.

And John was just falling to bits,
sitting there.

And you could see that in his face.

I gave that guitar away.
Ah, that's the one.

# That boy

# Took my love away

# He'll regret it some day
# Doo-da-doo

# This boy wants you back again

# That boy isn't good

# For you

# Though he may want you, too... #

Good song, though. Good sad song.

# This boy wants you back again... #

John was as blind as a bat
and he'd never wear his glasses,

so he couldn't see a thing.

# Oh, and this boy

# Would be happy
just to love you... #

Double track.

# But oh my-hi-hi-hi

# That boy won't be happy

# Till he's seen you cry-hi-hi-hi. #

FRENZIED SCREAMING

AIRCRAFT ENGINE ROARS

It was almost like
we were waiting to get going.

We couldn't go until
all the Beatles were in the frame.

Ringo was a member of the band.

It's just that he didn't
enter the film

until that particular scene,
you know.

We were always, kinda, you know,
a little nervous before each step

we went up the ladder.

And that was the good thing
about being four together.

We all shared the experience.

How many Beatles does it take
to change a light bulb?

CREW LAUGH

Four!

# Well, she was just seventeen
You know what I mean

# And the way she looked
was way beyond compare

# So how could I dance with another

# Oh, since I saw
her standing there? #

We just went in. We were punks,
really, you know what I mean?

We were like just these punks.

We went in. We're all incredibly
grateful to be on vinyl.

You know,
the idea of getting a record.

Then, when it was going up the charts
in England, we'd stop the car,

cos you'd know when it was coming on.
BBC at, uh, 4.19.

"Stop the car!"
And then we'd listen to the record

and then drive on up to the gig.

# Now I'll never dance with another

# Ooh, since I saw her standing there

# Waaah! #

SCREAMING

Does the continuous living
and working together impose any
temperamental stress upon you?

No, actually, it's quite lucky,
cos we've been...

# We've been together now
for 40 years. #

You know, we have all been mates
for quite a long time,

so we don't get on each other's
nerves as much as we could.

I think I saw you being greeted
by somebody outside.

No, no, that was George.
That was me. That was me. Uh-huh.

Well, actually, it was,
um, my mother.

Your mother has to come to Ireland
to see you? Yeah!

# Well, we danced through the night

# And we held each other tight

# And before too long
I fell in love with her

# Now, I'll never dance
with another, ooh. #

Do you find any difficulty
in keeping up your public image?

No. What image?

Our image is just us,
you know, as we were.

We didn't try and, uh,
make an image. It just happened.

And so we don't have to keep it up.

We just remain ourselves,
don't we, Ringo?

Well, we do. It's the other two
we're worried about!

RINGO: The general atmosphere,
we all loved it.

We all dug it, but you know,
still in the band,

we all had personalities
and attitudes.

We stopped at a motorway cafe,
you know,

eat some grease.

Paul had the keys and George

was sitting behind the wheel,
as we came up.

And so an argument went on
for at least an hour and a half.

"I've got the keys." "Well,
I'm sittin' behind the wheel."

And it was like, we had
to sit there and go through this,

cos no-one was going give up.

"I got the keys."
"I've got the wheel."

# So please listen to me
if you wanna stay mine

# I can't help my feelings
I'll go out of my mind

# I'm gonna let you down
Let you down

# And leave you flat

# Gonna let you down
and leave you flat

# Because I've told you before
Oh, you can't do that

# O-o-o-o-oh!

# You can't do that... #

"Dear Mum and Dad,

"The shows have been going great,
with everybody going potty.

"And everywhere we go,
we have about 20 police
on motorbikes escorting us.

"We have had two Cadillacs
every place, but tonight, when we
finished the show and ran out,

"the cars weren't there
and had gone to another door.

"So we went back inside
until we could get out.

"All the kids came out of the show
and saw the two cars around the side

"and stormed them
and jumped all over them."

"The drivers had to get out and both
cars were completely wrecked - the
roofs were right down on the seats.

"Some girl fell through a skylight
from the roof of a building and
45 more were put in hospital.

"In the end,
we escaped in an ambulance,

"but don't worry,
because no-one can get near us,
for all the police and security."

# I got something to say
that might cause you pain

# If I catch you talking
to that boy again

# I'm gonna let you down

# And leave you flat

# Because I told you before
Oh, you can't do that. #

What actors would you
like to meet in Hollywood?

Paul Newman. What actresses?

Jayne Mansfield.

RINGO: We were all in our early
twenties, so were just going with it.

The good side of it was that

you could really go shopping!

You know, there's the great line

that the Beatles,
they had one day off a month.

And on the day off,
Paul would judge a beauty pageant.

# Everybody's green

# Cos I'm the one who won your love

# But if they'd seen
you're talking that way

# They'd laugh in my face

# So please listen to me
if you wanna stay mine

# I can't help my feelings
I'll go out of my mind

# I'm gonna let you down

# Let you down
And leave you flat

# Gonna let you down
and leave you flat. #

The Beatles only ever had one car

and two rooms, in any hotel,
between them.

We got closer together.
The bigger it got,

the closer we became, because
from the minute you sort of left

the security of your apartment,
the heat was on.

People wanted a piece,
wanted to talk, wanted their photo.

And so we sort of, you know,
kept each other company.

FANS SHOUT BEATLES' NAMES

When we first came to New York,
it's a great story

because we had the whole floor
in the Plaza

and the four of us
ended up in the bathroom.

We were just sitting in there,

"Hey, how you doin'?
What's goin' on?"

just to get a break from,
you know, the incredible pressure.

# Money don't get everything
it's true

# What it don't get, I can't use
# Now give me money

# That's what I want
That's what I want

# That's what I want. #

The next song I'd like to sing...

