When The Beatles star George Harrison began writing his first solo album after the band split up he looked to his peers to help him out. One of the people George admired most musically was Bob Dylan, so when he began writing the songs he naturally reached out to get his input on the music.
Looking back on Bob’s input in 1975, George said: “Bob Dylan is the most consistent artist there is. Even his stuff which people loathe, I like.” He added: “Every single thing he does represents something that’s him. He may write better songs tomorrow, sing high on this album and low on another, go electric or acoustic, go weird or whatever, but the basic thing that causes all this change is an incredible character named Bob Dylan.”
But, through all of the praise of the Like a Rolling Stone singer, George added one last criticism.
George said of Bob’s musical changes: “He’s the looniest person I know!” Of course, this was said out of admiration and love for his colleague. And, together, they worked on the song I’d Have You Anytime for George’s album All Things Must Pass. But when they first started writing together, George recalled: “He seemed a little nervous and I felt a little uncomfortable. Anyway, on the third day, we got the guitars out and loosened up.”
George said while looking back on All Things Must Pass: “[Opening the album with I’d Have You Anytime] just seemed like a good thing to do … maybe subconsciously I needed a bit of support. I had Eric [Clapton] playing the solo, and Bob had helped write it.”
Despite his disappointment with this decision, George and Bob remained great friends until the former died.
George died of a tumour on November 29, 2001, aged just 58. A memorial concert followed, with many of his friends attending and performing. But Bob Dylan did not attend.
Bob made up for it in his own way, though. During a New York City concert, he played The Beatles’ track Something – which was written by George. He told his audience: “I just want to do this song for George, because we were such good buddies.” In 2007 Bob was asked by Rolling Stone about George’s death. But he wouldn’t give too much away.
Instead, he said: “We’d known each other from the old days really. I knew the Beatles really early on, all of them.”