George Harrison almost gave up songwriting until one pivotal Beatles track

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The Beatles star George Harrison was a fantastic songwriter, but he was pitted against the genius minds of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Bob Dylan once mused that Harrison was almost wasted because of his proximity to his Fab Four bandmates.

He said: “George got stuck with being the Beatle that had to fight to get songs on records because of Lennon and McCartney. Well, who wouldn’t get stuck? If George had had his own group and was writing his own songs back then, he’d have been probably just as big as anybody.”

But everything changed in 1963 when Harrison finally penned a song he felt was worth something.

The band’s second album, With The Beatles, included the song Don’t Bother Me, which was one of Harrison’s first songs for the band.

The melancholy song is a classic heartbreaker penned in Harrison’s signature style.

And while it is not one of the songs that Beatles fans might pick as their favourite, it was good enough to be included in the album. It also spurred Harrison on to keep writing songs for the band; even if Lennon and McCartney felt they had it covered.

Harrison later recalled: “At least it showed me that all I needed to do was keep on writing, and then maybe eventually I would write something good.”

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In the years that followed, Harrison wrote a number of iconic Beatles songs, including Something, Here Comes the Sun, While My Guitar Gently Weeps and I Me Mine to name just a few.

He also went on to write some massive hits in his solo career, including All Things Must Pass, Isn’t It a Pity and My Sweet Lord.

Harrison sometimes did need a little help from his friends, though.

While writing the song Taxman, Harrison asked Lennon for help. John later remembered: “I remember the day he called to ask for help on Taxman, one of his first songs. I threw in a few one-liners to help the song along, because that’s what he asked for.

“He came to me because he couldn’t go to Paul, because Paul wouldn’t have helped him at that period. I didn’t want to do it. I thought, Oh, no, don’t tell me I have to work on George’s stuff. It’s enough doing my own and Paul’s.”

He added: “But because I loved him and I didn’t want to hurt him when he called that afternoon and said: ‘Will you help me with this song?’ I just sort of bit my tongue and said okay. It had been John and Paul for so long, he’d been left out because he hadn’t been a songwriter up until then.”


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