George Harrison had more fun with fellow musicians Jeff Lynne, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and Elton John than with his former bandmate, Paul McCartney.
For much of the early 1980s, George and Paul were mending their relationship and getting to know each other again. All that work flew out the window when Paul opted out of attending the Beatles’ Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction for some trivial reason. George didn’t like Paul being friendly one minute and uptight the next.
So George was hanging out with other musicians who weren’t as much of a problem for him.
George Harrison and Paul McCartney had a complicated relationship in the 1980s
During their time as Beatles bandmates, George and Paul had their ups and downs. In the end, they were the least musically compatible. After the band broke up, the relationship between George and Paul remained virtually non-existent until the 1980s.
In 1979 George told Rolling Stone that he had no problem with Paul personally, but could no longer see them as bandmates. On Aspel & Co.. in 1987 George said he had not known Paul for 10 years. Yet they were getting to know each other again.
The following year, Paul seemed to let go of all the healing and mending he had done with George when he used the Beatles’ legal troubles between them as an excuse to miss their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. . George thought that was a little hypocritical.
At a press conference that year, George talked about Paul suddenly wanting to write songs with him. He thought it was funny because he had been in Paul’s life for decades. George also explained that Paul was nice one minute and “uptight” the next.
“We all go through it, you know, good and bad and everything. But I think now we have to find somewhere in the middle,” George said.
Paul’s attitude was an important reason why George preferred the company of others.
RELATED: Ringo Starr Said George Harrison Had the ‘Beadbag of Love and Bag of Anger’ Personality: ‘He Was Very Black and White’
George preferred to hang out with other musicians, not Paul
During a 1988 interview with Countdown Holland, George said playing together again was possible for him and Paul. However, he enjoyed hanging out with other more friendly performers.
“You know, I just like hanging out with friendly people,” George said. “I kind of befriended Paul, but I haven’t really known him for 10 years. If he gets to the point where he’s friendly and happy, we could do something about it. At this point, I’m having more fun with Jeff Lynne, Eric Clapton, Ringo, and Elton.
“We get on really well and I don’t like being in situations where I’m not having fun. Paul is sometimes too, you know, he thinks too much about his past.
George performed with his friends at the Prince’s Trust concert in 1987. On Aspel & Co., George explained that he felt like he was going to the electric chair before performing. Fortunately, George had Ringo, Clapton, Lynne and Elton John to back him up.
Their performance in Prince’s Trust also got fans thinking that they might one day form a band. George was not against the idea. George would have preferred to be teammates with his fellow musicians rather than Paul as well.
RELATED: George Harrison on the Apple Records Trouble
The former Beatle would have gladly been in a band with his friends, unlike his former bandmate
On Aspel & Co., George said the idea of him starting a band with Ringo, Clapton, Lynne and Elton John was “bubbling”. He said: “Maybe in Elton’s mind, I don’t know. It’s kind of a good idea because everyone likes to play together. Maybe it had something to do with what George said about their satisfied egos during a 1987 interview on Today’s show.
The reporter pointed out that George and his fellow musicians seemed to have a real support and friendship system.
“They’re really nice,” George replied. “I think the older we all get, the nicer we become; they are becoming; I’m sure maybe I’ve become nicer too, I don’t know. But they are, they are really good.
“I mean, they’ve all been through so much. I think their egos have all been satisfied or knocked down so much that they kind of appreciate the friendship. They are good, good guys. Elton, apparently, is putting together a group for the over 40s, which I’m told I’m going to be in.
George also told MuchMusic he wanted to do something with Clapton and Lynne. “I shouldn’t really say that because they don’t know, but I’d like to do something, not just a solo album for myself, I’d like to try to get involved with maybe Jeff Lynne and maybe Eric Clapton and do something new together like this, just once, or maybe just Jeff and I, if not, I’ll do one myself.
George never said he wanted to be with Paul again. However, he did when the “Threetles” (George, Paul and Ringo) briefly reunited to record two new Beatles songs, “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love”, featuring John’s old demos.
Still, George more than likely had fun when he formed The Traveling Wilburys. He never formed a band with Ringo, Clapton, Lynne and Elton John, but he created a supergroup with Lynne, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison. Their group made George incredibly happy.
RELATED: Every Project George Harrison Worked On In His Final Months