Tag Archives: George Harrison

1960s January 15 Music

1960s January 15 Music

Motown Records

January 15, 1961: Motown Records signed The Supremes. Their first release will be "I Want A Guy." (see Motown Records Begins)

Los Angeles Whiskey a Go Go

1960s January 15 Music

January 15, 1964: the Los Angeles Whiskey a Go Go opened. The club's opening night featured Johnny Rivers as the headlining act. The club quickly became famous for its music (rock 'n' roll), dancing (the patrons on the floor and the go-go dancers inside elevated glass cages) and the Hollywood celebrities it attracted.

The Whisky played an important role in many musical careers, especially for bands based in southern California. The Byrds, Alice Cooper, Buffalo Springfield, Smokestack Lightning, and Love were regulars, and The Doors were the house band for a while – until the debut of the "Oedipal section" of "The End" got them fired. (see Whisky a Go Go for more)

Acid Test

1960s January 15 Music

January 15, 1966: Portland, Oregon Acid Test. From Searching for the Sound - Phil Lesh (pages 72-73) "There was one more out-of-town tryout for us, the Beaver Hall Test in Portland. The Test itself has receded into the mists of antiquity, except for the vague memory of playing in an upstairs warehouse with concrete pillars everywhere and bare lath and wiring on the walls. What mattered about the Portland Acid Test was the journey toward it.

     It began as our first trip together on Further, Kesey's fabled bus. Bobby and I had day-tripped on the bus to see the Beatles at the Cow Palace earlier that year, but for the majority of the band it was a first. Leaving Palo Alto as early as possible, by midafternoon or so, we were halfway up the Central Valley bound for Shasta and points north, and then: Catastrophe! The bus breaks down! Never let it be said that the show did not go on! What to do?

     We rent a U-Haul truck; we strip the bus and cram all of us -- the band, the Pranksters -- and everything else into the truck. I jump into the shotgun seat up front, and we cruise off into the darkening storm of the worst blizzard in years: over the Siskiyou Mountains in the dead of night. Neal pressing ever onward, the rhythm of the falling snow sweeping through the headlights, sliding in and out of synch with the music piped into the cockpit by means of our patented two-way distort-o-phonic communication system, set up so that those in the back could also hear Neal's multiple personalities conversing with one another. If ever the magic of the open road was distilled into a single experience, it was, for me, that night sitting next to Neal, hurtling into the dazzling play of light and shade on the whirling snow with his voice turning every sentence into a poem, all sensory input synched up (or sometimes not, and that's good too) with the rhythm of the wipers and whatever music happened to randomly penetrate our awareness.

    Upon our return from Portland, all the scuttlebutt was ablaze with the plans for the "Big One"; the Trips Festival, to take place in San Francisco's Longshoreman's Hall."

1960s January 15 Music

And from Owsley "Bear" Stanley: Portland acid test was either on Dec 18 '65, or Jan 15 '66. There were two which I didn't go to after my "initiation" at the Dec 11 Muir Beach event, one was in Palo Alto and the other one was in Portland. There were two before that also. Only one other one did I miss, the first one in LA in late Feb in Northridge. So I missed a total of five of the AT's. The Dead were always the centerpiece of the Acid tests, the real reason for its existence, and it could not have taken place without them. The band at the time rated their participation above any other activity in importance. 

The Rolling Stones

1960s January 15 Music

January 15, 1967: The Rolling Stones appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. At Ed Sullivan's request, the band changed the lyrics of "Let's Spend the Night Together" to "Let's spend some time together."

Notorious Byrd Brothers

1960s January 15 Music

January 15, 1968: Byrds released Notorious Byrd Brothers album. 

Richie Unterberger from AllMusic dot come writes: The recording sessions for the Byrds' fifth album, The Notorious Byrd Brothers, were conducted in the midst of internal turmoil that found them reduced to a duo by the time the record was completed. That wasn't evident from listening to the results, which showed the group continuing to expand the parameters of their eclecticism while retaining their hallmark guitar jangle and harmonies. With assistance from producer Gary Usher, they took more chances in the studio, enhancing the spacy quality of tracks like "Natural Harmony" and Goffin & King's "Wasn't Born to Follow" with electronic phasing. Washes of Moog synthesizer formed the eerie backdrop for "Space Odyssey," and the songs were craftily and unobtrusively linked with segues and fades. But the Byrds did not bury the essential strengths of their tunes in effects: "Goin' Back" (also written by Goffin & King) was a magnificent and melodic cover with the expected tasteful 12-string guitar runs that should have been a big hit. "Tribal Gathering" has some of the band's most effervescent harmonies; "Draft Morning" is a subtle and effective reflection of the horrors of the Vietnam War; and "Old John Robertson" looks forward to the country-rock that would soon dominate their repertoire.

1960s January 15 Music

January 15, 1969, with George Harrison still not with the band, all four Beatles met to discuss their future, Harrison was in a commanding position, following a series of dismal sessions at Twickenham Film Studios, and was able to set down his terms for returning to the group. During the five-hour meeting he made it clear that he would leave the group unless the idea of a live show before an audience was dropped.

