George Harrison Said He Didn’t Understand How so Many Different Nationalities Liked The Beatles
George Harrison claimed that he did not understand how so many different nationalities around the world knew and liked the Beatles. Whenever he and his band traveled to a new country, George thought no one would know who they were. He was deeply mistaken.
George Harrison | Michael Putland/Getty Images George Harrison had conflicting views on The Beatles
Throughout his life, George made contradictory statements about the Beatles. On the one hand, he thought they were innovative and a cultural phenomenon. At the same time, he didn’t think their music was that good. He sometimes also called his songs average. To him, it was debatable whether any of The Beatles’ songs would have been hits if any other group had recorded them.
If George believed that the Beatles were just okay, regardless of their cultural influence, he would never understand why fans raved about them and wanted them to continue.
“I understand that the Beatles filled a space in the sixties,” George said during a press conference (for Joshua M. Greene’s Here Comes The Sun: The Spiritual And Musical Journey Of George Harrison). “All the people who were the Beatles wanted to be adults and wanted to hold onto something. People fear change, but you can’t live in the past.”
Greene wrote, “If the life of a Beatle had taught him anything, it was that masses of people could become fixated on a mental image. The Beatles may have been a great rock band, but they were nowhere near justification of the Messianic plateau fans who were accepted.”
George even doubted his band’s abilities as they toured the globe in all of Beatlemania.
George was surprised so many nationalities liked The Beatles
During an interview after his 1991 Japanese tour, George explained that he couldn’t believe that there were so many different nationalities of people who liked The Beatles.
He said, “It’s been 25 years since ‘Sgt. Pepper.’ … I don’t really think about it; I’m kind of detached from it now, you know? I don’t think they were all they were cracked up to be, really [Laughs].
“No, I think it’s great, really, that people like them. They wrote some great songs, we did some great songs and said some good things. We tried to be good and influence people, maybe not always in the best ways, but basically, I think they could have had a lot worse, well they have now; look what’s up nowadays.
“So I think the Beatles were a good thing. I can’t understand why so many people liked it and so many nationalities. I mean, we were looking for places on the planet where you’d think they wouldn’t have heard of the Beatles.
“I remember going to India in 1965 thinking, ‘Oh, well, this is going to be good.’ And as soon as we got off the plane, there were all these brown faces singing, ‘Beatles, Beatles!'”
Soulful Beatle said band ‘covered everything’
During an interview (for George Harrison for George Harrison: Interviews And Encounters) with his former sister-in-law, Dr.
“I thought it was very strange why we had the tremendous impact that we did – or still have,” he said. “It’s amazing how the chemistry between the four of us made this big thing that went straight out into the world. There wasn’t a place in the world, even the darkest places, that didn’t know about the Beatles from grandparents to babies. It just covered everything, and that amazed me more than anything.
“We always felt that if we could get the right record deal, we would be successful. But our little concept of success that we had at the time was nothing compared to what happened. It was just great. It makes one think there is more to this than meets the eye.”
Even Eric Clapton was initially skeptical of what the Beatles were trying to do when he first saw them. They behaved as if they were a person, a phenomenon.
Whatever George thought of The Beatles’ music, he couldn’t deny that they had a massive impact on culture. There are a million reasons why they hit the world.