Skip to main content

George Harrison Selects His Best Slide Guitar Solo

(Image credit: Bob King/Getty Images)

In the January 2003 issue of Guitar World—yeah, I know that's random—there's a story called "Do You Want to Know a Secret: Confessions of the Quiet Beatle."

It's an interview, conducted by Vic Garbarini, of former Beatle George Harrison in late 1992. At one point (page 126), Garbarini asks Harrison to choose his best slide guitar solo.

"The best slide solo I ever played was on...what's her name? That girl singer who used to be with that all-girl band? ... Belinda Carlisle of the Go-Go's! That's who it was," Harrison said. "I played on one of her albums [1989's Runaway Horses]. One of the slide solos had its own little tune which related to the tune Belinda was singing, but it's also a little composition in its own right, which I was really pleased with."

Harrison played guitar on two Runaway Horses tracks—"Leave a Light On" and "Deep Deep Ocean." Although he didn't name a song, we're pretty sure he's referring to "Leave a Light On," which has the more interesting guitar solo. Just in case, we've included both songs below.

His "Leave a Light On" solo starts at 3:01; his "Deep Deep Ocean" solo starts at 2:41. If you think this is an odd choice by the guitarist, remember the Guitar World interview is from 1992, a few years before the Beatles' "Free As a Bird" and the stellar slide work on his last album, Brainwashed (2002).

Of course, it's interesting that he also didn't mention anything from Living In the Material World (1973), Thirty Three & 1/3 (1976), George Harrison (1979) or Cloud Nine (1987). He also didn't mention his stellar 1989 single, "Cheer Down." But we'll let it slide!

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.