The late George Harrison -- who loved to record and happened to have a top-notch recording studio in his home for many years -- left behind a wealth of demos and early versions of songs that went on to be considered classics. Ten of these recordings appear on Early Takes Volume 1, which will be released May 1 by Hip-O Records to coincide with the DVD/Blu-ray release of Martin Scorsese's 2011 Harrison biopic, Living In The Material World.
George Harrison played many a classic guitar during the course of his career, popularizing some models so extensively that he is inextricably linked with them. In the Sixties, during his time with the Beatles, he helped make famous the Rickenbacker 360/12 electric 12-string, a rosewood version of the Fender Telecaster, and the Gibson J-160 acoustic/electric, among others, while his solo years saw him in possession of guitars by famed luthier Tony Zemaitis.
It's unlikely John Lennon had much of anything to do with recording Harrison's second Abbey Road contribution. He was still out of commission from his July 1 automobile accident when work began on this Harrison track on July 7 in Studio Two.
Here's a video of the Andy Timmons Band -- featuring former Danger Danger guitarist Andy Timmons, of course -- performing The Beatles' "Within You Without You" at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City on Monday, March 19. Timmons and his band performed their entire 2011 album -- Andy Timmons Band Plays Sgt. Pepper -- at the show. Tracks included "Within You Without You" (watch below), "Lovely Rita," "Getting Better" "Fixing A Hole" and "A Day In the Life."
While The Beatles spent the first months of 1969 getting back to their roots with the Let It Be sessions, EMI's Abbey Road Studios was moving headlong into the future. On November 23, 1968, Studio Two's control room had been outfitted with EMI's new TG12345 mixer, the first transistorized recording console in Abbey Road.
Although George Harrison -- aka "The Quiet Beatle" -- died of cancer in November 2001, his influence as a guitarist, songwriter and singer is still felt. And, despite the fact that Harrison released several lauded solo albums and wrote songs for other artists, his best-known songs are still the ones he wrote for The Beatles.
All you guitar-playing Beatles fans who still don't own iPads, take note: The Guitar Collection: George Harrison, a new app devoted to George Harrison's Beatles-era guitars, is available through iTunes today, two days before the guitarist's 69th birthday.