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GEORGE HARRISON, BRAZIL

1979


QUESTION: The sixties - do they still mean anything?

GEORGE: Well, they are past, aren't they? What is left is in the history books and from what we've learned, if we learned anything, it means something. If we haven't, it is best to forget them. There were quite happy and turbulent times, a lot of wars, a lot of changes.

QUESTION: Is there anything left of these changes?

GEORGE: Yes, I think so. For a start it made some young people, and older people as well, more conscious of the fact that you don't have to be particularly limited in your ideas. It opened up ideas, like everybody is asking me about Indian music and philosophy now. Fifteen years ago, at the beginning of the sixties, people would think you were a freak if you did yoga exercises. But now a huge percentage of the world does yoga. I think the sixties did help broaden understanding. You know, when someone liked long hair or didn't wear a tie people used to think they were from a zoo, but now a lot of barriers have been broken. One thing, though, was a disappointment. At the end of the sixties, the concept of "All you need is love," which was a good idea, disappeared and it all went back to disco and music for idiots. People started fighting again and all that. So I hope maybe the eighties may bring back "start planting flowers" again and having a bit more love, really.

QUESTION: Do you think there ever will be any group which will rival the Beatles?

GEORGE: Well, there may be groups that can sell as many records. But the Beatles were unique because of the four particular personalities. The Beatles were bigger than the four people separately. There is always someone like Sinatra, Elvis, or the Beatles and maybe somewhere down the line there will be something bigger, but certainly not now. Not like the Bee Gees - they make good records, but they don't have whatever it was the Beatles had.

QUESTION: Are there any released tracks by the Beatles?

GEORGE: "Not Guilty" is on my new album, actually. I wrote that for the White Album in 1967 and forgot all about it. I remembered it last year and we rerecorded it and it's sort of nice, sort of jazzy.

QUESTION: Which one of your songs do you like best?

GEORGE: I don't know, whichever you like best is best for me. "Something" was very good for me, because it had about 150 cover vesrions. It is nice if other people make recordings of your songs. But there are other songs that are better. There is one on the last album [Thirty Three and a Third] I think was good as "Something," "Learning How To Love You." And there is a song on the new LP [entitled George Harrison] "Your Love Is Forever," which, I think is as good as "Something." But it might not be as popular because it was the Beatles who made "Something."

QUESTION: We heard your latest record is dedicated to motor racing?

GEORGE: Only one song out of ten. One is about my wife, one about the moon. All the tunes are about different things, and yes, there is one about racing. When I went to the races everyone kept asking me, "Are you going to write a song about it?" And so in the end I thought I'd better do one. It took me six months thinking "how do I start?" because i just didn't want to write about engines, wheels, and noise. So I had to think of a way of approaching it which had some meaning. It's called "Faster" and I think the words are quite good, because it's abstract and not just one person. It could be about anybody and not just about cars and engines. It is about the circus around it and the feelings people have and the jealousy, all that sort of thing. The song was really inspired by Jacky Stewart and Nikki Lauda. I got the title from a book Jacky had written back in 1973.

QUESTION: What is your opinion of Brazilian music?

GEORGE: You know, I like the more wild music. I don't mean noise, or discotheque. More original music. If Warner Brothers have any good Brazilian music in their catolog, I'll take them home with me and study them. You know, in Europe, for a hundred years it was very popular to do the rumba, samba, and that sort of thing, so in broad contents everybody is aware of Brazilian music. But I must say I'm very ignorant when it comes to specific things.

QUESTION: Do you think disco has any relation to Brazilian music?

GEORGE:  No, no. Disco music is a result of people determined to make a lot of money. It's like a recipe. If you want to make a disco hit, just follow the instructions. You have the bass drum, the cymbal, the violin going, and that's disco. Rubbish!

QUESTION: What about punk music?

GEORGE: Rubbish, total rubbish. Listen to the early Beatle records. They were simple too, but they still had much more depth and meaning. It was innocent or even trivial, but it still had more meaning than punk, which is deliberately destructive and aggressive.

QUESTION: Have you had any more problems with "My Sweet Lord" lately?

GEORGE: Wel, in America it's all become a complete joke, because the man who wrote the song "He's So Fine" died years ago and the company was taken off by his accountants, who were suing me for all this money. When we were going to court the judge said there was no way I copied that song, but, "because of the similarity we must talk about compensation." Then the mother of the songwriter started suing her own company, who was suing me! Then allen Klein, who used to be the Beatles' manager - Klein had been suing us for years and then we made a settlement - was unhappy having no lawsuits against the Beatles. So when the composer died, he bought the case. So now it's Klein against me. But Klein was the one who was promoting "My Sweet Lord" so it's a very funny position and the judge doesn't like it. Ten years ago Klein did interviews saying "My Sweet Lord" had nothing to do with this other song. And now it's the other way round just to get some money off me. So it's just a joke, but for a few years it made me depressed. Having to go to court and do these things, it's terrible, it's a pain in the a**.

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