Keith Richards’ opinion on George Harrison

George Harrison, a vocalist and guitarist who contributed significantly to The Beatles‘ distinctive style and songs, further demonstrated his skill throughout his successful solo career, which spanned the 1970s until he died in 2001 at 58. Many of his contemporaries, including Keith Richards, the guitarist for The Rolling Stones, shared their thoughts on the late artist throughout the years.

What was Keith Richards’ opinion on George Harrison

Keith Richards said, “To me – George was, always will be, above all, a real gentleman, in the full meaning of the word. We both felt we held similar positions in our respective bands, which formed a special, knowing bond between us. Let’s hope he’s jamming with John.”

Despite his affection for Harrison, Keith took issue with the way Harrison’s guitar was recorded by renowned Beatles producer George Martin. In 2004, the guitarist for the Rolling Stones stated the following during an interview for the “Ask Keith” special video series he produced for his website: “George (Harrison) was another great mate of mine. I think as you say, that George Martin particularly didn’t serve his guitar sound as well as it could have been done.”

“But it was early days and they were doing those things, they (would) make an album in one night, you know. Listen to ‘Twist And Shout’, you can hear they barely being able to get there, but great records. Just purely a matter of the recording sound, nothing to do with Geroge, he was a great friend of mine.”

He also said, “In fact, I’ve met his son, Dhani just two, three weeks ago and there is Dhani Harrison who is the spitting image of George. I kept calling him George (laughs). He was so much like his dad, and George was such a gentle soul. I used to call him ‘farmer George’ because he liked gardening more than anything. (He is) another one sorely missed. I guess the good die young.”

For Keith, the songs written by George were very well crafted

A few months after Harrison passed away, Rolling Stone published a special edition of their magazine called “Remembering George,” in which Keith Richards described his late buddy as “very quiet and enigmatic in many ways.” He added that George was quite particular about the quality of his songwriting. (He) cited songs like “My Sweet Lord,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and “Something” as examples.

Keith Richards said, “The thing is, you’ve got your Jimi Hendrix, you’ve got your Eric Clapton, and then you’ve got guys who can play with bands. And George was a band and a team player. To me, that’s way above being some virtuoso flash artist… George was an artist, but he was also a f* craftsman.”

“When you listen to his songs, you’re aware of how much went into it. He didn’t flip anything off. George crafted his stuff very, very carefully, and it all had its own feel. This was a guy who could come out with a great song or a great record anytime.”

Keith Richards’ friendship with The Beatles

The Rolling Stones and The Beatles were founded in London and Liverpool, respectively, in 1962 and 1960. The Fab Four helped the Stones land their first record deal, and they had first met back in the early days of the band.

Despite the decades-long animosity between the two groups fostered by the media and fans, they enjoyed a great rapport. In 2003, Keith Richards discussed his relationship with The Beatles in response to a fan in the “Ask Keith” area of his website.

“John was a particular good friend of mine. Stories that cannot be told (laughs). George was a lovely guy, we got Paul (a great songwriter) and Ringo, what a guy, what a steady (beat). They came to see us play. We were playing in a pub, at Station Hotel in Richmond, that was our gig.”

“It was the only one we really had. Everybody was having a good time. I turn around and there is these four guys in black leather overcoats standing there. This was soon after ‘Love Me Do’.”

He continued, “I mean this was really early on and this is early 60s. From then on we’re always good mates. When George’s new single (was ready) we always made sure we didn’t clash because in those days was like every two months you had to have a new single.”

“We would collaborate with each other. So we didn’t go head to head, because otherwise it seemed like ‘you’re either Beatles or Stones’, bullshit. And we are so similar, that’s not true. We all recognized that and it was one of the great things about it. I mean, between the two bands there was never any sense of competition, was cooperation.”




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