George Harrison ‘didn’t like’ Paul McCartney taking over his Beatles song | Music | Entertainment

The Beatles’ repertoire of music was made up largely of tracks penned by the main songwriting duo, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. However, on a few occasions throughout the Fab Four’s career, Ringo Starr and George Harrison were given opportunities to include some tracks of their own on the records. One of Harrison’s biggest and best known was Taxman, which was included in their seventh studio album, Revolver. But the recording process was bogged down in politics.

Taxman was written and performed by Harrison on the record. However, he just could not find a way to finish the song perfectly. He felt it needed a solo but couldn’t come up with anything good enough for the song.

According to Geoff Emerick – a music producer who was there at the time – the rest of The Beatles did not want to spend too much time on Harrison’s song. He wrote about the awkward moment in his book Here, There, and Everywhere. This conflict eventually led the band’s producer George Martin to suggest a way out of the guitar solo problem.

He pointed at McCartney and proposed he give it a go, instead. Emerick said: “This was, after all, a Harrison song and therefore not something anyone was prepared to spend a whole lot of time on.”

However, he instantly knew it was not something Harrison wanted.

Emerick said: “I could see from the look on Harrison’s face that he didn’t like the idea one bit, but he reluctantly agreed and proceeded to disappear for a couple of hours.”

Within those couple of hours, McCartney wrote and recorded the guitar solo that is in the final recording of Taxman. But You wouldn’t be criticised for thinking it was Harrison who played the piece, as The Beatles’ biographer Robert Rodriguez claimed Harrison and McCartney worked together on the solo.

Whether Harrison worked with McCartney on the solo or not, the result was a McCartney-played guitar that was heavily influenced by Harrison’s style of play.

Years later, Harrison – The Quiet Beatle – backtracked on how he felt about the guitar solo debacle.

Harrison said: “I was pleased to have [McCartney] play that bit on Taxman. If you notice, he did like a little Indian bit on it for me.” This was in reference to Harrison’s love and reverence for Indian culture and his devotion to the Hare Krishna movement.

Lennon later revealed that, before McCartney took over the solo, Harrison had already approached the Imagine singer for help.

Lennon told David Sheff in 1980 he was reluctant to help out. He said: “I remember the day he [Harrison] called to ask for help on Taxman, one of his first songs. I threw in a few one-liners to help the song along because that’s what he asked for. He came to me because he couldn’t go to Paul. Paul wouldn’t have helped him at that period.”

Lennon confessed: “I didn’t want to do it. I just sort of bit my tongue and said okay. It had been John and Paul for so long, he’d been left out because he hadn’t been a songwriter up until then.”

The Beatles never released Taxman as a single, so it didn’t chart.

However, it does mark the continuation of Harrison’s emergence as a prominent songwriter within the band.

Taxman’s lyrics criticise the government for its ruthless tax laws. The idea followed the band being forced to pay over 90 percent of their earnings to the UK’s treasury.


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