Beatles legend George Harrison would have turned 80 this week, and fans are toasting the lasting legacy of a true modern genius.
An artist whose group-focussed approach often resulted in under-stated work, The Quiet Beatle’s pervasive influence on the Fab Four ranges from those early Chet Atkins lines on ‘Beatles For Sale’ through to the mysticism of his mature work. Omnivorous in his cultural consumption, he was the first Beatle to step foot on American soil, and regularly introduced new sounds to the group.
Spotify user Andy Chistlehurst has leafed though a Record Mirror interview with George Harrison from 1965, a pivotal year in his artistic growth. The first to tire of Beatlemania, he has already begun to reach towards Indian culture and philosophy, combining this with a broadening in his music palette.
Pieced together as a playlist, George Harrison’s audio picks from the summer of ’65 make for fascinating reading. The sounds of Stax Records are apparent, and indeed the slow strut of Otis Redding looms large on The Beatles’ ‘Drive My Car’, taken from that year’s ‘Rubber Soul’ album.
Alongside this there’s a healthy dose of Bob Dylan – another key influence on the Beatles – while he’s also adopting The Byrds, who famously opted for Rickenbacker guitars after catching sight of George Harrison playing one.
A superbly varied list, it still holds up – as if George Harrison was able to expertly tap into the zeitgeist of that extraordinary year of pop transition.
Now online in full, you can check it out below.