Paul McCartney Reflects On George Harrison’s Songwriting In New Interview
Words by Riley Norton Fitzgerald
Graphic by Apple
In a new interview with podcast Clear + Vivid Paul McCartney discusses George Harrison, the Beatles’ songwriting and several other intriguing topics.
“We didn’t really learn music in the Beatles,” he shared. “John and I, neither of us could read or write music. The same with George or Ringo… We just made it up.”
“When writing songs,” the former Beatle adds, “we looked at where everyone else did and… that’s how you wrote them.”
The Beatles were never taught to read or write music.
“There was no dots,” he contends. “You’re not looking at that. You’re thinking it, so I think it comes a bit more from your heart… I think that directness was quite a good thing for us.”
“We didn’t actually understand how to do things,” he then reflects, “so everything, therefore, was exciting.”
Paul McCartney and his host, actor Alan Ada, then discuss the character-based approach to songwriting he took with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’s ‘She’s Leaving Home’.
Paul’s ability to create less-than-conventional characters within his songs was also something which captivated also George Harrison.
George’s own approach, Paul reveals, was very different.
“It’s funny,” Paul recalls, “George Harrison often said to me, ‘How do you do that!?’”
“Cos his stuff is sort of biographical,” McCartney notes, “He’ll be feeling a certain way – ‘Here Comes The Sun’? He’s talking about his life: Here comes the sun, it’s better, the ice has melted. But he said, ‘How do you do this? How do you make these people?’ “
Paul attributes this to his education at state grammar school, particularly one teacher who pointed him the “dirty bits” in the works of medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer.
In the podcast Paul McCartney also recounts writing some of his most well-known songs, including ‘Yesterday’, and ‘Let It Be’, ‘She Loves You’.
Listen to the full conversation here.
Paul McCartney 2020 Tour Dates
05/23 – Lille, FR @ Pierre Mauroy Stadium
05/26 – Paris, FR @ Paris La Défense Arena
05/29 – Nijmegen, NL @ Goffert Park
05/31 – Bordeaux, FR @ Stadium Matmut
06/04 – Hannover, DE @ HDI Arena
06/07 – Lyon, FR @ Groupama Stadium
06/10 – Naples, IT @ Piazza Plebiscito
06/13 – Lucca, IT @ Mura Storiche
06/17 – Barcelona, ES @ Olympic Stadium
06/21- Werchter, BE @ TW Classic Festival
06/27 – Pilton, UK @ Glastonbury Festival