..is our latest record...

..or our latest electronic noise,
depending on whose side you're on.

# That's what I want
That's what I want

# That's what I want

# That's what I want, yeah. #

Are you individually
millionaires yet?

JOHN: No, that's
another lousy rumour. I wish we were.

All right then,
where does all the money go?

Well, a lot of it
goes to Her Majesty.

She's a millionaire.

# That's what I want

# A lot of money

# That's what I want

# That's what I want
A lot of money

# That's what I want. #

"This morning,
we're off to Wellington.

"We've been
and played here in Sydney

"and it was the biggest drag
of all time.

"The stage revolves every three
minutes and we have to walk
right down the aisles,

"like boxers, to get to
the stage. At the first house,
I punched a policeman,

"because he was shoving me.
And some kids had a hold of me when
I was trying to get off the stage.

"I was swearing my head off
at one policeman. Sorry.

"Later, the chief apologised to me.

"After the show, there was a party
in the hotel for Paul's birthday."

It's great at the beginning,

You know, where, you know,
you're recognised,

you get a great seat
in a restaurant and, you know,

things are bigger and things
come to you faster.

Um, you know, all that is great.

And then you really
want that to end.

Thank you very much, ta.

Erm, this...

This number... Shush.

Shush.

This number we'd like to sing now...

You fight for it,
and then when you get it,

you want it to end,
but it never ends.

That's the deal.

We do like the fans and enjoy
reading the publicity about us,

but from time to time,
you don't realise that

it's actually about yourself.

You see your pictures
and read articles about,

you know, George Harrison, Ringo
Starr, Paul and John, but you don't

actually think, "Oh, that's me.
There I am in the paper."

It's funny. It's just as though
it's a different person.

# Well, gonna write a little letter

# Gonna mail it to my local DJ

# Well, it's a rocking little record
I want my jockey to play

# Roll over, Beethoven

# I gotta hear it again today

# You know my temperature's rising

# And the jukebox's blowing a fuse. #

Do you know where you were
this time last week?

No. I haven't a clue.
I don't even know what day it is.

You don't know what day it is?
No. What is it?

"We've been to
the Hollywood Bowl and done
the show, which was great.

"And the place was marvellous.

"The seats
go right up the side of big hills.

"Colonel Tom Parker,
Elvis's manager, came to see us,

"and gave us all real leather belts
and holster sets. Cowboy things.

"And little covered wagons,
which are television lamps.

"He was good too and said
that Elvis wants to meet us

"and has invited us to his house
in Memphis, Tennessee.

"Tonight, we were invited
to Burt Lancaster's house
and he made us very welcome.

"His house was a knockout
and cost him a million dollars.

"I had a swim in his pool, which was
great - and as hot as a bath almost.

"After that, the men organising
the tour wanted us to go to

"this place called
Whiskey A Go-Go, on Sunset Strip.

"They said we wouldn't be bothered.

"We got there and went in
and fought our way, with Mal
and a few big hard men, to a table

"where John and Derek were.
And Jayne Mansfield."

"By this time,
after fighting through the crowd,

"I was annoyed and threw
some Coke on a cameraman.

"We all fought our way back out
and jumped in the car and went home.

"It was a drag and we were there
for about ten minutes altogether.

"You see why we don't
usually bother going out now."

How did George deal with it?

George, you know,
George had two incredible
separate personalities.

He had the lovebag of beads
personality and the bag of anger.

He was very black and white.

Whether you will go along
with any change in taste. Er, no.

Well, you never know,
because we have.

We change anyway, don't we? Yeah.

We hope you've enjoyed the show
tonight. Have you enjoyed it?

CHEERING

# There's a fog upon LA

# And my friends have lost their way

# We'll be over soon, they say

# Now they've lost themselves instead

# Please don't be long... #

I was boss of Parlophone Records

and I'd made it my business,
over the previous years,

to develop Parlophone as
a comedy label. And, in fact,

when Brian Epstein
desperately took us on,
or hoped we would take him on,

he felt he'd hit rock bottom,
cos he'd been everywhere else

and now he was ending up
on a comedy label.

I first met The Beatles in 1962.

I wasn't terribly impressed
with the first stuff they did.

I couldn't make out the sound.
You know, it was something
I hadn't heard before.

So I looked at these four guys,
and thought,

"Well, none of them shines
as being above all the others."

And I had to make up my mind,

in my silly mind, who
the lead singer was going to be.

Suddenly, I realised I would
take them as they were, as a group.

The hell with a lead singer.
They would be singing together.

So we were struggling
with the sound a bit.

And I said to the boys,
after we'd done a few takes
of rather nondescript songs,

"Come into the control room
and have a listen

"and see what we've been doing.

"And if there's anything
you don't like, tell us."

And George was the one
who took the leap.

And he said, "Well, I don't
like your tie for a start."

And the others were horrified.
They thought, "God, he's blown it."

But, of course,
I fell around laughing.

I thought it was so cheeky
and so funny that I...

You know, he endeared himself to me
at that point.

# I give her all my love

# That's all I do

# And if you saw my love

# You'd love her, too

# I love her... #

John and I would write the songs
the week before the studio. Brian
Epstein would ring us up and say,

"You're in the studio next week.
You've got a week off."
We'd go, "Yes!"

He'd say, "But you've got to write
the album." We'd go, "Yes!"

So we'd just, you know...
Each day we'd write a song,

so we can have seven or so songs
to go in with,

which was enough to start with.

And we'd go in the studio,
ten in the morning,

and this was the first time
George and Ringo had heard
any of the songs.

So this is how good they were. John
and I would go, "It goes like this."

# She loves you, yeah... #
Or whatever it was.

And they'd go, "Mmm-hmm."

