The Beatles ‘were crummy musicians’: George Harrison blasted bandmates in BBC interview

The Beatles discuss meeting Elvis

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During the early 1960s The Beatles were still finding their feet in the music industry. Although they would go on to become incredibly famous worldwide, they did start out as just four lads playing music in Liverpool. During a 1963 BBC Radio program called The Public Ear, the band spoke out about their musicianship. During the chat, George Harrison was not going to mince words about the band’s skills.

By 1963 the band had released their first album, Please Please Me, which reached number one in the UK Album Charts.

They had also released a string of successful singles, including Love Me Do, She Loves You, Please Please Me and I Want To Hold Your Hand.

Despite the success they had already achieve, George proclaimed: “To be a guitarist, you’re supposed to practice a couple of hours a day. But, I mean, I don’t do that.”

Ringo Starr offered: “To be anything, you’re supposed to practice a couple of hours a day.”

George continued: “Well you know, I mean, the thing is… individually we’re all, I suppose we’re all crummy musicians, really.”

John Lennon said: “I haven’t got the patience to practice to become a perfect guitarist, you know.

“I’m more interested in the combination of my voice and the guitar I know and to write songs than I am in the instrument.

“So I never go through a day hardly without playing it whether I’m perfecting or not, you know.”

Paul McCartney suggested that George was the most talented of the bunch.

The Beatles arrive at JFK airport in 1964

Paul said: “George is the one of us who is interested in the instrument.”

He added: “The other three of us are more interested in the sound of the group [as a whole].”

During the interview, Paul also spoke candidly about the band’s growing success and how they viewed it.

Paul assured listeners the joy of performing “wasn’t about the money” – although it helped.

He explained how The Beatles had already performed for years without really earning much out of it, financially, adding that they just loved getting on stage.

George explained: “We have been misquoted… people saying we make seven thousand a week, and all that.”

He added that they “probably do make quite a bit” but they don’t see it because “record royalties take months to come in”.

Paul also mused about the band’s success, saying: “It wasn’t so much that we foresaw a big success, we just never thought that anything particularly bad would happen to us.

“We never felt… never sat down at one particular point at all and, sort of, worried about anything. We’ve always thought that something would turn up sometime.”


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