George Harrison said he wrote “Not Guilty” about the “grief” he suffered from fellow Beatles Paul McCartney and John Lennon during filming The White Album. The “Taxman” singer grew increasingly angry at his bandmates and had to vent his frustration.
It all came out in one song.
The Beatle had to struggle to record his songs
George wrote his first song “Don’t Bother Me” in 1963. Paul and John immediately agreed to keep the Beatles’ songwriting to themselves.
When George came to John, Paul and producer George Martin with his songs, they only allowed him a few on an album. Eventually, George got tired of pushing, so he started stocking up.
He told WABC-FM New York’s Howard Smith (per Beatles Interviews), “It was the way the Beatles took off with the songs of Paul and John and it made it very difficult for me to get into it. I didn’t have that.” lots of confidence when it came to pushing my own material as I have it now. So it took a while.
“But now the output of songs is too big to just sit around and wait to put two songs on an album. I have to get her out, you know.
“Whoever was the hardest got the most songs done. Consequently, I couldn’t bother to push that much. You know, even on Abbey Road for example, we recorded about eight tracks before I got around to doing one of mine.
“Because you say, ‘Well, I’ve got a song,’ and then with Paul – ‘Well, I’ve got a song, too, and mine goes like this – foolish-toddle-tot-duh’, and off we go! It was just difficult to get in there and I didn’t want to push and yell.”
George wrote “Not Guilt” during filming The White Album. It became one of the many songs put in storage for later.
RELATED: George Harrison told Paul McCartney he couldn’t write songs like ‘Martha My Dear.’
George Harrison wrote “Not Guilty” about the “grief” he felt from Paul McCartney and John Lennon while making The White Album.
In his 1980 memoir me mineGeorge wrote that “Not Guilty” was about the time the Beatles were recording The White Album. “Paul John Apple Rishikesh Indian friend etc,” he wrote.
During a 1987 interview with Timothy White in Musician Magazine, George expanded on this. He said it was more about the “grief” Paul and John caused him at the time.
“I was mad at Lennon and McCartney for the grief I got while filming The White Album,” George said. “I said I was not guilty of getting in the way of her career. I said I was not guilty of misleading them when we all went to Rishikesh to see the Maharishi.
He continued, “I stood up for myself, and the song came out strong enough to be saved and used.”
The Beatles recorded “Not Guilty”. However, it was a complicated song. They did 102 takes but never released. George later released “Not Guilty” on his 1979 album, George Harrison.
RELATED: George Harrison revealed he often “blacked out” during slide guitar solos.
Why George Was Upset Writing ‘Not Guilty’
George said he was not guilty of hindering John and Paul’s careers. He may have felt that his bandmates teased him because he was always trying to get them to do his songs. However, when he sang, George shouldn’t have felt guilty for checking in with them. They were a band but Paul and John only cared about playing their tunes.
As for Rishikesh, George might have felt that he had misled his bandmates when it came to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi because some rumors about the guru had circulated. John immediately fled Maharishi’s ashram in India after being told by someone at the retreat that Maharishi had been inappropriate with some of his female devotees. They felt betrayed, but George never really believed the rumours, nor were they ever confirmed.
The Beatles didn’t get along in 1968. Neither of them wanted to work together anymore. George must have felt horrible after not being able to get his songs out there and after the Rishikesh mess. However, when he sang on “Not Guilty,” none of it was his fault.
RELATED: George Harrison reportedly turned down an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II over Paul McCartney’s knighthood, but there could be another reason
https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/george-harrison-wrote-not-guilty-grief-paul-mccartney-john-lennon-making-white-album.html/ George Harrison wrote “Not Guilty” about the “grief” he felt from Paul McCartney and John Lennon while making “The White Album.”