George would cop the chords. He'd
go, "Uh-huh," not writing them down.

It was just like, "Yeah,
I can see what you're doing.
Cos I'm one of you.

"I didn't write it,
but I see what you did."

And Ringo would just
stand around with his sticks
and do a little thing.

I was just thinking actually
about my song And I Love Her.

# And I give her all my love... #
I had that,

but then George comes in with...
# Do-do-do-do. #

Now, you think about that.
That's the song.

But he made that up on the session.
Cos knew the chords, and we said,

"It needs a riff."
I didn't write that.

When we got together in the studio,
whoever had written the song

would be the kind of boss in leading
the other guys through it.

Paul and John,
being the songwriters -

and at that stage, George wasn't
showing himself to be a songwriter -

they were the dominant forces.

George and Ringo were slightly
behind Paul and John,

because Paul and John were
the writers and the lead singers.

I guess George
was kind of a loner, really,

because he was outside the team
that were providing the hits.

John and Paul had each other
to play against.

And their collaboration was
much more of a competition than
a collaboration, really.

One would do something, and
the other one would say, "Gosh,
I think I can do better than that,"

and try and make something better.

George was the sole guy.
He had no-one to work with.

GUITAR STRUMMING

The funny position I was in was
that, in many ways, you know,

this whole focus of attention
was on The Beatles,

so in that respect,
I was part of it.

But from being in them...

..an attitude came over,
which was John and Paul.

"OK, you know, we're the grooves
and you two just watch it."

I mean, don't forget,
I spent ten years in the back
of the limousine with them.

GUITAR STRUMMING
That speed.

Don't Bother Me. This is
remake recording, take ten.

'Don't Bother Me was the first song.
It was written basically
as an exercise

'to see if I could write a song,
cos I thought,

'"Well, if John and Paul can write,
everybody must be able to."'

Two, three, four.

# Since she's been gone
I want no-one to talk to me... #

Hang on, it's going too fast.
Take 12. One, two...

'I wrote that in
the hotel in Bournemouth.

'We were doing the summer season,
and I was sick in bed.

'Maybe that's why it turned out
Don't Bother Me.

'Yeah. It's not
a particularly good song,

'but it at least showed me that,
you know, all I needed to do
was keep on writing

'and maybe some day I'd...

'write something good.

'I still feel, right at this point,

'I still keep thinking, "I wish
I could write something good."'

# Since she's been gone
I want no-one to talk to me

# It's not the same but I'm to blame

# It's plain to see

# So go away, leave me alone,
don't bother me

# I can't believe
that she would leave me on my own

# It's just not right
when every night I'm all alone

# I've got no time for you
right now, don't bother me

# I know I'll never be the same

# If I don't get her back again

# Because I know she'll always be

# The only girl for me. #

When I saw
George and Pattie together,

the way they fit into The Beatles
thing, all of their domesticity

seemed to be like Camelot,
you know. It was like...

And I was the Lancelot, in a way.

I was kind of this lone wolf

without really any direction.

I saw The Beatles

play at the Hammersmith Odeon

when I was bottom
of the bill in The Yardbirds.

This band was like...
They were like a single person.

It was an odd phenomenon, in fact,
that they seemed to move together
and think together.

It was almost
like a little family unit.

I was very, very suspicious
about what they were up to.

But when I saw them play, I mean,
I was overwhelmed by their gift.

Each one of them seemed
to be very well-endowed
with their own musical capacity.

But the sad part was

that no-one listened to them,
and that their audience,

which they had cultivated,
I suppose,

they were 12-year-old girls.

He was clearly an innovator.

George, to me,
was taking certain elements

of R&B and rock and rockabilly

and creating something unique.

They were very generous
to everybody. They took time
to come and talk to everybody.

I didn't feel threatened
at all, because I had quite a lot

of self-confidence going
in my concept of myself

as being this sort of
blues missionary, as it were.

And I wasn't looking
for any favours from anybody.

And George recognised me
as an equal, because I had
a level of proficiency even then

that he saw as being
fairly unique too, you know.

George chose to move into
a house in Esher.

And Esher is maybe eight miles north
of where I was born.

And we became friends and
I would go and visit them there.

Something grew out of the music
and the kind of people we were.

I think we shared
a lot of tastes, too.

You know, superficial things -
cars or clothes, but...

And women, obviously.

But I think what George
might have liked about me

was the fact that I was
a kind of free agent.

And I think, if anything,

he may have already been
wondering about whether he was in
the right place being in a group,

cos the group politic is a tricky
one. You know, there was a lot about

what he had going which I envied,

and there was a lot about
what I had going that he envied.

What did he have going
that you envied?

Well, I suppose, money, status.

You know, the classic things.

The Beatles, man, come on.

In the beginning, in the early days,

what was good about
being George's friend

was that it was kind of
like basking in the sunshine

of this immense creativity.

CHEERING
We'd like to carry on with a song

which is off our last LP.

The LP's called Rubber Soul,
and the song,

which is sung by
our guitarist George,

is called If I Needed Someone.

# If I needed someone to love

# You're the one
that I'd be thinking of

# If I needed someone

# If I had some more time to spend

# I guess I'd be with you, my friend

# If I needed someone. #

This is largely an appeal
to the feminine heart,

the heart of the young girl
who worships love

and the goddess of love

and the heroes of love.

And this plays
the dominant part in her life.

So the vast majority
of the fans are girls,

who come there to worship
at the shrine of the goddess

or the young god hero,
as they did in the ancient past.

I've seen this with
the most dramatic intensity

with The Beatles playing to 2,000
or 3,000 young girls in Manchester.

Apart from another journalist,
I was the only male in the audience.

And I've never experienced
anything like it myself.