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John Lennon George Harrison David Frost

John Lennon George Harrison David Frost

September 29, 1967

George Harrison Sitar

The path that led the Beatles to transcendental meditation was mainly through George Harrison's use of the sitar, the Indian instrument he used on Rubber Soul's "Norwegian Wood." Harrison used the sitar simply because he liked its sound, but he wanted to learn more. 

Harrison had first met Shankar in June 1966 in the UK and Shankar gave a couple of lessons to Harrison. 

On September 14, 1966, Mr and Mrs Sam Wells, aka George and Pattie Harrison, flew to Mumbai.  The main reason was to take sitar lessons from renowned musician Ravi Shankar.  Because the sitting position was so difficult for Harrison, Shankar had a yoga instructor help him.

The following year Pattie attended a lecture on Transcendental Meditation at Caxton Hall, London, where she had been given her mantra. 

Beatles meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Encouraged by Pattie Harrison's interest and enthusiasm, on August 24, 1967  the Beatles met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at a lecture in London. All except Ringo and his wife Maureen (she had just given birth to to their son) attended.  While there, they found out that he was giving a series of classes. They all decided to attend.

Of course if the Beatles found something interesting, fans followed suit. Ravi Shankar became part of the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and famously played in the rain at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.

John Lennon George Harrison David Frost

On September 29, 1967 John Lennon and George Harrison were guests on David Frost's The Frost Programme. 

Among the comments were:

Lennon: "Buddha was a groove, Jesus was all right."

Harrison: "I believe in reincarnation. Life and death are still only relative to thought. I believe in rebirth. You keep coming back until you have got it straight. The ultimate thing is to manifest divinity, and become one with The Creator."

Because viewers found that  program so interesting,  John and George returned for another interview a week later. 

Again, the subject of the 45-minute show was Transcendental Meditation. Lennon and Harrison answered questions that Frost and studio guests asked as well as from letters sent in. There was also a pro- and con- discussion about meditation. 

No Mas Maharishi

The interest continued and on February 16, 1968 John and Cynthia Lennon, and George and Pattie Harrison flew to India for further study with the Maharishi.  Paul McCartney, Jane Asher, Ringo and Maureen Starr followed on the 20th.  The plan was to stay at least six weeks.

Ringo found the food there too difficult and he and Maureen  returned to England  less  than two weeks after their arrival. Paul and Jane returned on March 20.

The stay for the others came to an abrupt end when one of the members of the Beatle party told John and George that the Maharishi was sexually inappropriate with one of the female guests.

John and George confronted the Yogi, but he didn't take the accusation seriously which convinced John, George, and the others that he was guilty.

John left, but George, rather than return straightaway to England, went to visit Ravi Shankar and didn't return until April 28.

John Lennon George Harrison David Frost, John Lennon George Harrison David Frost, John Lennon George Harrison David Frost, John Lennon George Harrison David Frost, John Lennon George Harrison David Frost, 

George Harrison Wonderwall Music

George Harrison Wonderwall Music

On December 2, 1968, George Harrison released Wonderwall Music, the first solo album by any Beatle.
George Harrison Wonderwall MusicIt was also the  the first Apple album and quite a contrast to the Beatle movie's Magical Mystery Tour's soundtrack. The music reflected Harrison's continued involvement with Indian music. There are splashes of Western sounds, too, like "Drilling a Home" or  "Cowboy Museum." George Harrison himself did not actually play or sing on any tracks
George Harrison Wonderwall Music
back cover of Wonderwall Music album on left and sleeve picture of Harrison on right
Keep in mind Harrison's Beatle compositions such as Flying and you'll hear his influence.  Wonderwall Music also used the production method common at the time of sending sound back and forth between the left and right channels.
Harrison's follow up to Wonderwall Music would be his Electronic Sound which taught listeners that George Harrison's musical tastes were wide and deep.

George Harrison Wonderwall Music

The NY Times reviewed the Wonderwall album on February 9, 1969. Colin Turner wrote, To my mind it bares the essence of George's music and exposes the culminating tendencies of his whole song book.Click >>> NYT review.
Rolling Stone magazine, years later, included the album on a list the magazine called:  20 Terrible Debut Albums by Great Artists. The lead sentence of the description read, The best thing you can say about Wonderwall Music is that it's probably more historically significant than the LP of experimental twaddle John Lennon released a month later – after all, Oasis never wrote a hit song called  Two Virgins.

George Harrison Wonderwall Music

Interestingly, exactly a year later, on December 2, 1969 Harrison joined Delaney and Bonnie on stage in Bristol, for his first stage appearance since The Beatles' final concert on 29 August 1966. Freed from the attentions of Beatlemania, he was able to be a largely anonymous band member, although he did sing songs including Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby on at least one occasion. Harrison stayed on the tour for six dates until it ended. They played two shows each night, in Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool and Croydon.
George Harrison Wonderwall Music
Film poster for Wonderwall movie
And in case you were wonder(wall)ing: Wonderwall was a 1968 film by first-time director Joe Massot that starred Jane Birkin, Jack MacGowran, and Iain Quarrier. Neither the movie nor the album are considered worthwhile by most.