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Why George Harrison held a grudge towards Paul McCartney

George Harrison and Paul McCartney


Why George Harrison held a grudge towards Paul McCartney

The Beatles were the most successful band of all time and Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are forever part of the history of music as the ones who caused a real revolution in the world with the songs they recorded. Although they were together for 10 years and became one of the best-selling bands of all time, their relationship was not always good and that was discovered especially after they broke up.


The guitarist and singer George Harrison was the first Beatle to have a number one solo single, proving that he was an incredible songwriter and could have contributed even more to The Beatles. Even after the end of the band, George held a grudge towards Paul McCartney, which obviously passed over the decades. But he was really sad about what happened between them during the years they were bandmates.

Why George Harrison held a grudge towards Paul McCartney

The Beatles’ main songwriters were Paul McCartney and John Lennon, almost all the famous compositions of the band were written by the two and that was the main reason why George Harrison held a grudge towards Paul McCartney. He said many times over the decades that the band had to work first on many compositions by Lennon and McCartney before focusing on songs presented by him and Ringo. That’s the main reason why George and Ringo didn’t have many songs written by them recorded by The Beatles when compared to the compositions of their bandmates.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine back in 1979, Harrison talked about that, saying: “Yeah, well now we don’t have any problems whatsoever as far as being people is concerned, and it’s quite nice to see him. But I don’t know about being in a band with him, how that would work out. It’s like, we all have our own tunes to do. And my problem was that it would always be very difficult to get in on the act. Because Paul was very pushy in that respect.”

“When he succumbed to playing on one of your tunes, he’d always do good. But you’d have to do fifty-nine of Paul’s songs before he’d even listen to one of yours. So, in that respect, it would be very difficult to ever play with him. But, you know, we’re cool as far as being pals goes,” George Harrison said.

George thought it was funny that McCartney only said that would like to write with him decades after the end of The Beatles

Of course, over the years those wounds were healed and they had more good things to say about each other. They even worked together again when both reunited with Ringo Starr to finish the  John Lennon song “Free as a Bird”, which was released in 1995 as a single.

But in the mid-80s, in an interview (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), George Harrison was asked about the movie “Give My Regards to Broad Street” (1984), which was written by McCartney. For the soundtrack his ex-bandmate wrote a few original songs but also re-recorded many Beatles hits. About the movie, Harrison joked that he didn’t notice that The Beatles songs featured in the movie were new versions. When asked why McCartney did that he said that he probably ran out of good original songs.

“We are long past all the squabbles now. I think they were ok (The new versions of Beatles songs), I didn’t notice that they were new versions (laughs). I only watched it once but I liked it. (But) I remember about ‘dancing’, ‘ballroom dancing’, all that stuff. I don’t remember the old ones. Paul? Maybe because he ran out of good ones of his own (laughs)”. The interviewer laughed and said “Now we’ve got that on record” and Harrison laughed and said: “Well, it’s true”.

He continued:

“For the last few years, I’ve said my mind to him, whenever I felt something. Like ‘Broad Street’, I thought it was a big mistake. Not to make the film because I’ve quite enjoyed it myself. But the idea of trying to write and do everything yourself, that’s the mistake. Paul had asked, you know, had suggested, maybe, the chance of me and him writing together something. (Laugh) It’s pretty funny, really. Because, I mean, I’ve only been there for about 30 years in Paul’s life. It’s like, now he wants to write with me. I think it may be quite interesting sometime to do it,” George Harrison said.

Paul played the bass guitar in a few songs from Harrison’s solo career like “All Those Years Ago”, released in 1981, which served as a tribute to John Lennon. But when it came to working with an ex-bandmate, it was Ringo Starr who collaborated more with Harrison. Both of them worked together on their solo projects over the decades.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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