If I were confronted
with 10,000 Loch Ness monsters,

I wouldn't be so impressed
by this whistling and wailing

and possession of the soul
of these young girls.

Would you say it's true that
the devotion your group attracts

is essentially religious in nature?
No.

In what way is it not? Well,
in what ways do you think it is?

The fervour, the excitement
that it inspires in young people.

Would you say football crowds
are any more religious,

or football fanatics have any more
religion in them than Beatle
fanatics? I don't think so.

CHEERING

One value divides the generations
more sharply than any other -

religion. The gap is greatest
between college students

and their parents.

The question was whether belonging
to some organised religion

is important in a person's life.

Nine out of ten parents say it is.

Only four out of ten college
students say religion is important.

And the more radical
the youth, politically,

the more likely he is to reject the
religious values of adult society.

Still, the gap is there,
whatever the politics.

Well, some of the remarks attributed
to you in some of the newspapers,
the press here,

concerning the remark you made
comparing the relative popularity of
The Beatles with Jesus Christ,

and that The Beatles were
more popular - created quite
a controversy and furore here.

Would you clarify the remark?

Well, I've clarified it
about 800 times.

I could have said TV,
or something else, you know.

And that's as clear as it can be.

There were other evidences that that
ol' time religion was under attack.

Evangelist Billy Graham
went to London,

hoping he could stop England
from swinging.

In the process, he was almost
engulfed by sin on a Soho street.

And I think a great deal of what
we see among young people today

is actually a spiritual search.
These young people are searching
for a creed to believe in,

a song to sing
and a cause to follow.

# Carve your number on my wall

# And maybe you will
get a call from me

# If I needed someone

# Ah

# Ah

# Ah

# Ah. #

Before we sort of made it,
as they say,

money was part of the goal,
but it still wasn't a sort of,
"Let's get some money."

But we sort of got...
We suddenly had money, and
then it wasn't all that good.

By having the money, we found
that money wasn't the answer,

because we had lots
of material things

that people sort of spend
their whole life to try to get.

And we managed to get them
at quite an early age.

And it was good, really, because
we learned that that wasn't it.

We still lacked something. And that
something is the thing that religion

is trying to give to people.

Have they changed
because of all this?

Altered....developed, perhaps,
but not...um...

not changed too much. They're not
in any way contaminated by it.

Not nearly as seriously contaminated
as many of the people who...

um...occasionally surround us.

They remain very calm
and bland and simple.

And they don't know
what it's all about.

They simply want to play
their music and write it.

They're very normal. Thank goodness.

I came home one day
with the kids and Derek said,
"Brian's just phoned."

Brian Epstein. "And he's having
a housewarming in Sussex,

"and he wants us to go. He wants
all his friends to be there."

So we rallied all
our babysitters together

and we found ourselves on a plane.

And we arrived at Heathrow,

and waiting for us
was John and George.

And they were dressed
in this exotic way.

They had silk shirts, and they
were this incredible colour.

And they hugged us and
they kissed us, and they...

All of a sudden, it's like there are
no barriers. No handshakes, it's...

.."What's happening?"
And we were swept out to this...

to outside Heathrow Airport,
where John's Rolls-Royce,

like a Romany caravan,
was waiting for us.

George, in his Mini,

and us in the Rolls-Royce,
with Procol Harum playing
Whiter Shade Of Pale,

driving along
the English country roads

from Surrey to Sussex.
And Brian was waiting for us.

And there were all sorts of his
friends, famous and not-so-famous.

And George gave Derek acid

and John gave me acid.

And then John gave Derek acid.

So Derek had a double dose.

And we spent the whole night
with them...

on this mind adventure,

which Paul had described to us
as "controlled weirdness".

I'm not quite sure how controlled
it was, but it was weird.

But it was wonderful, and it bonded
us, because they were so kind to us.

And we came through it

and we walked out into
this English country garden

with the night receding

and the sun coming.

Sitting in an English garden
waiting for the sun - well,

that was what happened,
literally, what happened.

When we took the notorious
wonder drug LSD...

Yes.

..it was... We didn't
know we were having it.

John and I had this drug
and it was given...

We were having dinner
with our dentist...

LAUGHTER

..and he put it in our coffee
and never told us. And we'd
we never heard of it.

I mean, it's a good job
we hadn't heard of it, because
there's been so much paranoia

created around the drug,
that people now, if they take it,

they're already on a bad trip
before they start.

Whereas for us, we didn't
know anything. We were so naive.

So we had it and we went out
to a club and it was incredible.

It was really incredible.

Something like
a very concentrated version

of the best feeling
I'd ever had in my life.

It was just, like, fantastic.

I just felt, like, in love.

But not with anything in particular,
or anybody, just with everything.

Just everything was perfect.

And we walked and things weren't
the same that night as they'd been.

It was... All this Alice In
Wonderland stuff was going on,

but strange things.

I remember Pattie was,
you know, half playfully,

but half kind of crazy,

was trying to smash a shop window.

And I was kind of being like,
"Come on now, don't be silly.

"This way."
And we got round this corner

and there were all
these lights and taxis.

It looked like there was a big film
premiere going on. It was probably
just the doorway to the nightclub.

It seemed like, you know,
it looked very bright.

And all these people with makeup
that was like, this thick
on their faces.

You know, like masks.

I had this lingering thought

that just stayed with me after that.

And this thought was
the Yogis of the Himalayas.

I don't know why. It just...
I'd never thought about them
for the rest of my life.

But suddenly this thought was in
the back of my consciousness.

It was like somebody was
whispering to me, you know.

"The Yogis of the Himalayas."

# Prabhujee

# Dayaa karo

# Prabhujee dayaa karo

# Maname aana baso

# Maname aana baso

# Prabhujee. #

Interview du Mister George
Harrison et Ravi Shankar
par Michel Guillard.

