Webmaster Of BeatleLinks
Join Date: Apr 20, 2000
Location: Encino, California
1987 - Guitar World Magazine - George Harrison
Interviewed By Chris Willman
New York City, New York, United States
Published 1987 In Guitar World Magazine
CHRIS WILLMAN: Is Sgt. Pepper special for you, or just another album?
GEORGE HARRISON: There’s about half the tracks I like, and the other half I can’t stand. I like most of side one…And I love “A Day in the Life,” and I even like the little Indian one that I did, which is really strange and unique. But there’s a lot of them on there—“Fixing a Hole” and “When I’m Sixty-Four”—which to me are just average. I like Rubber Soul and Revolver actually. I like some of the White Album a lot; the rest is ok, but I don’t think it’s that special. But even if what they’re saying about Sgt. Pepper being the greatest record of all time is wrong, I’m glad they’re saying it about one of our records and not somebody else’s, you know.
CHRIS: Did you have any qualms about having “Sexy Sadie,” John’s diatribe against the Maharishi, on the White Album?
GEORGE: Not at all. In fact, I titled it “Sexy Sadie.” I don’t know what John would say about that, but he was sitting there and I was saying, “Well John, wouldn’t it be more subtle to call it, say, something like ‘Sexy Sadie’? It’s a bit obvious—‘Maharishi.’” No, I didn’t mind, because I like that tune. The words, that was John’s concept of what happened to him…but even John was wrong some of the time.
CHRIS: Is it easier to talk about the Beatle stuff now?
GEORGE: Yeah…we started thinking only of the aggravation. But we helped each other through an unbelievably heavy period. We had a great laugh, really, although we were like caged animals for most of the time. That was the best bit about being in that band, rather than like Elvis, being just one Elvis, who consequently suffered things on his own. Even though he had 29 fellows with him, he was just one Elvis, but there were four of us. That pressure would have been too much for us individually.
CHRIS: Some people were surprised by your Python connection; they associate you with Krishna Consciousness and missed the humor of your solo albums.
GEORGE: That’s true…well, being born in Liverpool; everybody thinks they’re a comedian.
CHRIS: There’s more spirituality being explored in music today, much of it more Christian than the Eastern things you were exposing.
GEORGE: The West always had this problem about the East, but Christ was from the East. Christ spent ages in India, and even after, when he was wherever he was—Jerusalem or whatever—it’s still more East than Paris [laughs]. The Eastern thing says, “If there’s a God, we must see Him. Otherwise, it’s better not to believe. It’s better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite.” And that’s why I said, “I really want to see you.” They thing Christ is the only son of God, and that you can’t see him anyway, because we nailed Him up…I want to see God and have him in my life moment to moment. Otherwise, who am I kidding? You know, going around like the Pope, kissing the floor. I want a direct experience of that, and fortunately, that is available. And it’s not on your TV set and you can’t get it out of a magazine and it’s not on the dollar bill and it ain’t on the Macy’s windowsill. [Laughs]
CHRIS: In the ‘70s, I remember going to airports and…
GEORGE: …Oh those guys?
CHRIS: …I’d be wearing a Beatles shirt and they’d come up and say, “Do you like George Harrison?”
GEORGE: This is another disappointing thing about the Krishnas. Their master [Srila Prabhupada] was great, and I knew him quite well. And if he had known they were doing that, they would have got their behinds kicked…it’s biting the hand that feeds you. I was trying to help them, and I’d find there’d be all that stuff going on behind my back, giving me a bad name…I’ve been associated and have friends in that, but I never joined ‘em. I mean, I joined ‘em in spirit, but not in that spirit of trying to rip people off at airports. Although it did make a good joke in the movie Airplane!