While John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote most of The Beatles’ songs, George Harrison was writing his own quietly in the background the entire time. When the band disbanded in 1970, George had enough hits to make a few albums right off the bat. He became the first Beatle to hit #1 as a solo artist, and his album all things Must Passhandjob living in the physical world, And thirty three and 1/3 became some of his best successes.
But George could have had many more hits before he died in 2001. Years after his death, George’s wife, Olivia, found a folder of lost songs written by him. George dedicated a song to fellow Beatle.
Olivia Harrison updates George Harrison’s memoir
George Harrison releases his memoir, I me Mine, in 1980. Also John disliked it because George didn’t mention him, there was another problem with the book. George lived for another 21 years and made several more albums after its release.
In 2017, Olivia Harrison finally updated her husband’s memoir with new lyrics, writing, photos and gave it a new cover. She also released a new 13-album vinyl box set, George Harrison-The Vinyl Collection. This was his project for three to four years. Olivia told Board That song had 50 new pages that he needed to add. George had found something, and after he died he found something.
“I tried to find a song to match each song that was in the later albums and the first version of I Mine and that was the basis for it. We found songs that went all the way to 2000,” Olivia explained.
Olivia Harrison finds lost George Harrison songs in bizarre places
Olivia said she found the lost songs written by her husband hidden in the couple’s furniture and other odd places.
“You know, you’re sitting at your desk or writing songs at your table and you’re going to put papers in it. You’re going to fill them in somewhere,” Olivia explained. “George had a desk in the studio And down the table, the kitchen cupboard, anywhere. It’s not like you’re sitting at a desk these days trying to write something with a laptop. He’ll be walking around and taking a piece of paper out of his pocket and he’s somewhere Maybe he sticks it in a book or in a drawer or somewhere else.
George also broke the lyrics to Billy Preston’s piano bench. Preston had worked with The Beatles and maintained a collaborative relationship with them throughout his solo career. On more than one occasion, Billy met George, and they jammed at an ex-Beatles in-home studio in England. So Billy left his Hammond B3 there.
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“No one had opened that bench in a long time—years—and there were folders. So when I finally got around to opening the piano bench, I didn’t know when, maybe All Things Should Have Passed.”
Olivia would close the lids on the folders because she didn’t want to take them out and “disturb” them. “It’s like a time capsule. You really don’t want to disturb anything, but eventually I found the lyrics and a lot of notes in there. The song “Wake Up My Love” was there, which went into the book and it extended into this Wasn’t there before version.
Olivia found the song around 2007 and started arranging everything. Out of all the lost songs she finds, Olivia is surprised to find one.
George Harrison wrote a song about Ringo Starr
Seeing the lost lyrics, Olivia is shocked to learn that George had written a song about her former bandmate, Ringo Starr. He wrote a song called “Hey Ringo”. When Olivia launched a gallery/pop-up store to celebrate the re-release of I me Mine, he showed the lyrics to the former Beatle.
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“Ringo never saw it until last Saturday [at the gallery/pop-up store]. He said, ‘Oh, I’ve never seen this before.’ And I said I didn’t have either,” Olivia explained. “I think it was in an envelope on the piano bench. And there was this song called ‘Hey Ringo’ which they think was from around 1970 or 1971. And it’s really cute. I’ll frame it and give it to her because it’s really sweet. The song includes the lines, “Without you my guitar plays too slow.”
“It was a huge revelation and a surprise. Ringo was completely shocked and really happy. What a gift after all these years,” concluded Olivia. We can’t imagine what happened when Ringo read the poignant lyrics. What would you have thought. After being lost for so long, being on the surface of the song might have felt like George was sending a message.