Sound is God.

And through sound,
or that is true good music,

there can be also music
which can be devil.

I don't want to name which music.

But music can excite you
and make you, ahh, and go mad.

People go, you know, crazy.
That is also music.

But it didn't...doesn't lead you

spiritually towards God.
But music has this power,

whether it is through
the Gregorian chants

or beautiful Baroque music,

or Indian music,
or even folk songs,

beautifully sung by people
with beautiful voices.

Our music has been handed down
from person to person.

It's an oral tradition.
It's not a written-down music.

And the guru passes
not just the technique,

but the whole spiritual, uh, aspect.

All the meaning of life, philosophy,

everything is passed along
with the music.

FURIOUS SITAR MUSIC

The fact that I met so many people,
I can meet anybody, you know.

You could go in all the film stars'
houses and Elvis and everybody.

And we met a lot of really good
people, but we didn't...I never met
one person who really impressed me.

The first person who ever
impressed me in my life

was Ravi Shankar and he was the only
person who didn't try to impress me.

Why did he impress you?
Because it was by his being.

He taught me so much without
actually saying a word.

It's by example.

Now try to count five, five and six.
Five, five makes ten. Yeah.

And six makes 16.

Nine, ten, 11, 12, 13, 14.

One, two, three, four, five.

One, two, three, four, five. One two,
three, four, five. One, two.

Five. One, two, three, four, five,
six, seven.

One, two, three, four,
five, six, seven.

One, two, three,
four, five, six.

What you can do, if it is
difficult for you to touch,

one, two, three, four. Just...

THEY LAUGH

It's very difficult.

Two, three, four, one, two,
three, four, one, two, three, four,

one, two... No, one.
One, two, three...

If you're trying to find something,

to find the source of that thing
is very difficult,

but my blessing was to be able
to have Ravi as my, uh, patchcord.

He could plug me in
to the real thing,

so my experience of it
was always the best quality.

# Each day just goes so fast

# I turn around, it's past

# You don't get time
to hang a sign on me

# Love me while you can

# Before I'm a dead old man... #

Ravi and the sitar was kind of
like an excuse to try and find

this spiritual connection.

I read stuff by various
holy men and Swamis

and mystics and I went around
and looked for them.

Ravi and his brother gave me a lot
of books by some wise men.

One of the books, which was
by a Swami Vivekananda, who said,

"If there's a God you must see Him

"and if there's a soul,
we must perceive it.

"Otherwise it's better
not to believe.

"It's better to be an outspoken
atheist than a hypocrite."

And after all my life I've been
brought up, well, they tried
to bring me up as a Catholic.

They had told you to just believe
what they're telling you,

and, you know, not to have
the direct experience.

And this, for me, going to India

and hearing somebody saying,
you know,

"No, you can't believe
anything until you have
direct perception of it".

And I thought, "Wow, you know,
fantastic! At last, you know,

"found somebody who...
makes some sense."

And so I wanted to go deeper
and deeper into that.

I think that George's experiences
of expanding his mind with acid...

led him to looking for something
that didn't need chemicals.

He knew that there was a point where
you couldn't keep on doing that.

And it wouldn't be good for you,
if you did keep on using chemicals.

So he was looking for...

He was always looking for the truth

and he was also looking
for peace of mind...

..because it was...
it was pretty crazy.

John would pick us up
in this big Rolls Royce
with blacked-out windows,

and Ringo, John and I
all moved out of town to Surrey.

And then he'd pick up Ringo
and then pick me up

and then we'd head into town and,
by the time we got to Hammersmith,
we were just loaded

and feeling ill, cos, you know,
a Rolls Royce doesn't have
the proper springs.

They just roll around.
And the black windows,

you couldn't see anything out
and the windows would be shut

and so you'd just be getting
double doses of these reefers.

And then we'd pull up at Abbey Road
Studio and just be, like,
fall out of the car.

We have to thank Paul that we made
as many records as we did because,

you know, John and I,
cos we lived in the same area,

would be hanging out.

It's like a beautiful day
in the garden in England

and the phone'd ring
and we'd always know it was him.

"He wants us to work!"

I mean, everywhere we went,
people were smiling and,

you know, sitting on lawns,
drinking tea.

I went to Haight-Ashbury,
expecting it to be
this brilliant place,

I thought it was
going to be all these groovy

kind of gypsy kind of people,
with little shops making
works of art

and paintings and carvings.

But, instead, it turned
out to be just a lot of bums.

And many of them,
they were just very young kids

who'd come from all over America

and dropped acid
and gone to this Mecca of LSD.

We'd walk down the street

and I was, like, being treated
like the Messiah or something.

I was really afraid, because I
could see all these spotty youths
and they were...

still an undercurrent
of Beatlemania,

but from a, kind of, twisted angle.

And they were...
People were handing me things,

like there was this big pipe,

like a big Indian pipe
with feathers on it

and books and incense and,
you know, all kinds of stuff.

And trying to give me drugs and,

you know, I'd say
"No, thanks, I don't want it."

We were walking quicker and quicker.
We went through the park

and back out of the park,
and in the end, we just said,

"Let's get out of here."

And we drove back to the airport,
got on the jet, and as it took off,

the plane went into a stall,
and the whole dashboard lit up,

saying "Unsafe" right across.

It certainly showed me what was
really happening in the drug cult.

It wasn't what I thought of all
these groovy people getting...

having spiritual awakenings
and being artistic.

It was like any addiction.

So, at that point,
I stopped taking it, actually,

the dreaded Lysergic.

That's where I really went
for the meditation.

