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4 Self-Deprecating Comments George Harrison Made



While George Harrison was secure in his identity as an artist outside of The Beatles, he couldn’t help but be self-deprecating about his achievements. In his time with the band, Harrison reached heights that most musicians can only dream about. Still, Harrison said that he wasn’t good at many of his musical pursuits. Here are three times Harrison was self-deprecating.

George Harrison had a self-deprecating opinion about his first song

For Harrison’s first several years in The Beatles, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the band’s sole songwriters. They worked together and penned all the band’s early hits. The longer Harrison was in The Beatles, though, the more his interest in songwriting grew. 

His first song to make it on a Beatles album was 1963’s “Don’t Bother Me,” which he wrote while sick.

“I was a bit run down and was supposed to be having some sort of tonic, taking it easy for a few days,” he said in The Beatles: The Authorized Biography by Hunter Davies. “I decided to try to write a song, just for a laugh. I got out my guitar and just played around till a song came.”

When reflecting on it, he didn’t have many nice things to say.


“I forgot all about it till we came to record the next LP,” he said. “It was a fairly crappy song. I forgot about it completely once it was on the album.”

He said he had a limited vocal range

Harrison sang on a number of Beatles songs and had a full solo career after the band broke up. Despite this, he wasn’t all that confident in his singing skills. While writing and singing a song with Marianne Faithfull, Harrison said that they were well-matched. He thought they had similar, which is to say limited, vocal ranges.

“I’ve got no vocal range, so I’ve got to keep all my songs simple,” he said. “Marianne is the same, so that’s all right.”

George Harrison made a self-deprecating comment about his songwriting

Harrison fought hard for the ability to write songs for The Beatles. Lennon and McCartney often overlooked his contributions to the group, which infuriated him. It’s interesting, then, that Harrison didn’t seem to think much of the songs he wrote.

“The words are always a bit of a hangup for me,” he said. “I’m not very poetic. My lyrics are poor, really. But I don’t take any of it seriously. It’s just a joke. A personal joke. It’s great if someone else likes it, but I don’t take it too seriously myself.”

George Harrison doubted his intelligence

Harrison also joked about his level of intelligence. When Astrid Kirchherr, a friend of the band, gifted Lennon a book, Harrison joked that she must have gotten him comics. He seemed to think his intellect did not match up with Lennon’s.

“He made lovely jokes at his own expense, sending himself up for being young,” Kirchherr said. “I gave them all their Christmas presents one year, all wrapped up. John opened his first and it was an Olympia Press version of the Marquis de Sade. George picked up his and said, ‘What’s in mine then, comics?’”


Source: Cheat Sheet

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