When they were older, George Harrison and his close friend Eric Clapton discussed doing a Hoagy Carmichael song cover. With all of his friends, the former Beatle cherished jam sessions.
Eric Clapton and George Harrison were quoted as saying they “preserved and protected” their friendship.
When they first met in the early 1960s, Clapton was a member of The Yardbirds and George was a member of The Beatles. But according to George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters, George told Mitchell Glazer that he didn’t actually get to know Clapton until they ran into one another at a Lovin’ Spoonful concert. George believed the guitarist appeared to be alone.
George recalled, “We should’ve invited that guy because I’m sure we know him from somewhere and he just seemed, like, lonely.” Eric had just said, “I know him, I’m sure I know this guy and he seems like, you know, really lonely.” George continued, “I remember we went out and got in the car and went off to Sebastian’s hotel.”
Clapton and George kept bumping into each other, and they eventually grew close. While writing “Here Comes The Sun” in Clapton’s garden, the Beatle requested Clapton to play on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and he also dedicated “Savoy Truffle” to his friend.
George resented Clapton’s independence. However, Clapton started to envy George in the early 1970s. Pattie Boyd, the wife of George, captured his heart. Boyd ultimately left George for Clapton, but their friendship remained intact.
Eric is such a sweet cat, George said in 1987 to Timothy White at Musician Magazine. Just before Easter of this year, I saw one of his own performances at the Los Angeles Forum. For the encore, I stood by the side of the stage while holding up my cigarette lighter.
“Really! I’m so in love with him! Eric and I have always maintained and guarded our friendship through thick and thin.
Robbie Robertson of The Band, according to George Harrison, was wise and kind.
When they were older, George wanted to perform a Hoagy Carmichael song with Clapton.
Hoagy Carmichael was one of George’s favorite musicians, and he expressed his desire to record with Clapton during his interview with White.
“I’m a big fan of so many kinds of rock and popular music, from Bob Marley to Cole Porter to Smokey Robinson to Hoagy Carmichael,” George said. “It’s sad to see the greats go.”
I’ve had a crazed love for Hoagy Carmichael ever since I was a child. There are still a few of his songs I wouldn’t mind performing, like “Old Rocking Chair.” Perhaps one day—not right away, but one day when I’m a little older—Eric and I can sing “Old rocking chair has got me…'” I cut his “Hong Kong Blues” on “Somewhere in England.”
Although George Harrison claimed Peter Sellers encouraged him to pursue a career in film, another idol reminded him that he was only a musician.
The Beatles claimed that Clapton performed guitar feats that took them a long time to accomplish.
Despite not having the opportunity to perform a Hoagy Carmichael cover, George and Clapton continued to collaborate as guitarists. Through the years, they worked together on numerous songs including Jackie Lomax’s “Sour Milk Sea,” Cream’s “Badge,” Billy Preston’s “That’s the Way God Planned It,” John Lennon’s “Cold Turkey,” and George’s debut solo album Wonderwall Music.
George’s ego wasn’t damaged by letting Clapton take all these guitar parts. The things Clapton did on the guitar, he claimed to Guitar Player, took him a long time to master.
Yes, George replied, “I adore Eric. “I adore the way he plays the guitar. He doesn’t bring an amp or a guitar when he comes over to play on my songs; instead, he says, “Oh, you’ve got a good Stratocaster.” He knows I have one because he gave it to me. He plugs in, and with just his vibrato and everything, he transforms that guitar into Eric’s sound.
“That’s what makes the variety of players so appealing. There are players who are better than one another or who are not as good, but each player has a specialty. It reminds me of 12-bar blues. They say you can never perform a 12-bar the same way twice. There are some things Eric can do that would take me all night to perfect but which he can do in just one take. because he plays nonstop.
George had such a deep love for Clapton that he was content to step aside and let the guitarist take center stage on his songs. That is very telling. They would have done a great job covering Hoagy Carmichael, as they have with all of their other projects.
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