CRASHING WAVES

# Let me take you down

# Cos I'm going to Strawberry Fields

# Nothing is real

# And nothing to get hung about

# Strawberry Fields forever

# Living is easy with eyes closed

# Misunderstanding all you see... #

We'd stopped touring.
We were now in the mid-60s.

We were partying

and I think we, kind of, lost,
sort of, our spiritual direction.

Not that we ever had one,
but we lost it.

So we were, kind of,
experimenting in anything.

It was the time of Sgt Pepper,

and I'd written a song,
the title song,

and I put it to the guys
that what we should do,

we could make this record now
under another persona.

We'll be this other band.
And it will free us.

The idea was we could
bring anything we wanted,

because now, you know, there was
no lid on what we could do.

When we were doing Sgt Pepper,
he presented us with a song
which I thought was boring.

And I had to tell him so.
And I said,

"George, honestly, I think we could
do...you could do something
better for this record,

"because it's going to be
an astonishing record.

"There's so many
great moments in it.

"And do you mind going away
and thinking about it and coming up
with something else?"

# We were talking

# About the space between us all

# And the people

# Who hide themselves behind

# A wall of illusion

# Never glimpse the truth

# Then it's far too late

# When they pass away-ay-ay... #

He came up with
Within You Without You.

Now, Within You Without You

was not a commercial song,
by any means.

But it was very interesting.

He had the way of communicating
music by the Indian system

of, kind of, a separate language,
like, tiki-tiki-ta-ta-ta,

tiki-tik, tika-da - the kind
of things that would be
the rhythms suggested

by the tabla player. And you had
to get inside that to find out

what it was about. So it was like
working out a puzzle with George.

He had Ravi play at his house once.
And we all went.

And we're sitting on the floor
and Ravi made the announcement,

"Please don't smoke
while I'm playing."

And, uh, anyway, there was like
a crowd of us and a crowd of Ravi's
friends just sitting around

and Ravi's playing away
and this is how little
we understood at the time,

that Ravi's pals
are all like going...

"Aw!

"Aw!"

Which it sounded like to us they
were saying, "Aw, God, crap!"

But they were really going,
"Ohhhh. Ohhhh."

We were like,
"Keep the noise down"!

# When you've seen beyond yourself

# Then you may find peace of mind
is waiting there

# And the time will come

# When you see we're all one

# And life flows on
within you and without you. #

When you get a sort
of typical westernized
Englishman coming to you,

what is the most important thing
you have to teach? Concentration?

No. Just allowing the mind
to take its natural course.

Just that.

Say, it was surprising
someone one day, uh,

started to meditate. Next day
he came for checking and he said,

"I feel wonderful.
I slept very deep

"and the whole thing is good, but
tell me what you have taught me."

THEY LAUGH

I said, "Nothing."

LAUGHTER

Because the process of thinking
has not to be learned.

We are used to think. We know
how to think from birth.

CROWD SCREAMS

I got a message from John
and a message from George, saying,

"We're going to Wales.
We've met this guy.

"We listened to him.
He's great. Come."

We'd seen this giggly little Indian
guy with a beard coming on TV,
and we liked him.

He was a funny little character,
who was going to save the world.

So he came around
and we were ripe for saving.

You know, I wanted
to get into meditation.

But it's one thing reading
about it and the other thing
of how do you do it?

So I got myself to the point where,
"OK, I need a mantra."

You know, where do you go?

You know, do you go to Harrods
and get a mantra?

But then David Wynn showed me
this picture and said,

"Oh, he's coming to do a lecture
at the Hilton.

"He's called Maharishi."

You give each person a sound,
don't you? Yes.

Is that the same sound
that you give to each person?

No. Each person gets different.
How many sounds are there?

Oh, there are lots of them. I mean,
hundreds or thousands or...?

We could say thousands.

And when a person has been given
their own particular sound,

how do they use it?
I mean, when they're meditating,

how do they use the sound
you've given them. Why is
that sound useful to them?

Ah!

See, every man has his own
impulse of individuality, yes?

Some man goes by and you feel
attracted towards him.

Other man goes and you feel
repulsed. Something exchanged

in the rhythm of the individual.
Like, everyone has his own rhythm.

Now, the rhythm of a sound which
will resonate to the existing
rhythm of the individual.

And that will be the sound
suitable to him. Got it.

So that you try to find,
give the person the sound

that fits in with the rhythm of their
own lives and being? Right.

We were at Maharishi's
meditation camp

when the news came through
about Brian.

And it was horrifying,
because we'd experienced loss,

but with Brian dying,

it was like one of us dying.

Uh, and you can kind of come
to terms with your parent dying,

because you know
they'll probably die before you.

But Brian, it was, "Woah!"

He was such a big part of the
equation. People used to call
him "the fifth Beatle".

So it was like,
"Oh, my God, now we're on our own."

It was very strange for it
to happen at that precise moment.

We'd just got involved
with this meditation.

You know, I mean,
that may not sound like a big deal,

but it actually was. It was...
It's a big change in your life

when, you know, when you start
making the journey inward.

And for Brian to, like,
kick the bucket that particular day,

it was pretty far out.

Is the mantra something you use
to get back to the subject

if you find earthly
or irrelevant thoughts intruding?

Yes, sort of.
Or is it more than that?

You know, you just sort of sit there
and you let your mind go,

whatever it's going, no matter
what you're thinking about.

Just let it go. Then you just
introduce the mantra or vibration

just to take over from a thought.

You don't will it
or use your willpower.

If you find yourself thinking

then the moment you realise you've
been thinking about things again,

then you replace that thought
with the mantra again.

Sometimes you can go on

and you find that you haven't
even had the mantra in your mind.

