_George Harrison and/e Ken Scott;
England/Inglaterra; London/Londres; Abbey Road; EMI Studios/Estúdios EMI; Studio Two/Estúdio 2 da Abbey Road; White Album/Álbum Branco;
October 7th 1968/7 de outubro de 1968.
There’s an inn, there’s an inn, there’s a merry old inn beneath an old grey hill, And there they brew a beer so brown That the Man in the Moon himself came down one night to drink his fill.
The ostler has a tipsy cat that plays a five-stringed fiddle; And up and down he saws his bow Now squeaking high, now purring low, now sawing in the middle.
So the cat on the fiddle played hey-diddle-diddle, a jig that would wake the dead: He squeaked and sawed and quickened the tune, While the landlord shook the Man in the Moon: ‘It’s after three!’ he said.
George, oh George. He was one of the nicest and most certainly one of the funniest people I have met in this business. He had his moments, we all do, but to portray him as sour or negative or untalented as some have is so far from anything that I ever saw during my time with him, both with The Beatles and afterwards. The other Beatles were funny, but I have to say that he most certainly was the funniest. He was the one who told George (Martin) that he didn’t like his tie, and it just continued from there.
I think that George grew tired of the fame and adulation faster than the others. He was always kind and polite to people, but did his best to downplay who he was as much as possible. An example of this came one day when he and I stopped off to get a bite to eat during the installation of his studio at his Friar Park estate. A woman came up to him at the table and started with ‘You’re him, aren’t you?’ ‘I’m who?’ George replied. ‘Him!’ she said. ‘Who’s him?’ George countered. ‘You are. You’re him.’
Time plays tricks with regard to how long an actual event goes on, but it seemed to me that this continued for ages and not once did George back down. It became quite obvious that she recognised the face but couldn’t put a name to it, but Mr. H. sure as hell wasn’t going to help her.
I liked how he started to deal with that type of situation later in life. When someone would come up to him and say, ‘Aren’t you George Harrison?’ he would come back with ‘You know, I’ve been told I look like him by other people but I don’t see it. I think I’m much better looking, don’t you?’ Very rarely did anyone pursue it further.
Ken Scott on George Harrison, Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust
George Harrison, Ken Scott, George Martin and Paul McCartney in the control room at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, during the “Hey Jude” recording session, 30 July 1968. More screen captures from that day have been posted previously.
“Working with George [Harrison] was always a joy.” - Ken Scott, Premier Guitar, 19 March 2010
* * *
“[George Harrison] was so much more than The Beatles.
As a guitarist he eventually got his own unique sound when you could always tell it was him. There are very few guitarists that can say that. You can hear a blues guitarist and it could be any number of guitarists; their styles are very similar. With George, he was just completely different from anyone else.” - Ken Scott, Finding Zoso, 4 December 2012
* * *
Ken Scott: “I learned very early on not to get star-struck. He [George Harrison] was the exception until the last day I saw him.”
Red Bull Music Academy: “Why him more than the other Beatles? It seems like he was the one you had the strongest relationship with.”
KS: “Yeah, I was the strongest with him. He was just an amazing person. There’s been so much written about him being dour and down the entire time and the quiet one. Eric Idle once said of George, that he was always quoted as being the quiet Beatle, but anyone that knew him knew that once he started there was no shutting him up. As far as being dour, he was one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. Just as an example, they were mixing “Yellow Submarine,” surround sound, at Abbey Road, and George and Ringo were invited to go and hear what they were doing. They’re upstairs listening, and it just so happened down in number one, the very big studio at Abbey Road, Mel Gibson was doing music for one of his movies, I think it was The Patriot at the time. And typically, with any of the Beatles, the top film stars, if it’s a Beatle they’ve got to meet them. It’s, they’re above everyone. So, Mel Gibson heard that Ringo and George were upstairs and he passed word up, could he go up and meet them. Word came back down, ‘Yeah, sure, send him up.’ So, he went upstairs and he meets Ringo first, he shakes hands and all of that, then it’s George’s turn, and George just turns and looks and he said, ‘I thought you said it was Mel Brooks.’“
"Mel Gibson’s jaw just hit the ground and George said, 'Don’t worry, I know who you are.’”
But that’s the way he was, he was an amazing individual. He could give two hoots about the business, really. He always used to get pissed off because it was always: 'George Harrison, ex-Beatle.’ And, he, ‘That was six years of my life, what about the rest of the stuff.’ He hated being that ex-Beatle being after his name all the time.“ - 2013
* * *
“George Harrison has got a lot of, shall we say, bad press from one book [Geoff Emerick’s] and I want to dispute that. George was one of the funniest guys I ever met and I was blessed to spend a lot of time with George just before his passing, and just a quick story from that. One of the - we were putting together the remaster of All Things Must Pass, and Phil Collins, the ex-drummer of Genesis and also the lead singer, has often told this story in interviews, how he played on All Things Must Pass, he played congas on something. And no one remembers him playing on it, no one has any proof that he did it, but he has continually told this story. So whilst we’re doing the - some overdubs on additional tracks for the remaster, we have a percussionist by the name of Ray Cooper come in. And George - we’re finishing everything up and George then suddenly tells me to put up a particular track, and he says to Ray, ‘Okay, I want you to play congas on this, and I want you to play them badly. I don’t want them really badly, just off enough that it would really set someone slightly off.‘ So we recorded it, George said, ‘Okay, now do a quick rough mix of it and keep the congas up fairly loud.’ So I did that and we then made a CD of it, and George gave it to Ray and he said, ‘Next time you see Phil, give him this and tell him we finally found his congas.’ [laughter] So Ray goes, he sees Phil, he gives him this CD and apparently Phil was ecstatic: ‘Finally I’ve got the proof, I’ve got the proof!’ He takes it home, he plays it, he wants to cry. [laughter] Two weeks later, George called up and said, ‘Gotcha.’ [laughter] That was the Mr. Harrison I knew.” - Ken Scott, Beatlefest, 2013
“I just wanted to tell you… Well, I don’t know all of you, but… I love you. I love you all very much. You’re all focusing a lot on Starbuck, but you can’t forget that whatever happens, you’re all brothers and sisters. You’ve found one another.”
George (top) with Chris Thomas, who produced ‘Piggies’ September 1968 at Abbey Road Studios. George (bottom) at the recording console.
We were working in [studio] number two. I wandered into number one and found a harpsichord…we discussed wheeling the thing in…but Ken Scott said, ‘No, we can’t, it’s there for another session!’ So we moved our session into number one instead. George Harrison agreed that my harpsichord idea was a good one and suggested that I play it.
- Chris Thomas, The Beatles Complete Recording Sessions
“Piggies is a social comment. I was stuck for one line in the middle until my mother came up with the lyric ‘what they need is a damn good whacking!’ (a damned good throttling) which is a nice simple way of saying they need a good hiding. It needed to rhyme with ‘backing’, ‘lacking’ and had absolutely nothing to do with the American policemen or Californian shagnasties. You can see from the facsimile that an extra verse was written but not used.
But, of course, George was also Mr. Nice Guy. There was a couple getting married who he had met somewhere along the way. They weren’t famous or even in the music business, just an ordinary couple that George, the most ordinary superstar you’d ever hope to meet, happened to cross paths with. One evening he asked me to record a special message that he made for them, along with him playing them a song. We put it on a cassette and sent it to them so they could play it at their wedding. Who wouldn’t love George?
Ken Scott on George Harrison, Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust