Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mr. George Harrison Sings

On December 8th, 1975, the second single from George's Extra Texture album was released in the US. "This Guitar (Can't Keep From Crying)", a sequel to "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" in name only, found George responding to the critics of his last album and tour (particularly Rolling Stone). To drive the point home, he placed "Maya Love" from the Dark Horse LP on the B-side. The single failed to reach the charts in either the US or UK (where it was issued February 6th, 1976, the very last release on the Apple label until Live At The BBC in 1994).

At some point late that year (possibly during his October visit to Los Angeles), George was interviewed for the syndicated series Earth News Radio. It was aired the week of December 15th in most markets, and while I don't have a copy of the original broadcast (anyone?), much of it was re-used in 1978, when Earth News Radio dedicated a whole month of shows to the Beatles. Here are all of George's bits from those episodes.

With their BBC series finished, the members of Monty Python were concentrating on group films and individual TV projects. John Cleese and Connie Booth's Fawlty Towers had premiered to great acclaim in September, and Michael Palin and Terry Jones were shooting the pilot for Ripping Yarns, which would air in January. Eric Idle had progressed from his own radio series, Radio 5, in 1973, to a TV sketch comedy. The first series of Rutland Weekend Television, written in collaboration with Neil Innes, aired on BBC2 in May and June.

George was delighted to appear on the Rutland Weekend Television Christmas special, taped December 13th and aired on Boxing Day. "Pirate Bob" had a blast performing a specially-composed Harrison/Idle composition:

Eric Idle later recalled how his new friend was able to spread some Yuletide cheer that year: "George once gave me the most spectacular present. It was Christmas 1975 and my marriage was breaking up and I was very sad and it was snowing and my little two year old son and I were alone on Christmas Eve. There was a ring at the door and we stood on the stoop bewildered as two men unloaded a big bulky heavy object from the back of a large truck and carried it inside. Carey and I looked at each other puzzled. What on earth was it? It was wrapped in corrugated brown paper and tied up with string, so we set about ripping the covering off. To our amazement and utter delight it was a juke box filled with rock and roll classics! There was a note on it which said 'Every Home Should Have One, Happy Christmas, love George and Liv.' Well we plugged that thing in and it glowed and throbbed and pulsated with sound and we danced madly to it all that Christmas. What a great gift."


  1. What a great story from Eric Idle!

    Ok, I just posted this in one of the Australian tour entries, but just in case people miss it: here's a couple of interviews that I don't think have been posted. I'm not sure where they're from, I listened to them and couldn't quite discern any details of which city. One of them I think is with Bob Rogers, from the Beatles 1964 tour! Also, a version of the press conference with Norm Gunston (just his portion), but it's better sound quality where you can hear all the jokes and what everyone is saying.

    In a zip file:


    PS: And thanks for the George bits from Earth News Radio! Downloading now!

  2. Fantastic interview with George!! Wow, he's really "up" and positive about the Beatles years, even when he's telling stories you've heard before, his attitude is less "grouchy"! Mucho gratitude!

  3. The 1:19 interview posted by "Anonymous" in the first comment is in fact sourced from the news program "Today", taped on 19 October 1976 at Wembley.

  4. The longest one is an audio dub of "The Mike Walsh Show".

    1. Thanks BeatlesonDVD!!! I didn't know! Sorry about jumping to the October 1976, way premature for that!-mg