There's just been a complete blank.
But when you reach that point,

because it's beyond all experience,

then it's down there
and that level is timeless,

spaceless, so you can be there
for five minutes and come out.

You don't know
how long you've been there.

Then the aim, as opposed to sitting
and thinking, or anything

is to reach a part of the sense
where you have no thoughts?

JOHN CHANTS MUMBO-JUMBO,
LAUGHTER

# Without going out of my door

# I can know all things on Earth

# Without looking out of my window

# I could know the ways of heaven

# The farther one travels

# The less one knows

# The less one really knows. #

The word, for instance,
the word "God", I mean has...

Does it mean something different
to you now

than it did before the Maharishi?

It could be.
It means all sorts of things to me.

It means... I mean, the first
concept of a man in the sky,

well, I kicked that one
a few years ago.

But I've got back to that now,

because it's a man in the sky
as well, if you like.

It's just everything.
The whole thing that...

It's just everything.

Every aspect of creation
is part of God.

I think that perhaps we should
try and get it a little clearer

what we're talking about.

If we're talking about
a mystical religious belief,

which I think that George is,

but are we really
talking about mysticism

or are we talking about a technique
of improving yourself

which is totally
scientific and rational?
You can take it either way.

You can take it either way.

This is because
it is a perceptual method.

If a man has got a great conceptual
apparatus and he meditates,

he will begin to understand
the nature of a conceptual apparatus
and if he's wrong about it,

he'll begin to understand
where he's wrong about it.

If he's got no conceptual apparatus,
he simply perceives an
abstract experience.

Now, when he's had
an abstract experience,

he may wish then to give
himself explanations of it.

But it's primarily
a perceptual method.

And so what this offers
is an experience? Yes.

Why should this abstract experience
be any more valuable than any
other experiences?

George talks about
a bliss experience.

You can have a bliss experience
by drinking a bottle of whisky.

MURMURS OF DISAGREEMENT

Speak for yourself.
Now, why is a bliss experience...

You'd have a non-bliss experience
the next morning.

..more valuable than anybody
else's experience? Or are we
talking about a universe

which has some hidden laws

and a hidden creator, who manifests
himself only to people like

Mr Harrison and the Maharishi, when
they get into a state of trance?
That's what I want to know.

Well, let's face it.

These laws that you say -
hidden laws - they are hidden.

But they're only hidden
by our own ignorance.

And the word mysticism
is just being arrived at

through people's ignorance.

There's nothing mystical about it,

only that you're ignorant
of what that entails.

# Arrive without travelling

# See all without looking

# Do all without doing. #

He wanted to be a spiritual being,
more than anything,

but he couldn't, because
he had to deal with this life.

So he could be loving, because
that was really his true nature,

and sweet and kind and gentle.

But then the anger came
from the frustration

that he had -

when you glimpse something
that you understand,

but you can't be there,

because there's something earthly
holding you back.

And he was very aware of that.

What were the earthly things
that pulled on him the most?

Well, the other three Beatles

and what they were creating
and were continuing to create -

this huge empire, Apple.

I think he felt that he'd found

something that he totally understood
and wanted to just be there.

Be in it. He became

totally absorbed with meditation.

"Dear Mum,
Thanks for your letter last week

"and if it's any comfort to you,
don't worry about me

"or don't think anything
negative about Maharishi,
because he's not phoney.

"It's only the bullshit that's
written about him that's phoney.
He's not taking any of our money.

"All he's doing is teaching us
how to contact God

"and as God isn't divided
into different sects,

"as religious leaders here make out,

"then it doesn't affect
my dedication to Sacred Heart
in any way. It only strengthens it.

"But we will help to spread
his teachings,

"so that everybody can attain this
and new generations

"will grow up and have this
right from the start,

"instead of going through the
ignorance that seems to dominate

"everything and everyone
at the moment, causing them to feel
that it's mysticism or black magic.

"Don't think that I've gone
off my rocker, because I haven't.

"I now love you and everybody
else much more than ever.

"So it's not that bad, is it?"

# Creme tangerine and Montlimar

# A ginger sling
with a pineapple heart

# A coffee dessert, yes

# You know it's good news

# But you'll have to have them
all pulled out

# After the Savoy truffle. #

Whenever we were together,
in the public,

say, for instance, I would turn...
I mean, for all of the amount

of weight that I thought I carried,
would turn to nobody.

If we were going into a restaurant
or a club,

the way people would behave
around their aura, you know.

I mean, by "their", I mean,
the Beatles, was beyond belief.

George had two sides
to his character.

I mean, you know, I'm his mate,
so I can't tell too much,
but he was a guy.

You know what I'm talking about.

He was a red-blooded man, you know.

So he would like, you know,
the things guys like.

# But you'll have to have them
all pulled out

# After the Savoy truffle. #

I distinctly remember
putting the saxes on and I got

what I considered to be a good
sax sound. They blended well.

It was very nice and George
comes up, after teaching the parts,

and says "Yeah, they sound great.

"Now distort them."

It was, "What?!" "Yeah, they're
too clean, they're too nice.

"Distort them." "OK."

So I had to, one way or another,
mess them up.

When we were mixing it, George
Martin walks into the control room.

He says, "Uh isn't it a bit bright?

"Isn't it a bit toppy?"
And George turned around to him

and said, "Yeah. And I like it."

And he just turns around
and we carry on working.

And George Martin just upped
and walked out, went to a studio
where they were doing other work.

They were like the kids
that just left home,

whose parents aren't looking
after them anymore.

A guy called Joe Massot
was making this film

and he'd asked George
to do the soundtrack.

It was really just, um.

I showed up, you know.

George told me he'd like me
to play on something

and we'd write as we went along.

We put down this thing and George
then put backwards guitar on top

and was, you know, it was very
experimental and it was good fun.

MUSIC: "Wonderwall" score
by George Harrison

I think that, in England, there was
a sort of cultural revolution

in the '60s

which touched on
every branch of life.

Wake up!

CAMERA CLICKS

You can thank your lucky stars
you're working with me.

CAMERA CLICKS

And a smile now. Come on.

CAMERA CLICKS

Smile... Smile!

CAMERA CLICKS

God.

'That's why Antonioni
decided to do Blow-Up in England

because of it being the spot
where everything was going on.

What do they call you in bed?

I only go to bed to sleep.

'I remember
the mystery that was around'

George Harrison.

I wouldn't have asked him a question.

I wouldn't have dared,
because of feeling

he was onto something else.

There was a lot of energy around.

Everybody was inspiring
everybody else.

We'd go to David Hockney's studio
and watch him paint.

"Oh, David, can I just
have that little sketch?"

And he'd say, "No, you can't."

And then we'd go off and he'd say,

"Oh, let's go and see the Stones.

"They're recording at so and so."

Then off we'd go there.

So we could just do anything.
Nobody minded.

Everybody was flying around
like that.

It was all so possible and so easy
and we didn't think twice about it.

LAYERED VOICES

I was in New York
and some people came and said,

"Aren't you coming to London?

"London is swinging. London's great!"
And I think, "Well, I don't know."

I was so New York, you know,

I didn't want to, sort of,
leave New York.

But then things happened and I went
to London and it was great.

There was a, kind of,
feeling of freedom

and I felt that it's almost like
the air was, kind of,

had an intelligent smell about it,
yeah?

George and John and I
made...Number Nine.

And that was actually George
who, sort of, instigated it.

He said,
"Let's do it, let's do it".

And he didn't have that feeling of,

"Well, Yoko is a separate thing
and, you know, we shouldn't

"be nice to her
or anything like that."

He was just very nice.

I thought it's very interesting

to know about what the Beatles do,

because, you know, I come from
an avant-garde background

and all that and here
they were making music in a way

that was very different
from what we used to do.

It had power of its own.

And I thought,
"Well, this is what you can do."

George had two sides,
like we all do, you know.

Sometimes he was very nice
and sometimes he was

just being too honest or something -

frank about things, yeah?

He would say something right away,
before he's thinking.

So he didn't, uh, mince words.

And sometimes it's, you know, "Oh,
dear, you think that?" or something.

He'd just hurt me, maybe.

But John said,
"Oh, that's George, you know."

And I got used to that, too.
It was very nice.

I remember a particular occasion,
when I'd written Hey, Jude,

and I brought it in.

And I'd go,
# Hey, Jude, don't make it bad. #

And George was playing,
# Hey, Jude... #

# Don't make it bad... #

And I had to sort of say, "No,
George, look, I really don't think

"you can put a guitar riff
after every line, you know."

And it was like a real,
"Oh, OK, then."

But, you know,
I knew he couldn't do it.

Maybe he knew he couldn't do it.

But it created tension, you know.
And it was like...

Then this feeling that I was
just dictating things

started to grow, you know.

And I was dictating things, cos
I knew how I wanted my song to go.

Similarly, John would say
how he wanted his song to go

or George would say
how he wanted his to go.

The intensity that they had together
must have had its limits

and it had to explode at some point.

Now they were out in London,
travelling a lot and getting...

having different people
influence them.

So coming back together,
it didn't work as well.

I quit the band in '67,
on the White Album,

because...I was just in,

I don't know, in some emotional state

where I honestly felt
that I wasn't playing well.

For some reason,
I felt I just wasn't playing good.

And those three were really close.

And I thought, "Well, I've got
to deal with this, anyway."

So, I went over to John's - he was
staying with Yoko in my apartment -

and I said, "Look, man," I said,

"You know, I have to say, look,
I feel I'm not playing really good.

"And you three are really close."

And he goes,
"I thought it was you three."

And I went to Paul's and knocked on
his door and I said the same thing.

I said, "You know,
you three are really close."

"I thought it was you three!"

And I thought,
"Oh, shit, I'm goin' on holiday.

I'm off. And I went to Sardinia.

When I got back,
it was, "Oh, come on back.

"We love you", blah, blah, blah."

George had decorated the whole studio
with flowers, you know.

And, you know, that was
a beautiful moment for me.

# I look at you all

# See the love there that's sleeping

# While my guitar gently weeps

# I look at the floor

# And I see it needs sweeping

# Still my guitar

# Gently weeps

# I don't know why

# Nobody told you

# How to unfold your love. #

It was crap, you know.

We were trying to do the song
and it wasn't happening.

You know,
they weren't taking it serious.

And, uh, I don't think they
were even all playing on it.

And so, I went home that night
and I just thought,

"Well, that's a shame,
cos I know this song is pretty
good."

And then the next day,
I was driving into London with Eric,

and I said,
"Hey, what're you doing?

"Why don't you come to the studio

"and play on this song for me?"

And he says,
"Oh, no, I can't do that.

"Nobody's ever played
on a Beatles' record.

"And the others wouldn't like that."

And I said,
"Well, you know, look, it's my song

"and I'd like you to play on it."

We'd all learned
to grow together and, you know,

some days one'd grow a little taller,
and the next day

someone else'd grow a little taller,
you know? It's how we were.

It had been a few years since
I'd seen them and they had changed.

And this particular song

was a strong view of...
It was coming very much
from where George had found himself,

as a result of becoming involved
with, um, mysticism.

And seeing John and George
and Paul sing together,

when they were doing harmonies
and things, and Paul playing,
I mean, it was fantastic.

# I look at you all

# Still my guitar

# Gently weeps. #

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

E-mail subtitling@bbc.co.uk